My castle on the hill
Posted by Dreamlife on December 26, 2012
Aside from the famous ‘table’ part of Table Mountain (in Cape Town), the mountain range has many other areas of interest – one of which captivated me for years. A few months ago, I finally made a trip up to it: the King’s Blockhouse – situated on the slopes of Devil’s Peak.
According to this source:
“Following the first British occupation of the Cape in 1795, the existing Dutch line of defence, known as the “French line”, was extended by the addition of three blockhouses up the slopes of Devil’s Peak. These included the Queen’s Blockhouse, on the Zonnebloem Estate, the Prince of Wales, above present-day De Waal Drive, and the King’s Blockhouse further up the mountainside. The first two have since fallen into a state of disrepair but the King’s Blockhouse, a massive stone structure 7m square, located on a prominent point on the Devil’s Peak, was retained in use as a signal station for communication between Table Bay and False Bay. The line was further strengthened in 1814 when several additional redoubts were built, and at one stage served as the official boundary between Cape Town and the country districts beyond. The King’s Blockhouse was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 4 February 1938.”
So for those in Cape Town (or those who’ve visited), if you’ve ever gazed up at Devil’s Peak and noticed this castle-like structure on the hill, that’s the history behind it.
It’s a pretty easy hike – starting at Rhodes Memorial, and running for about 45 minutes in total, with only a little section being quite steep.