Hanover is named after Hanover in Germany. Farmers moved gradually northwards and settled in this area in the 18th century. One of the early farms was Petrusvallei which in time became Hanover. On 17 July 1854, a six-man committee bought the farm for the sum of 33 333 Rixdollars. Their intention was to start a settlement and church farm.
Survey work started almost immediately, and early in 1856 forty plots were sold. Soon a town mushroomed at the foot of a cluster of hills near a strong natural spring called The Fountain. It delivered over 200,000 liters of fresh water a day and still does.
Hanover claims to be the country’s most central place. It is equidistant from Cape Town and Johannesburg, centrally positioned between Cape Town and Durban as well as Port Elizabeth and Upington and it is the hub of an arc formed by Richmond, Middelburg, and Colesberg.
The country’s first observatory once stood proud at the top of Trappieskop, but it has been moved and is now part of the observatory at Sutherland. A footpath leads up to Trappieskop which offers panoramic views of the area.
Much of the farming in the area is with Merino sheep.
Attractions in Hanover include:
– The Angora Handcraft Centre sells beautiful Angora wool handcrafted articles, such as tapestries, wall hangings, and jerseys. Tours are also conducted to venues where visitors can buy handmade articles such as leather shoes and handbags.
– Visit Mieliefontein Ostrich Farm to meet the fascinating ostrich. This bird that cannot fly, is bigger than some species of antelopes and can out-kick a rugby player.
– The Fountain, a powerful spring in town, releases about 205,000 liters of water per day.
– In the cemetery on the outskirts of town, a pyramid of stone marks the grave of three young men executed during the Anglo-Boer War. The pyramid of stone over their grave bears this inscription: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord’.
– The Anglican Church, a national monument, was built in 1895 and is still in use.
– The Ash Tree Art Gallery to experience a different kind of art.
– The Cenotaph Memorial commemorates those who died in WWII.
– The Hanover Museum is housed in the farmhouse around which the town developed. The museum in Viljoen Street contains artifacts dating back to pioneer days.
– The Hippo Pool in Zeekoei River, for more information, contact Tel no 053 643 0020.
– The House of Olive Schreiner in Grace Street. The famous author lived here during the Anglo-Boer War.
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