In 1875, Rider Haggard set foot in South Africa. He had no idea how his life would change.
Sent to South Africa by his father, who both regarded his 8th child as a low achieving individual and hindrance, he was essentially “sent away”. He took up an unpaid position as assistant to Secretery Sir Bulwer, Lieutenant- Governor of the Colony of Natal.
I’m 1878 after several movements and position changes Haggard bought a small farm just outside of Newcastle town called Rooipoint, which now stands as Haggards Hill House, home to a BNB on a 3 Hectare indigenous Forrest.
Which we were lucky enough to visit during our #WeDoTourism Tour of Newcastle.
The drive is a small trip out of Newcastles main town and actually quite close to the entrance of Newcastle. The grounds are beautifully kept on site.
In 1880 Haggard went home to England and later returned with his new wife to South Africa, just as the 3 Anglo- Boer Wars were taking place, quite close to Newcastle and the farm.
Oddly enough it was Haggards House that was chosen as the venue to discuss and sign the peace treaty. The house was rented out during this time, except for Haggard who set up tent and camped outside the home while his guests slept.
In that same year Haggard and his family were convinced to return to England and leave South Africa. It is mentioned that Haggards son Jock was also born this year, sadly Jock did not live past the age of 10, this eventually being the downfall of who Haggard was about to become.
After becoming a notable and famed adventure writer internationally, Haggard travelled around the globe and picked up many titles. As well as serving in the Dominios Royal Comission. Where he visited South Africa again in 1914 and assisted with the land rejuvenation of Newcastle and it’s surroundings.
He also returned to Capetown in 1916. Yet after touring the world and only being informed two years after the death of his son Jock, Haggard put down his pen and no longer found the muster to write.
Sadly he passed away in May 1925.
The house is filled by collections of his novels, collected from around the world by it’s current owner Andre. The Bnb is slowly growing and new developments are underway to expand and open up the property.
The space we explored was very tranquil and relaxing. I could never imagine, 100s of soldiers, sitting around covered in dirt, wounds and scratches. Horses tired from days of battle and women an nurses tending to the soldiers.
What an image.
If you’re in Newcastle. A visit to Haggards House is a must. Why not check into the Bnb and see if Haggards ghost comes to visit.
What another life changing experience with Tourism KZN on our #WeDoTourism Tour of Newcastle.
This is why #IDoTourism #WeDoTourism and #YouDoTourism.
You can find all the photos of our experience by Denver at Snapout Photography.
Look out for my next #WeDoTourism posts! And of course our next destination…..
And As Always….