Britstown is a small farming town situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
Britstown lies in the heart of the Central Karoo and is located exactly halfway between Cape Town (via Three Sisters) and Johannesburg (via Kimberley) on the N12 national road, and thus is about 700km from both cities. The N10 national road crosses the N12 just 500m outside the town.
The town is named after Hans Brits who settled here after he accompanied David Livingstone on a venture into the interior. Hans Brits then settled on a farm called Gemsbokfontein which is where Britstown stands today.
After the discovery of Diamonds in Hopetown and Kimberly Brits realised he and his neighbours could earn good money for serving the growing traffic on the Diamond way. The name Britstown was given as a tribute to Brits for arranging for a town to be laid out on part of his farm. In 1877 a section of Hans Brits’s farm were purchased by a group of men headed by TP Theron to establish a community centre with a church.
A private irrigation scheme were started in 1885 by the smartt syndicate, this irrigation scheme were liquidated in 1954. They build two dams planted lusern and wheat In 1961 floods destroyed the smart irrigation Board Dam, the government rebuilded the dam in 1964.
The First inhabitants were the Xam better known as the Bushmen
A LEGACY OF ART
With their stamina, tenacity and endurance the Xam (Bushmen) moved widely through the karoo. They left an artistic wealth of rock engravings, telling us what the world was like when it was theirs. The Karoo are renowned for its wealth of Stone age Art (remains) spanning at least a half a million years of human history.
Those interested in this art form can visit several interesting sites in Britstown area. The nearest is 10 km from town on the farm Brakwater. Other sites are on the farms Keurfontein, Maritzdam and Omdraaivlei. All are considered National Heritage Sitesand permission is required to visit. The drawings are of Eland, Ostriches and Elephant.