Woodstock: A History of our ‘hood



With us being in Woodstock for a whole year now (can you believe it!), we’ve started finding out not only about cool places to shop and eat, but some history about Woodstock itself.

Susannah has done some great research, so we hope you’ll enjoy her latest article below:


Woodstock has a long, interesting history and since we’ve been in Woodstock for a year now, we figured we would share some of the history of the suburb! Woodstock was originally inhabited by the Khoikhoi until the Dutch came in the early 1600s. Later, the area became the home to three various farms named Zonnebloem, Leliebloem, and Roodebloem. Pieter van Papendrop lived in one of these farmsteads in the mid 18th century. By the early 1800s, more families and civilians moved around the land near his house and the area became a town called Papendorp.

His homestead, Treaty House, was on the sea side of Albert Road. In the early 1900s, the house was destroyed, and a factory was built in its place. On the property resides the Treaty Tree, a tree where the Dutch signed over the land to the British after the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1803. The tree was also the site of slave sales and where slaves were hung in the dim days of slavery. In 1966, the tree became a national monument. It is located on the corner of Spring and Treaty Roads.

Woodstock used to have a beach, but it was reclaimed as land in the 1950s. In much earlier days, the area was quite fatal for sailors, and many ships were wrecked off of the coast due to the high winds, which are a regular occurrence in Cape Town. Now, Beach Road survives as the remainder of where the shore line used to be.

In the 19th century, Woodstock became a popular and fashionable seaside village due to the development of a railway line in the area. Woodstock was named Woodstock in 1867, when residents voted at the Woodstock Hotel to change the name from New Brighton to Woodstock. In the 1870s, the land was subdivided for cheap, low-cost housing which lead to the rapid development of suburban Woodstock. In 1881, Woodstock and Salt River were separated, and Woodstock became the third largest suburb in the Cape Town area. By 1904, the area was home to 30,000 residents.

During this time, Woodstock saw a great industrial push that changed the character of the area drastically. Even now many stores and businesses are in old factories. The area stayed integrated during the Apartheid era. Due to this, many people moved to the area in the 1970s and 1980s, paving the way to the urban renewal that is now a strong part of Woodstock’s charm and identity.

Crime became an issue in the late 20th century as the area had lost the status it had once had when it was a seaside resort in the mid 19th century. In recent years, young professionals have taken advantage of the cheaper, Victorian real estate and many trendy restaurants have taken up residency in the area. In addition, many furniture showrooms, art galleries, and businesses have moved into old abandoned buildings as well as revamped warehouses.

Now, many small businesses are calling Woodstock home, including us! A beautiful, unique, trendy area. We are happy to be part of the Woodstock community.


I Love Woodstock. History. Retrieved from http://www.ilovewoodstock.co.za/area-history-2/

Wikipedia. (2018, June 1). Woodstock, Cape Town. Retrieved June 28, 2018, from             https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock,_Cape_Town