Barrydale a Picturesque Town
Located in the Western Cape Province, on the Overberg border, lies a town named Barrydale that had its beginnings in the eighteenth century. Looking for land that had natural water sources and fertile land for their crops, farmers moved into the area. At first they did not have a church, only houses where Holy Communion could be taken and a small school. In 1878 a piece of land was purchased, the Dutch Reformed Community of Barrydale was founded and a church constructed. All these developments created what is now a historic town that is as picturesque as it was when it first came into existence.
The farmers of Barrydale were supported and encouraged to establish orchards and vineyards as their livelihood. This led to the construction of a distillery and, after which the Barrydale Kooperatiewe Wynkelder was built in 1940. Not only was wine produced in Barrydale, but in later years brandy as well. As the vineyards were able to flourish in Barrydale, there are a number of wineries visitors are able to visit today. Orchards of figs, peaches, apples, oranges, apricots and pears still bring color and fragrance to the town’s landscapes.
The small town remains quaint and simple, with an estimated permanent population of three thousand five hundred. During the holiday season, the number rises as visitors flock to Barrydale to explore its beauty. The countryside is blanketed in fynbos and other flora, making it home to wildlife such as jackals, leopards, baboons, klipspringer, otters, grey herons, black eagles, fiscal shrikes and a variety of snakes. Reserves such as the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve protect the species of this region.
Other attractions in Barrydale include the South African Peace Pagoda, which was consecrated on 7 December 2000; the Cape Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife; and the various stores in town that sell a variety of jewelry and other souvenirs. The Joseph Barry Tradouw Pass Half Marathon also attracts a great number of runners each year, as well as the Barrydale Spring Festival. Many of the buildings and homes in Barrydale are of historical significance, almost like the town has been frozen in time. It is a truly wonderful holiday destination in South Africa.