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Trafalgar Park
Address: Corner Victoria Road and Searle Streets, Woodstock
Opening hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
Size: 3 hectares
Entrance: Free
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Trafalgar Park in Woodstock is a safe place for children to play or nearby workers to take a leisurely stroll during a lunch break.

It is steeped in history and its present day peace and tranquillity mask its history as the site of a line of defence against the invasion of the Cape of Good Hope.

Features

  • The French Redoubt
  • Historical kiln

Facilities

  • Play equipment
  • Grassed area
  • Benches
  • Footpaths / tracks
  • Cycling allowed
  • Dogs on leashes allowed
  • Parking
  • Fenced off / enclosed area

History

In Trafalgar Park stands the French Redoubt, also known as the Central or Frederick William Redoubt. (A ‘redoubt’ is a type of fortification structure.)

The Dutch East India Company, fearing an attack by the British, realized that they were extremely vulnerable to an overland attack from False Bay, and accepted the assistance of a French garrison to build a line of defence. The line was hastily constructed in 1781 and consisted of four forts stretching from Knokke (where Woodstock Railway Station stands), to the Hollandse Redoubt, the Burger Redoubt and the French Redoubt.

Five years after it was built the line fell into a poor state of repair and after the British occupation in 1795 the earthworks which connected the redoubts and the forts were restored. They helped form a defence line with the British blockhouses on Devil’s Peak. The line eventually fell into disuse and in 1827 instructions were given to demolish the forts.

In the course of time not only the earthworks that connected the redoubts disappeared, but also all the redoubts themselves, with the exception of the French Redoubt. Fortunately, the site was proclaimed a National Monument in 1968.

The French Redoubt has earth banks and a stone entrance. There is an interesting structure in it, a brick kiln-like chimney, about which there has been much speculation. It seems that this was a brick-kiln, built after 1830, and used for the making of bricks after the fort was de-militarised.

Contact

Contact person: Valentino Jeftha
Tel: 021 400 3031

© City of Cape Town, 2014