It is unusual for a middle-class British couple to be celebrated for their respective achievements over half a century. The female partner in this relationship, Dame Agatha Christie, Britain’s bestselling author since Shakespeare requires little introduction. Her husband, the late Sir Max Mallowan, an eminent archaeologist who excavated several important sites in the Middle East, may be somewhat less familiar.

Het Posthuys (also known as De Post Huys) in Muizenberg is considered by many to be one of the oldest structures built by European settlers in South Africa. For many years the secret of its age and significance remained hidden until the keen eye of an estate agent and the skills of an historian uncovered the remarkable details in the late 1970s. The article below was written shortly before restoration of the property began (+-1979) and appeared in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa).

[Originally published in 2014] Andrew Carnegie, an American philanthropist, wrote an article proclaiming “The Gospel of Wealth” and urged the wealthy to improve society. When he made the offer of a Library, Muizenberg, like many other villages, took advantage of his generosity. In 1910, The Carnegie Library replaced the first library in the Municipal offices.

We are honoured to publish this fascinating piece compiled by Chris Taylor of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. It tells the remarkable story of the 2014 discovery of a cannonball that was fired during the Battle of Muizenberg (1795). Thank you to Colin Johnstone for sending it through. [Originally published in May 2014]

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