Rayton, Northern Gauteng
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Not far from the historical village of Cullinan is the little town of Rayton, another settlement to have evolved from the discovery of diamonds in the area.
With the opening of the Premier Mine in the vicinity, many diamond diggers made their way to this part of the world to prospect for diamonds. It wasn’t long before the company built a spur from the then railway line between Pretoria and Delagoa Bay, to a station called Rayton.
The Premier Diamond Mine, sometimes known as the New Premier, so as not to confuse it with the old Premier of the De Beers group, is the greatest known diamond mine in the world - as large as the four De Beers Consolidated Mines combined. The mine is shaped liked a pear and lies on a level plateau about two hundred feet in elevation, surrounded by hills and kopjes. The crystals mined here are of the finest quality and colour, and the percentage of large crystals of gem material is greater than from any other mine in the country.
Rayton is named after the first manager of the Montrose Diamond Mining Company, Colonel Balliston’s wife - Lady Rachel Ray Williston. Today the town exhibits some fine examples of classic architecture that have survived the ages, and the Post Office is the original magistrate’s office. Although Rayton became little more than a ghost town following the Second World War, today it is a thriving little ‘dorp’ in the true sense of the word.
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"Hi, Am looking for a resident who lived there many years ago. Know he was a teacher and artist. His name is Ernest Rood. Can anyone assist me with a contact ..." - Eddy Lloyd, Sedgefield
Featured Attractions in (or near) Rayton
Lying on the western boundaries of the Dinokeng area, between the Roodeplaat Dam and the N1 highway, Buffelsdrift Conservancy has become a fairly popular place to visit not only because it is so easy to reach, so close to both Pretoria and Johannesburg, but also as a birding spot for birders. This is due in no ... more information
Just twenty minutes’ drive from Pretoria brings one to the quaint little town of Cullinan that time appears to have little affected. The Cullinan Diamond Mine, also known as the Premier Diamond Mine, has uncovered some of the largest diamonds in the world today and the mine lies over one of the biggest kimberlite ... more information
Just north-east of urban Joburg and Tshwane lies the vibrant and warm, big-sky region of Dinokeng, where the world's largest diamond was discovered. Today the area is sparkling with natural, cultural and historical attractions, a place where South Africans and their visitors enjoy the ... more information
Why Dinokeng Game Reserve is such an attraction is because it provides Big 5 game viewing really close to Pretoria - half an hour, or an hour from OR Tambo International Airport. Which means you can simply fall out of the plane and be in the 'bush' pronto. Dinokeng translates ... more information
The Leeuwkloof Valley Conservancy, a 400 hectare game reserve, is situated 1 hour from Johannesburg and 30 minutes from Pretoria. In the heart of Gauteng, Dinokeng ‘a place of rivers’, is Leeukloof Valley with wildlife roaming in a 400 hectare game reserve. Game at Leeuwkloof includes over 240 grazers... more information
The Rietvlei Nature Reserve is one of the world's largest urban nature reserves, 3 800 hectares in extent, situated south of the city but still within the city limits. The Rietvlei Nature Reserve lies very close to the highway between Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport at a height of about 1700 m... more information
The Roodeplaat dam was constructed in 1956 and was initially called the 'Pienaars Rivier Dam'. The Dam supplied the surrounding landowners with irrigation and was later developed into a tourism destination. Rich with abundant fish, bird and wildlife, the reserve which lies on the eastern shore of ... more information
One of only four meteorite crater museums in the world (the others are in the US, Germany and France) the Tswaing Crater and its museum lie roughly 40 kilometres north of Pretoria. Not only is the Tswaing crater probably one of the best preserved meteorite craters in the world, but it definitely is the ... more information
If you want to really step back in time and experience farming as it once was, then the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, just 40 kilometres east of Pretoria, with the largest collection of farming implements in the country and a pretty unique collection of vehicles, is the place for you. The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum has ... more information