Gauteng DestinationsRayton, Northern Gauteng
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.