KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Ladysmith Town Hall
Ladysmith, the little country town, might lie on the south-western perimeter of the Battlefields Route, but it also played a rather prominent role in the 118-day siege of the Anglo-Boer War.
Where? Murchison Street, Ladysmith, Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal
Who? +27 (0)36 637-2231
Like other old towns in South Africa, Ladysmith has a rather imposing town hall built in 1893 in the architectural tradition of the time.
The building one can now visit is not quite the original. The hall become too small and was enlarged in 1923 to accommodate the demands of a growing community. Its historical part in the Anglo Boer War began as the town fell under siege, when it began to function as a field hospital.
The story goes that it flew the Red Cross flag of Geneva on the clock tower of the hall, which, in turn, made it an easy target for Boer fire, which meant it was hit more than once in the proceedings. One of these was a direct hit to the bell tower on 20 December 1899 by a Long Tom cannon known as Puffing Billy.
The Ladysmith Town Hall has a couple of RML 6.3 inch Howitzer cannons of its own, known as 'Castor' and 'Pollux', brought up to Ladysmith in something of a hurry to counter the long reach of the Boer Long Toms. Today you can also see a replica of the Long Toms in the courtyard of Ladysmith's Siege Museum, next door to the Town Hall.
Other historical attractions of the town include the Gandhi statue in the garden of the Lord Vishnu Temple, the Soofi Mosque and the Burgher Memorial.