About Paradise Lady Anne Barnard's cottage

Paradise - the remains of Lady Anne Barnard's cottage: Deep in Newlands Forest are the remains of a little stone cottage and garrison that once belonged to a woodcutter and then, briefly, Lady Anne Barnard. The cottage is also known as Paradijs, or Paradise, Cottage.

It can get confusing. To one's left as one enters Newlands Forest is a semi-engulfed white-wall barn-like structure filled with water. This is not the historical relic known as Paradijs.

All that is left of Paradise Cottage, a little deeper in the forest, is a stone wall, practically hidden in the undergrowth. You will know you have found it as there are accompanying information boards that describe how the house was once the domicile of the Master Woodcutter of the Dutch East India Company. A small garrison of soldiers was also stationed here, although they were in the outbuilding a little further down the slope.

Little of the original house has been excavated and archaeological work may still continue.

Lady Anne Barnard and her husband Andrew's connection with the cottage was that they used it as a getaway.

Their actual home was not that far away from the forest and today forms part of the Vineyard Hotel. Her diary description of the cottage of her time there with her younger husband, with whom she was very much in love (according to detailed memoirs she left behind, with strict instructions not to publish, she married late in life, only at 42, after countless offers of marriage) is why it is known as Paradise.

Lady Anne Barnard was of Scottish descent. She was a travel writer, an artist and the author of a series of vivid letters, drawings and journals that she wrote to Viscount Melville, who appointed her husband as colonial secretary to the Cape of Good Hope, about her time in South Africa.

These accounts of hers, and her diaries of her travels to the interior, were later published as South Africa a Century Ago. Actually, she lived only briefly in Cape Town for five years, arriving in March of 1797.

Find: in Newlands Forest, open sunrise to sunset all year round

Take the third left turn off the main left dirt path through Newlands. Each of the three left turns is marked with a bench. Once you've taken the third left, stick to the right and you will reach the ruins.

Need to Know

WhereNewlands Forest, Newlands, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town

WhenBest viewed during daylight hours.

How muchFree

TelephoneNot applicable

OvernightThe closest town is Newlands, in Cape Town

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