Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum (Rayton)
(Willem Prinsloo Landbou Museum)
Overview of Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum preserves and present South African agricultural history in a unique manner. The Willem Prinsloo museum showcases the development and history of South African agriculture from the Stone Age until 1945.
Who was Willem Prinsloo?
Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum was once the home of Willem Petrus Prinsloo, a farmer in the olden days. When Willem bought the farm, then known as Kaalfontein, in 1889, the main house was already built. Willem was nicknamed, "Willem Wragtig" in Afrikaans, which roughly translates to "Willem, Really?!".
Today, visitors can visit Willem's old house, and see the wood-burning stove in the kitchen, and the many family photographs in the hallways and other parts of the house.
Features of the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
Featuring a large collection of farming implements, tractors and animal drawn vehicles, visitors will find the exhibitions both entertaining and educational. A historic farm yard (1880 - 1920) with indigenous domesticated farm animals, such as Nguni and Afrikaner cattle, Colebrook pigs, Painted Persian sheep and chickens further enhances the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum.
Various demonstrations, including candle-making, cow-milking, roasting of coffee beans and the baking of bread can be seen by prior booking. The Museum Farm stall sells delicious home-made jams, cookies, soap and Ndebele bead work. Willem Prinsloo Museum also distils and sells its own mampoer (moonshine) and liqueurs. The end of May presents the always popular annual Willem Prinsloo Mampoer Festival.
Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum features the following attractions and things to do:
- Vehicles of yesteryear
- Tractor and other agricultural engine exhibitions
- Mapoer distilling
- 1880 House Museum with outbuildings
- 1913 House Museum
- Ndebele Homesteads
- Indigenous farm animals
- Picnic and Braai facilities
- Restaurant "Tant Miertjie se Kombuis", which translates to "Aunt Miertjies Kitchen"
Review of Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
On another sunny winter-day we decided to visit Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum. Quite a while from the busy city centre, it was definitely worth the drive though. It did seem however that not a lot of people were willing to drive out on this particular day, so we had the facility mostly to ourselves.
Upon entering the main exhibition hall, we encountered rows upon rows of farm implements and machines, and old horse-drawn carriages and donkey carts. It is difficult to image a time when this was the only manner of transport! It must've taken days to get from point A to B, which would explain why travelling was such a trying endeavor in the olden days.
We enjoyed walking around the old farm yard, and watching the cows and ducks and turkeys going about their business. The duck pond has a conveniently located bench, and we spent a while reflecting over the serenity of the landscape, while gazing out over the pond.
The Ndebele homestead was quite a let down unfortunately. The thing is completely falling apart, and is in serious need of some renovation. A benefit from the fact that the homestead is breaking apart, is that one can see the clay that was used to built these houses.
As is traditional, we bought our mampoer (moonshine). I tried a sip of it, and wow! it could do some serious damage! I would not want the hangover that is sure to follow after a night with these babies! :)
Tired from walking around, we decided that it is about time for some lunch. The restaurant serves delicious meals, and be sure to try to homemade ginger beer ("gemmerbier" in Afrikaans). The little shop was disappointing, not selling much of worth.
If you enjoy all things "farmy", driving out to Rayton to enjoy the tranquility of the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum is a must-do.