The history of Pilgrim’s Rest dates back to ancient times when unknown black miners worked the quartz reefs for gold. However, the historic village, as we know it, was founded in 1873 when alluvial gold was discovered in the Pilgrim’s Creek. News of the discovery triggered the first major gold rush in South Africa and by the end of that year there were some 1 500 diggers working 4 000 claims in and around Pilgrim’s Rest. It is estimated that R2 million worth of gold was mined during the first seven years of mining in the Pilgrim’s Rest valley.
The 1880s saw the end of the digger’s era and by 1895 several small mining companies had amalgamated to form the Transvaal Gold Mining Estates. The black and white miners of this company and the local villagers shared the fluctuating fortunes of mining at Pilgrim’s Rest until 1972 when the last mine ceased to operate. The village has subsequently become a National icon and living museum.
Alanglade House Museum
Diggings Site Museum
All museum admission tickets and bookings for guided tours are available at the Pilgrim’s Rest Information Centre.