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Herold is really unique and as such it is difficult to define. What do you call a little town that’s in the middle of a farm, but at the same time incorporates many smaller communities around the farm?


Herold is a little hamlet in the middle of the farm Doornrivier that lies at the top of the Montagu Pass, about 30 minutes’ drive from George. It consists of 2 small schools, a postal agency and convenience store, a clinic, Over the Mountain guest house and 8 smallholdings on the Montagu Pass, more or less 23 farmworker houses, 2 churches, of which the one congregation stretches 30 kilometres in all directions (incorporating the communities of Waboomskraal, Klipdrift, Mt Hope, Heimersrivier, Molenrivier, Buffelsdrift, Dieprivier, Kliprivier and people from the farms Ezelsjacht, Ganzekraal, and Noll.) and 2 hop farms. 


There are many heritage buildings in Herold, (including an old Toll house, Post office, Miller’s house, and police station) that were built around the time of the building of the Pass in 1847. Some perhaps even older.
Herold is named after Tobias Herold, who was born in South Africa but studied theology in Holland, and was the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in George. He travelled by ox wagon over the Cradock Pass to visit the congregation of Achterberg - as the area behind the Outeniquas was called then. He served as minister from 1812 till 1823, when he was recalled to the Paarl. 

In 1910 Jan Turner, the owner of Doornrivier, donated land to the Church, as the post office, police station as well as the Herold Laerskool were already operating on his farm. There were differing opinions about where the centre of the congregation should be. Many people wanted it to be at Klipdrift (towards Oudtshoorn on the farm Groot Doorrivier) But Mr Truter persevered and the church hall was dedicated in 1918. The name Herold was only given in the early 1930’s. Years later, in 1955 the new ‘modern’ church doors were opened after many years of fundraising.


Since the early 1900’s the Coloured community had their own (VGK Verenigde Gereformeerde kerk) church services. Today they still have their own church hall and some buildings that are used by the Department of Education to house Franken Primary school, catering for Grade R to Grade 8. 

Adjacent to the farm are two hop farms, Afgunst and Burnsleigh, owned by South African Breweries and provide seasonal work to a large number of the local community.

There are different accommodation options at Over the Mountain Guest House and self-catering units; as well as on a variety of farms around Herold. Over the Mountain Guest House consists of 5 buildings, the old police station. post office, farm house and 2 renovated workers’ cottages, which were also bywoners huisies at some stage. There’s also an old ruin that was used to house the horses that were used to pull a police horse cart.


Many people, especially some of the farmers, still remember attending Herold Primary School that -at its peak - had over a hundred pupils. Or coming to the post office, which also housed the telephone exchange. Some even spent a night in the jail cell behind the post office building on a Friday night, when they came from a party ‘slightly’ intoxicated. 
The Pass and surrounding area is very popular amongst mountain bikers and hikers alike, since there are many trails on and over the mountain, as well as in the direction of Uniondale or Oudtshoorn. On the neighbouring wine farm, Herold Wines, there are hiking trails to the dam, as well as a trail which includes some rock art. Very unique rock art is also found on some of the other neighbouring farms in the area.

What makes the area an ideal holiday destination is firstly, the peace and tranquillity, since it is untouched by development and commerce. Secondly, it is an ideal base from where one can travel to the Swartberg Pass, Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves, ostrich farms and beaches like Herold's Bay, Vic Bay. Herold is closely situated to other tourist attractions such as Knysna, the Prince Alfred Pass and even Tsitsikamma. It's close enough to George if one wants to shop and Wilderness for adventure activities such as canoeing, kloofing and paragliding.


The small holdings on the pass mostly belong to 'incomers' who wanted to escape the rat race and found this little piece of paradise on the Montagu Pass. They have been living here from 1 to 20 years and all of them have their own vegetable gardens, fruit trees, bee hives, chickens, sheep, some cattle and are becoming really adept at 'farming'.


1,2km from the pass you find the N9/R62 along which the more established farmers are farming with fruit (grapes, apples and apricots) vegetables, sheep, cattle, Proteas and onion seed. Some farmers have been there for more than four generations; on some of the farms three generations are still farming.

Article by Over the Mountain Guest House 
hotos Over the Mountain Guest House  & Herold Wines
Apr 22, 2016