TOPIC: Behind the Castle – Early estates & homesteads of District Six
SPEAKER: Jim Hislop

Many think of District Six as a bustling, densely populated city neighbourhood, but it wasn’t always so. Originally, the area loosely referred to as ‘Behind the Castle’ consisted of a few scattered market garden estates (such as Zonnebloem, Bloemhof, Werkerslust and Hope Lodge) with large homesteads, vineyards and grazing land, accessed by a few farm roads that were later formalised into District Six thoroughfares, such as Hanover Street.

Jim Hislop’s second book, Behind the Castle, looks at this early history of the place that was to become District Six – something that has never been extensively covered in a book before.The talk will focus on some of these early buildings, some of which are, somewhat surprisingly, still standing.  

Jim Hislop, born and educated in Cape Town and VASSA member who developed his passion for old Cape buildings and historical research into a career as a property historian.
He self-published his first book, Wheatfields& Windmills (about the early buildings of Observatory) in 2014. Behind the Castle is Jim’s second book, and he has done all the research, layout, photography and illustrations himself.

Lavishly illustrated with old artworks, photographs, maps and drawings (some published for the first time), Behind the Castle is a treasure trove for lovers of old buildings, bygone eras and the forgotten corners and characters of Cape Town. The book is for  ale. Cost: R350