• Durban s old court house museum dq49us
    Durban’s Old Court House Museum

About Durban’s Old Court House Museum

Durban’s Old Court House Museum is the oldest public building in the central business district. Built in 1866 as a courthouse, the building subsequently served as a canteen and recruitment centre during the two world wars, then as a library, before taking on its current role as a history museum.

The building comprises two storeys of exhibition rooms that chronicle Durban’s early history and the people who carved out the future of the early Natal colony.

During its long history the museum has witnessed the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, the Anglo-Boer wars, the Bambatha uprising (a Zulu rebellion against British rule and taxes in 1906) and two World Wars.

Located in the city block behind the Durban City Hall, the courthouse was often visited by Mahatma Gandhi as a young lawyer practising in Durban. It was here, too, that Gandhi was asked by a judge to leave the court for wearing a turban. Gandhi refused and defended his action by saying that removal of headgear was a sign of disrespect in the Indian culture. The incident was subsequently reported in the Natal Advertiser.

The entrance foyer features various collections, including an extensive miniature-car display. Rare art deco and art nouveau pieces displayed here would be of particular interest to aficionados.

Inside the Old Court House Museum, the Durban Room features four permanent exhibits: the David SB Anderson Pharmacy, featuring a mannequin representing David Anderson behind his pharmacy counter where he fulfilled the role of clinician, pharmacist and general practitioner; Henry Francis Fynn's Cottage with its thatched roof and walls of clay; the Clairmont Sugar Mill – including an early sugar-cane press; and the Miss Fann Fancy Repository, which displays fine imported fabrics, haberdashery and the type of luxury items available in Durban at the end of the 19th century.

How to get there

77 Samora Machel St, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Contact Details

Address: 77 Samora Machel St, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Email: unknown@kizzler.com
Telephone: +27-31-3112229
Website: Information unavailable

Operating Hours:
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Places: Durban