On Wednesday, we were in Robertson and, on our way home we stopped at one of my favourite little towns, Worcester.
I had visited the Worcester Museum a few years ago, on a media trip , and wanted to take Hamish, as I absolutely fell in love with this living museum. The trip did not disappoint, and he loved it as much as I do.
Whilst, we got there late and there were no demonstrations, it’s an amazing experience for our kids to step back into yesteryear and discover how hard life was back then.
About the Worcester Museum
Set in the heart of the Breede River Valley, this working farm showcases a rich diversity in history and pioneer skills.
This cultural history museum has a strong focus on agriculture and showcases a rich diversity covering the village from the times of the Indigenous hunter- gatherers to the pastoralists , followed by Trek farmers and later the introduction of commerce and industrial change.
Walk around the old homes, perfectly decorated to represent times gone by.
An informative visit that will show you how tobacco was made, water power was used and learn more about Cape architecture and the building materials used to build these stunning shelters.
Among some of the building are :
- A traditional hut and cooking area
- A tobacconist
- A traditional farm kitchen where you are able to view a giant stone fireplace guarding old kitchen utensils. You can also find homemade soap, candles and see how coffee is roasted and ground on the ancient old metal coffee grinder.
- A living quarters with lounge, dining area and bedrooms decorated to transport you back to pioneer days.
- A pump house and water wheel.
With a large open area, the museum host demonstrations and workshops teaching you to make:
- Bread in an outdoor brick oven
- Homemade soap
- Coffee roasting
- Milk tart making
- Tobacco rolling
- Forging of metal with a blacksmith.
On my first visit I got to enjoy a hands on candle making demonstration.
There is no glamour here like today’s specially curated diy kits.Old rags were cut into straps and twisted. They were then inserted into the metal mould and tied with a simple piece of stick at the top.
Animal fat, which had been melted was gently poured into the mould and left for days to dry.
If you think how many candles would be needed just in a week by one home in the days of no electricity, imagine how long woman stood making candles.
As well as these demonstrations The museum also offers seasonal demonstrations.
- Stomping grapes for wine making
- Sheering of sheep
- Milking cows
- Learning about veld plants
Please check availability and dates/times with the museum before planning your visit.
Donkey cart rides
For the brave, you can even have a donkey cart ride.
The museum have the most gorgeous donkeys and zonkie.
Have you ever met a Zonkie?
A Zonkie is a donkey cross horse. You are able to identify them by the stripe on the zonkies back.
Hamish fell in love with the Donkeys, and discovered on his first donkey cart ride that donkeys are much faster than we give them credit for being.
As well as the donkeys and zonkey, kids are able to see:
- Chickens and roosters
- Farm cats
You can buy meilie corn to feed the chickens, peacocks and ducks.
I also noticed as I walked in a few posters with the animals names, encouraging the kids to look for them. I really love this as it allows the kids to truly emerge themselves into their visit. After all, who doesn’t love a scavanger hunt.
Worcester Museum is open to the public from Mondays to Saturdays.
Monday – Friday 08H00-16H00
School groups that book are free
Monday to Friday:
Rolling tobacco, bread baking, soap making, candle making, coffee making, metal work, and donkey cart rides
Good to know
- Guided Tours are available on request.
- You can feed the animals and feed is R7 a packet. Please carry cash for this.
- There is a shop on-site
- The museum also offer conference facilities
- There is a children’s play area
- Due to the animals I can’t imagine it is pet friendly, please enquire before visiting with a dog.
- The toilets are clean and the ladies toilet has a bed suitable for baby changing.
- Many of the museum exhibits are pram and wheelchair friendly. However, it’s important to note that a large portion of the exhibits are outdoors, and you navigate grass and sand to visit these.