ABOUT CHELSEA VILLAGE
The quiet lanes of Wynberg’s Chelsea Village in Cape Town are reminiscent of a little English village high street. It’s also known as Little Chelsea or Wynberg Village, after London’s Chelsea.
The collection of Cape Georgian buildings is one of the most dense in the country, most of those on the high street bought up by picture framers, antique shops, house galleries and interior decorators with the odd ladies who lunch-style coffee deli.
Did you know?
Wynberg was designated a conservation area in 1981 and since then has become a much sought-after address.”
Wynberg was designated a conservation area in 1981 and since then has become a much sought-after address. The village square, actually an unassuming triangle, lies at the heart of the village. On either side of it are one-way lanes in a bid to cope with traffic that uses the village’s Wolfe Street as a shortcut to bypass the afternoon jams on Waterloo Road and Alphen Hill.
Off the main lanes of the village are quieter lanes with quaint cottages, townhouses and some larger period homes. The beautiful Dutch Reformed Church, another historical monument, on the edge of the village has been here since 1832. It was one of two churches around which the village grew, the other church was the Anglican Church, St John’s, the oldest Anglican Church in Cape Town.
Interestingly, it was the Dutch Reformed Church that decided to found a school for girls in 1884 that started as the ‘School in the Bush’ and evolved into Wynberg Girls High School.
It is hard to believe that Wynberg began as a farming area, and then developed into a military base when the British settled troops in the area (it’s halfway between Table Bay and Simonstown), which provided the farmers with a market, saving them the trip into Cape Town.
You can still see what remains of one of the farms not far from Chelsea Village on Wynberg Hill – look out for the vineyards of the farm Sonnebloem, sliced in two by the M3 highway.