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Station Cookhouse EC.JPG
Cookhouse station sign
South Africa Eastern Cape location map.svg
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Coordinates: 32°44′43″S25°48′17″E / 32.74528°S 25.80472°E / -32.74528; 25.80472 Coordinates: 32°44′43″S25°48′17″E / 32.74528°S 25.80472°E / -32.74528; 25.80472
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape
District Sarah Baartman
Municipality Blue Crane Route
  Total50.98 km2 (19.68 sq mi)
585 m (1,919 ft)
 (2011) [1]
  Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
   Black African 80.7%
   Coloured 16.0%
   Indian/Asian 0.2%
   White 2.8%
First languages (2011)
   Xhosa 75.4%
   Afrikaans 19.7%
   English 2.5%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code 042

Cookhouse (Afrikaans : Kookhuis) is a small village located in Eastern Cape province, South Africa, some 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Port Elizabeth and 24 kilometres (15 mi) east of Somerset East, on the west bank of the Great Fish River.


Cookhouse is situated in Greater Addo, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Cookhouse was an early colonial settlement. The Scottish abolitionist and poet, Thomas Pringle mentions Cookhouse in his journal. The town was also visited by early explorers and writers such as Dutch military commander Robert Jacob Gordon and French traveller François Levaillant. Gordon's stay in South Africa produced scientific writings, drawings and maps about the region. [2]

The town is home to the Cookhouse Wind Farm which comprises 66 turbines. The farm became operational in November 2014 and supplies clean energy to Cookhouse, Adelaide, Somerset East and Bedford. [3]


The Great Fish River formed the eastern boundary of the Cape Colony until 1819. The current village is said to take its name from a small stone house used for shelter and cooking by troops camping on the bank of this river. Another explanation links the name to the hot climate as experienced by the troops stationed there. [4]

The Cookhouse is located on what was the Roodewal farm owned by Frans Johannes van Aardt in the 1770s. He was born on 12 September 1777 in Somerset East and died in 1856. Frans Johannes van Aardt was married twice; first to Susanna Wilhelmina Tregardt on 21 October 1798. She died in 1825 aged 27. [5] This small town got its name is in the late 1790s because Susanna van Aardt supplied provisions from her "cookhouse" (or outdoor kitchen) to riders and soldiers waiting to cross the Great Fish River. After her death, Frans Johannes married Maria Johanna Mentz in 1826.

In the 1870s, the government of Prime Minister John Molteno oversaw a massive expansion of the Cape Colony's railway system, and a route northwards to De Aar from Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred was chosen by the Cape Government Railways to pass through what is now Cookhouse. A station was built here, which became an important railway junction, and a small settlement formed around this connection. [6]

This railway station in Cookhouse is an attraction was written about in Cookhouse Station, a poem by Chris Mann that describes how he imagines the railway station was at its peak. [7]

Monuments and museums

Related Research Articles

The following lists events that happened during 1903 in South Africa.

R63 (South Africa) road in South Africa

The R63 is a tarred provincial route in South Africa that connects Calvinia with Komga via Carnarvon, Victoria West, Graaff-Reinet, Somerset East and King William's Town. It is cosigned with the N10 between Eastpoort and Cookhouse for 24 kilometres.

Port Elizabeth Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Port Elizabeth or Nelson Mandela Bay often known by its initials PE, and colloquially as “The Friendly City”or "The Windy City", is a major seaport city and most populous city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the seat of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa's second largest metropolitan district by area. It is the most-populous city of the Eastern Cape and the sixth most-populous city in South Africa. the most-populous city of Eastern Cape; and the cultural, economic and financial center of the Eastern Cape. The city is among the top five cities in the world for pleasant weather, according to a 2014 scientific climate study of 600 global cities. Port Elizabeth is known for many blue-flag beaches along the city's urban coastline; its popularity as an international and local holiday destination; and its rich and diverse cultural heritage. It is a tourism gateway city for the Eastern Cape and the only city with the closest proximity to malaria-free big five game reserves.

Cradock, Eastern Cape Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Cradock is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in the upper valley of the Great Fish River, 250 kilometres (160 mi) by road northeast of Port Elizabeth. The town is the administrative seat of the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality in the Chris Hani District of the Eastern Cape. The estimated population in 2015 was 35,000.

Louw Wepener Afrikaner military leader

Lourens Jacobus (Louw) Wepener was born on 21 July 1812. He was the son of a German immigrant – Frederick Jacobus Wepener – and a Cape Colony woman – Johanna Maria Erasmus. Wepener was born in Graaf-Reinet and lived with his uncle – Lourens. He was christened by Reverend Andrew Murray of the Dutch Reformed Church. Wepener was first married to Hester Susanna Nel and then later to Hilletje Maria Levina Van Aardt. He had nine children with his second wife.

Somerset East Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Somerset East is a town in the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It was founded by Lord Charles Somerset in 1825.

Colesberg Place in Northern Cape, South Africa

Colesberg is a town with 17,354 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, located on the main N1 road from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Robert Jacob Gordon Dutch explorer, soldier and linguist of Scottish descent

Robert Jacob Gordon was a Dutch explorer, soldier, artist, naturalist and linguist of Scottish descent.

Döhne is a South African agricultural research station 6 kilometres north of Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape. It is noted for having developed the Döhne Merino from Peppin Merino ewes and German mutton merino sires in 1939. The program bred for high fertility, rapid lamb growth and fine wool production under pastoral conditions. The breed was introduced to Australia in 1998.

N10 (South Africa) national road in South Africa

The N10 is a national route in South Africa connecting Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Cape coast with the Namibian border at Nakop, via Cradock, De Aar and Upington.

Cornelis Frederik Bezuidenhout was a frontier farmer in the eastern Cape Colony whose death in a skirmish with Hottentot soldiers, who had been sent to arrest him, was the origin of the Slagtersnek Rebellion which reached its dramatic finale on 9 March 1816 under the gallows at Van Aardspos, twelve miles south of Slagtersnek.

The Slachter's Nek Rebellion was an uprising by Boers in 1815 on the eastern border of the Cape Colony.

Bruintjieshoogte Pass

Bruintjieshoogte Pass, is a mountain pass situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, on the Regional road R63, between Somerset East and Pearston.

Daggaboers Nek Pass, also known simply as Daggaboers Nek, is situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, on the N10 national route, between Cookhouse and Cradock. The tarred pass has a northern and southern approach, with double lanes on both ascents.

Johannes Frederick Klopper "Hannes" Marais is a former South African rugby captain. He was capped 35 times, scoring one try.

Pearston Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Pearston is a small town in the eastern Karoo, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It lies between Graaff-Reinet and Somerset East at the foot of the Coetzeesberge, about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of Port Elizabeth. It falls within the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality and has a population of approximately 4,500 people.

South African locomotive history

In South Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the railways played a huge part in development and growth on nearly all terrains in the country. Conversely, events in South Africa and its neighbours over the years had a huge influence on the development of railways.

Jacob Glen Cuyler was an American of Dutch origin who was an important character in the settlement of the British 1820 Settlers to the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Middleton, Eastern Cape Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Middleton is a hamlet in the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Middleton is situated on the banks of the Fish River off the N10 road and is about 30 km south of Cookhouse.

Michiel van Breda (1775-1847) was a South African farmer, founder of Bredasdorp, Mayor of Cape Town and a Freemason.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Main Place Cookhouse". Census 2011.
  2. Huigen, Siegfried (2009). Knowledge and Colonialism: Eighteenth-Century Travellers in South Africa. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill. p. 93. ISBN   90-04-17743-4.
  3. Barbee, Jeff (1 June 2015). "How renewable energy in South Africa is quietly stealing a march on coal". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  4. Raper, P. E. (1989). Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 121. ISBN   978-0-947464-04-2 via Internet Archive.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  5. Van Wyk, Ferdie (2016). "A Coveted Discovery". The Genealogical Society of South Africa. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. Burman, Jose (1984). Early railways at the Cape. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  7. Eve, Jeanette (2003). A Literary Guide to the Eastern Cape: Places and the Voices of Writers. Juta and Company. pp. 193–. ISBN   978-1-919930-15-2.
  8. 1 2 "Cookhouse". Blue Crane Route Tourism. n.d. Retrieved 29 August 2018.