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Baynesfield Museum

Telephone: 033-2510001.  Fax: 033-2510045.  



  Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08h30 to 16h00

Entry to museums is by donation. Week-ends by appointment in advance.

The Baynesfield Museum is situated on the Baynesfield Estate midway between Pietermaritzburg and Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal. The Estate was left in trust for the benefit of all South Africans by Joseph Baynes when he died without heirs in 1925.
Baynes was a progressive farmer and the museums celebrate his foresight and his achievements. The Museum is comprised of a number of smaller museums which individually provide an insight into the life and activities of the Baynesfield Estate through time. The dairy museum is housed in the first butter factory in South Africa which he built in 1898. The Kitchen Museum is in the same building and represents a period kitchen with laundry, bathing and kitchen sections. Many old gardening artifacts and implements are housed in the Potting Shed. The Natal Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club have set up their museum of vintage tractors and stationery engines in a beautifully restored building which was the first refrigeration room in South Africa. A milling shed, donated to the Museum was dismantled, transported and reassembled on the Estate to house the original milling equipment restored to working order.
Baynes House was built in 1882 by Joseph for his second wife Sarah. This imposing building, home to many pieces of original Baynes furniture, is open to the public (by arrangement), and is situated in a 3 hectare garden with magnificent trees, some of which were planted by Joseph and his second wife, Sarah.
Joseph and his first wife Maria lived in a simple home with interleading rooms with the stables at one end and a bullring at the other. This building now houses a large collection of antique wood crafting tools collected by an offshoot of the Vintage Tractor Club, known as the “Woodcrafters”. Amongst this merry band is a blacksmith who plies his trade, using period equipment, in the old stables.
There is a comprehensive collection of vintage sewing machines in a more modern building which was the Cheese Factory in past years.
An architectural Trail leads the visitor through the Museum Complex and farmyard to view the Administration house, Coach House, Long Barn where staff took refuge during the 1906 uprising, and three old silos.
A short distance from the Museums is the Mausoleum where Joseph and Sarah are buried. The Mausoleum, Dairy and Baynes House have all been declared National monuments.






A dip tank, some 7 km from the complex, was built by Joseph Baynes in his fight against East Coast Fever, It is the first dip tank ever built in South Africa. This too has been declared a national Monument in recognition of the valuable contribution made to cattle farming in the infant colony.
The Baynesfield Museums Committee takes very seriously their mandate to maintain these historic buildings and sites for the education and enjoyment of future generations.
We offer the garden as a tranquil wedding venue in the historic garden with beautiful photographic opportunities. An overnight cottage is also available.