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The history of Ramsgate

The original inhabitants of the area were the hunter-gatherer San people; they were later pushed out of the area with the arrival of the Zulu and then European and Indian peoples. While Zulu clans established themselves, European settlement was slow – the many rolling hills, rivers, gorges and ravines made the going difficult for the traditional pioneer ox wagons. 1895 marked a significant year in the town’s development – a ship carrying sugar, the Fascadale, was wrecked off the shore of the current town’s location. This same year, the railway from Durban to Ramsgate was completed, opening up the way for a stream of new migrants to the town, including Captain Crompton, who started up a trading store on the newly named Fascadale Road. The Fascadale also lent her name to the local post office, and to the now burgeoning small community on the north bank of the lagoon which was soon to grow into a true town – Ramsgate.

The area boasts a rich blend of cultural heritages, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Indian. With just 1500 permanent residents, Ramsgate is the quintessential small seaside village! English, Afrikaans and Zulu are all commonly spoken here, as well as some Xhosa (given the town’s proximity to the Eastern Cape).

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