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In the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal and on the banks of the upper Illovo River stands Richmond, an agricultural gem and overall picturesque town in South Africa.
Richmond was established in 1850 by the British Bryne settlers from Beaullieu who, in a bid to make the area their home away from home, named the area Beaullieu. For ease of pronunciation, the name was later changed to Richmond and today the town is a major producer of timber, sugar cane, citrus fruits, poultry and dairy products.
A major tourist attraction in the region is however the Baynesfield Estate. Bequeathed to the nation of South Africa, the Baynesfield Estate was home to Joseph Baynes, a Yorkshire born Natal tycoon, who was vital in pioneering Richmond’s dairy industry. His beautiful Victorian house and adjacent museum has been restored and is open to the public by appointment. There is also a 14km hiking trail on the estate with overnight accommodation in a stone cottage using the original stone from the site of a cottage built by Baynes.
Richmond, and particularly the Baynesfield Estate, therefore offers potential visitors a rich cultural experience with regards to the lives and lifestyles of the early settlers.