Dundee’s Lost Tales – The Forgotten Fort

Imagine a well preserved fort over 35 metres in length, within 20 minutes of Dundee.
Imagine if it was made of stone and was at least 3,5 metres high. Wouldn’t it make a great tourist site?

Well no need to imagine, a fort like that does exist. Situated on Sheepridge Farm, on the road Rorke’s Drift, Fort Pine was built just after the Battle of Isandlawana in1879.
The farmers in Dundee feared a Zulu invasion and a series of forts were built. These included Fort Jones, Bromhead and Bengough. All the forts except Fort Pine were built with mud. Inside the large fort, life managed to continue, almost as normal. It became home to the farmers and they lived there for six months. A birth and even a baptism were some of the events celebrated.

Fort Pine is defined by the National Monuments Act as a historical site. Yet there are no road signs informing passersby of its existence.
Not many people even know about it. Yet, despite the odds, Fort Pine remained virtually intact. Lately, it has fallen prey to vandals who burnt down the impressive wooden doors.

Various attempts to gain funding for an upgrading of the fort have been in vain. In 1997, a request for funds was made by then Mayor, Dave Ware. He too was turned down.

Fort Pine is like buried treasure. Well preserved, impressive and right in our backyard.

The big surprise, and shame, is that no-one seems willing to dig up the treasure.

Northern Natal Courier

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