Long winding roads, large old trees and stately homes are all characteristics of Saxonwold - one of the oldest parts of Johannesburg. Centered around the zoo, it is a part of some of the most picturesque suburbs in the city.
The suburb has its origins as part of the Braamfontein farm which was owned by Hermann Eckstein, who had bought the farm to explore it for minerals. When the exploration didn’t deliver any, it was converted into a timber plantation in 1891 called Sachsenwald.
In 1903, 200 acres of freehold ground in the Sachsenwald plantation was given to the Johannesburg Town Council for the use by the people of Johannesburg for the creation of the Herman Eckstein Park. This park would become Zoo Lake, the Johannesburg Zoo and the South African National Museum of Military History. The remaining land in the plantation was developed into a township called Saxonwold in 1925 by the Transvaal Consolidated Land & Exploration Co Ltd. The streets were laid out to view the Rand Regiments Memorial with instructions to home builders not to impede the view of the memorial and the street names having an old Anglo-Saxon theme and ended in wold.
Today Saxonwold is convenient to say the least with easy access from the suburb to the M1 and to Jan Smuts Avenue, one of the major arteries from the city through the northern suburbs. The CBD of Johannesburg is minutes’ drive from Saxonwold, particularly Braamfontein and the cultural arc, which includes the Constitutional Court, the Civic theatre, the famous Mandela Bridge that takes one into Newtown and the Market theatre and Museum Africa.
Residents also enjoy a plethora of shopping centres including Rosebank, Hyde Park and Killarney, and the trendy villages of Parkhurst, Greenside and Melville are within easy reach. With their distinctive pavement culture, popular restaurants and cafés and celebrated nightlife, they’re an obvious choice for evening and lunch time entertainment. There is a pretty mix of antique shops and boutiques along the high streets too.
Homes are older with large established gardens and the suburb boasts with a few well-known residents that prefer the quiet streets of this historic suburb.