Colenso, KwaZulu-Natal

Colenso, KwaZulu-Natal

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Colenso, KwaZulu-Natal

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Colenso (known in Zulu as eSkipeni - Place of the Boat) is a town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is located on the southern bank of the Tugela River. The original settlement was contained within a loop on the river, but it subsequently expanded southwards and eastwards. It lies on the main Durban - Johannesburg railway line some 190&nbsp;km north-west of Durban.


The settlement was established in 1855 at a Commando Drift,a ford on the Tugela River in the then Colony of Natal on the main road between Durban in the south and the South African Republic (now Gauteng Province) and Orange Free State to the north. The settlement was a stop-over point before or after fording the river (which is some 60 – 70 metres wide at that point). It was named after the Anglican bishop of Natal and champion of the Zulu cause, John William Colenso. On account of the ferry, the Zulu named the settlement eSkipeni - Place of the Boat.

In October 1879 the ford was replaced by the Bulwer Bridge, named after Sir Henry Bulwer, the then Lieutenant Governor of Natal.On 21 June 1886 the railway line from Durban to Ladysmith (20&nbsp;km north of Colenso) which crossed the Tugela River at Colenso was opened.

During the Anglo-Boer War...
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