During the turbulence and the tranquility of nearly two centuries, Beaufort West has been a haven for travelers in the vastness that is the Great Karoo. Down these many years, the stream of travelers has been without end - explorers, scientists, officials, fortune hunters, artists, actors, journalists, outlaws, simple working folk and one of the largest armies ever to leave Britain's shores and the Boer soldiers they had come to fight.
But much earlier on Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, was perturbed by the "inexcusable excesses", as he couched it, "on this part of the frontier", and on November 27, 1818, he proclaimed the town of Beaufort West so that officialdom could run things on a tighter rein. The town was named in honor of his father, the fifth Duke of Beaufort.
And so it was that in modern times Beaufort Manor found its elegant corner in the town's historic core. The Manor and its extensive grounds lie next to the town's Springfontein Dam, designed in the 19th century by a Scottish engineer, Avon Bruce-Brand, once Queen Victoria's bodyguard.