Roodewal historic site
There are three heritage sites very close to each other on the N10 near Cookhouse.
The first is a small stone pyramid, Pringle Party Memorial.
The plaque on the memorial reads:
THE SCOTTISH PARTY OF 1820 SETTLERS LED BY
THOMAS PRINGLE CHANGED WAGONS, DRIVERS
AND OXEN AT ROODEWAL MILITARY CAMP
IN THIS VICINITY AND AFTER A REST OF TWO DAYS
CROSSED THE GREAT FISH RIVER NEAR HERE
AND PROCEEDED ON THEIR JOURNEY
TO THEIR SETTLEMENT IN THE
BAVIAANS RIVER VALLEY
Located right next to the Pringle Party Memorial is a railway sleeper with a plaque pointing out the site of Fort Roodewal.
The transcript on the plaque reads as follow:
This is the terrain of Fort Roodewal from where
the grandson of a French Huguenot, Lt. Frans
Rousseau, who was in command of the post, left
on the morning of the 9th of October 1815 with 8
"pandoere" (Cape Coloured soldiers) to arrest
Little did the young Lieutenant know that the
order he gave the next day to shoot Freek
Bezuidenhout after he resisted arrest, would be
the beginning of one of the most unfortunate
incidents in the history of South Africa;
The Slachtersnek Rebellion
Alongside the Pringle Party Memorial and the Fort Roodewal beacon is a third memorial site. The gravestone of Frans Johannes van Aardt. Van Aardt farmed on the farm Roodewal on the west bank of the Great Fish River and it was on this farm that the town of Cookhouse later developed. His first wife, Susanna Wilhelmina Tregardt was the sister of the Great Trek leader Louis Tregardt and she operated the cook house for British soldiers at the Roodewal Post. It was from this cook house that the town got its name.