Craighall, in the early years of the twentieth century, proved to be an attractive getaway for many city dwellers who wanted trees, water and the peace of the countryside on their days off as Johannesburg town was dusty, treeless and noisy. The Craighall Park Hotel offered citizens shaded picnic areas and refreshing recreational activities on or near the
The gum trees found in Johannesburg, as previously stated, are recognised as a living heritage as they are closely associated with the mining industry and attempts by those living in Johannesburg to alleviate the harsh and treeless landscape that existed. If one drives around Craighall and Craighall Park, there a number of large eucalyptus trees in the suburb that bear testimony to the ‘forest’ of trees that once existed in the area.
In addition, the road reserve is well used by pedestrians, residents and workers to access shops and transport in Jan Smuts Avenue. A site visit on the 10th of June 2005 confirmed this as many people from all walks of life were seen using the access. If the road reserve is developed, this main access artery may eventually be closed off and countless people will have to make a considerable detour to get to and from the suburbs.
It has been mentioned that the road reserve forms part of a unique granite ridge and is the only one of two sections of the ridge that have not been developed. In addition, the ridge f o r m s a n a t u r a l b u f f e r z o n e b e t w e e n t h e o f f i c e p a r k s i n D u n k e l d W e s t a n d t h e r e s i d e n t i a l suburb of Craighall Park. 2 4
Although no specific detail could be found that established the presence of pre-historic communities on the ridge or the existence of a blockhouse, the site is of social importance to the surrounding community and those working in the suburbs. The residents appreciate and manage this undeveloped section of the site and the development of the site appears to be unnecessary and unwarranted.
Whether the site has enough significance to be declared a local heritage site should be established with the Gauteng Provincial Heritage Resources Agency.
Discussion with Wendy McAllister of the CRA, 10 June 2005