Fun Facts about Mouille Point & The Green Point Lighthouse

#DidYouKnow – Horseraces Were Once Held in Mouille Point Before the Kenilworth Racecourse was Built.

Mouille Point’s most characteristic feature is the broad stretch of land known as the Green Point Common. The Common was being used for recreation for centuries before the now-famous Green Point Stadium was erected. In recent years, and with the building of the Green Point Stadium on the site, the Common has undergone a huge amount of positive development.

The Green Point Park, also an important landmark in the area, is a civic space where locals are free to picnic, stroll and play. The Park is home to the Biodiversity Gardens, a selection of some of the Cape’s rare and distinctive species of flora, including the fynbos that the area is renowned for.

#DidYouKnow – The Green Point Lighthouse in Mouille Point Was Once Referred to as “Moaning Minnie”

The Green Point Lighthouse in Cape Town was erected by Herman Schutte in 1824 and is the oldest operational lighthouse in South Africa. It was declared a national monument in 1973.  When the lighthouse was first lit, it burned Argand lamps fuelled by sperm whale oil. In 1926, a foghorn was installed in the lighthouse. It was said that this foghorn used to shook the whole beach front and was replaced by a less earth-shaking and more effective one The first foghorn had such a mournful sound that some residents started calling it ‘Moaning Minnie’. An odd thing about this landmark is that the Lighthouse services head office has not always been in this building. These offices have in fact, up until 1993, been in Johannesburg of all places, making it the only lighthouse service head office in the world that was situated about 600km from the sea. The Green Point lighthouse is a national heritage site and is open to the public for a fee.  Visiting hours at the Green Point lighthouse is 10 am to 3 pm, weekdays only

#DidYouKnow – The Mouille Point Lighthouse was Demolished in the 1920s

Even with the Green Point lighthouse, shipwrecks still occurred and it was decided to erect a second lighthouse. The Mouille Point Lighthouse was built in Granger Bay.  The Mouille Point lighthouse went out of use when the Table Bay harbour breakwater light came into operation. The Mouille Point lighthouse was demolished in the 1920s and a part of what was left of this lighthouse can be seen at the back of the Hotel School.

#DidYouKnow – That The Only Survivor on the RMS Athens was a Pig

The RMS Athens was used in the Southampton and the Cape of Good Hope as a mail/passenger service ship. During what was later called the Great Gale of 1865, her anchors parted and the Captain tried in vain to sail to the open sea and avoid the rocks.  Unfortunately, the pounding seawater extinguished her boilers, making her uncontrollable and she finally ran onto the rocks, off Mouille Point and all of her crew died. The only creature to survive this dramatic event was a pig that was washed ashore! Along with this wreck, many other ships either ran aground or suffered damage, although no other lives were lost.

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