17L |

LOOKOUT POINT FROM CONVENT HILL

Convent Hill now La Verna Hospital. This position in the hospital car park offers a splendid panoramic view of Ladysmith.

The following features can be found on the “Hill”:

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

A prominent landscape feature is St Joseph’s Church. Built in 1945 it has a fascinating history dating back to 1893. The Town Board negotiated with Bishop Jolivet and the Nuns to open a hospital and school.

In 1894 Father Matthieu chose “the hill” as the only suitable site for the foundation of a mission. Shortly after, the Sisters bought 21 acres of land for the sum of £200.

THE CONVENT

Originally occupied by the Augustinian Order after its completion in 1897. Two years later during the Siege of Ladysmith the building was struck several times. On 6th December 1899 the nuns and their patients were hastily evacuated by train to a neutral area outside the town called Intombi Camp. The school had closed in October 1899. The building housed the wounded from Talana, Elandslaagte, and Rietfontein. After the siege the building was used by General Buller for his Headquarters. It was eventually sold to the Franciscan Order in 1963 and in the 1980s was turned int a private Hospital “La Verne”.
GPS: S28° 33′ 22.38 E29° 46′ 43.72

ENGRAVED ROCK

Walk down the path from the Hospital overlooking Ladysmith and view an engraved rock done by the Natal Naval Volunteers who were stationed here during the siege.
GPS: S28° 33′ 21.82 E29° 46′ 46.49