This village, on the edge of the Ghaap Plateau, was one of the earliest centres of Christianity north of the Orange River. Originally Grootfontein or Knoffelvallei, the town was renamed to honour the Reverend John Campbell, a traveller and missionary who visited the Cape stations of the London Missionary Society in 1813.
Renowned for its spectacular dolomite rock formations, many springs, Karee and Wild Olive trees, Campbell has a multifaceted history and has been home to San, Koranna and, later, Griqua settlers drawn by the springs.ampbell is found 48km (29 miles) east of Griquatown on the N8 highway and sits on the edge of the Ghaap Plateau.
|District||Pixley ka Seme|
|• Total||78.35 km2 (30.25 sq mi)|
|• Density||28/km2 (72/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||12.1%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||8360|
- Aloe Nature Reserve
- Natural Springs
- Magnificent rock formations
- Karee and Wild Olive trees
- The Fabersput battlefield from the Anglo-Boer War, the Kasie Briedenham monument and Oupa Swartbooi’s grave who was a British spy.
- Bartlett’s Church, a national monument built in 1831, David Livingstone and Rev. Robert Moffat once preached in this church
- The place where the Griqua people and the white farmers clashed in 1878
- Wagon tracks that were actually made by pioneers and traders
The settlement of Campbell dates back to 1805 when a group of Griqua, including Captain Andries Waterboer, travelled with missionary Jan Matthys Kok from Klaarwater (now Griquatown) to the territory of the Tswana near the modern town of Kuruman. Encountering strong springs in a valley at the edge of the Ghaap Plateau, they gave the place the name of Knovel Valley, noting its potential for future crop cultivation. It was only in 1811 that the Reverend Lambert Jansz, accompanying the traveller William Burchell, revisited the place, taking possession of the springs, by now known as Groote Fontein (Great Fountain), in the name of the London Missionary Society. Before long the name of the place would be changed again: when the Reverend John Campbell, on a tour of inspection in 1813, reached the nascent village and asked its name, he was told it was Campbell.
In 1816 Cornelis Kok II (1778-1858) was declared Griqua Kaptyn (Captain) of Campbell. Other members of the Kok family had resided there from the beginning of the settlement.
The Reverend John Bartlett was stationed as a missionary at Campbell from 1825 and supervised the construction of a mission church there between 1827 and 1831. Many missionaries and travellers of the nineteenth century passed through the valley and the settlement – including William Burchell, George Thompson, Andrew Smith, Robert Moffat, David Livingstone and G.A. Farini.
Indeed a small, almost unnoticeable town, but rich in history and unique beauty .Home to Linksfontein Safari Loge, stretching past the ancient dolomite rock formations and historical crevices down to outstretch land and beauty.