Victoria West Museum

The museum consists of two halls: the B.J. Kempen Hall covering the prehistory and natural history of the Karoo, and the Cultural History Hall depicting the history of Victoria West, its people and environs.

B.J. KEMPEN HALL (Fossil Hall)

Displays in the fossil Hall show that in prehistoric times this area of the Karoo was wet and marshy with an abundance of wild animals. The focal point of the displays is the fish fossils, the most unique of which if the Atherstonia seeleyi, a fish from some 250 million years ago. The natural history exhibition includes a display on the riverine rabbit, an endangered species found in the Victoria West region.


The town of Victoria West was founded in 1843, when the Dutch Reformed Church bought a portion of the farm Zeekoegat from the estat of Mr J.H. Claasens. The town was named after Queen Victoria, but to avoid confusion with an Eastern cape district of the same name, the “West” was added at a later stage.

This history of the Dutch Reformed Church and sport in Victoria West is set out in a display. A doll collection is on display with items dating from 1820 as well as a selection of furniture and kitchen utensils.

Contact Detail

379 High Street, Griekwastad, 8365, South Africa