Municipality: Swellendam Local Municipality

Info Barrydale Tourism Bureau

Van Riebeeck Str

Phone number: 028-572-1572
Fax number: 028-572-1572

Barrydale is named after the Barry merchant family of Swellendam.


Also see the neighbouring towns

Barrydale is located in the Tradouw Valley in an area called Kannaland, which is north of the Langeberg Mountain Range, and south of the Warmwaterberg Range. Grootberg (1'673m) lies to the east in the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area.

Small settlements with interesting names in the vicinity of Barrydale are: Suurbraak, Lemoenshoek, Warmwaterberg, Boerboonfontein, Wolwefontein, Kareevlakte.

Boosmansbos Wilderness Area

The Boosmansbos Wilderness Area reaches Barrydale, but the main entrance is about 30Km from the town off the R322 near Heidelberg.

Klein Karoo Nature Reserve

The Klein Karoo Nature Reserve is at Ladismith about 80Km from Barrydale.

Tradouw Pass

Tradouw Pass is south of Barrydale on the R324 to Swellendam and Heidelberg. Tradouw is a Khoisan word, meaning "women’s footpath".


There is a mineral spring at Warmwaterberg, roughly 25Km from Barrydale.

Bellair Dam

Bellair Dam lies north of Barrydale at Boerboonfontein, and north of the Warmwaterberg. The dam is fed by the Brak River, which joins the Touws River near Wolwefontein. This Touws River flows from near the village of Touwsriver on the N1, about 100Km to the northwest.

Climate and vegetation

Barrydale lies in the transitional region between two very different ecoregions. The Tradouw Valley is quite fertile, and just a few kilometers (10Km) to the north lies the semi-arid Klein Karoo.

Annual rainfall: 300mm

Summer temperature: 35°C and higher

In the afternoon there is often a cool coastal breeze that tempers the heat and makes the evenings pleasant.



The earliest known tribes to inhabit the area were the Quena and Attaqua tribes, who lived in the valley while the Bushmen lived in the mountains.

The earliest European visitors to the area were Isaac Schrijver and his party. In 1689 Simon van der Stel sent the party to explore the area. More than a hundred years later, in 1798, Lady Anne Barnard travelled in this area.

In 1817 Joseph Barry (1796-1865) left England and settled in South Africa where he made his fortune as a trader in the Overberg. The Breede River was navigable and his boat, the Kadie, transported goods between Swellendam and Port Beaufort and Witsand on the Indian Ocean. The settlement of Malgas served as a docking bay for the boat.

Barry became a wealth businessman, to such an extent that his personal banknotes were considered legal tender in Swellendam as well as Cape Town.

In 1878 land was purchased from the Coller brothers. The Dutch Reformed Community of Barrydale was established on 8 September 1880.

Barrydale began this town in 1882 as a trade and church centre. It was built on the farm Tradouw Hoek and became a municipality in 1921.


Fruit: peaches, apricots, plums and apples

Potstill brandy. Barrydale Wine Cellar is one of the few cellars in South Africa to continue this tradition.


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