Barberton Museum started in 1898 with a collection of geological samples. Through the years the museum has expanded and now consists of the Main Museum, Belhaven House Museum, Stopforth House Museum, Fernlea Museum and Krugerhof Museum.

The Main Museum houses displays on the general and cultural history of Barberton and its immediate surrounding areas. Here you will find information on the rich geology of the area with some of the oldest rocks in the world on display. A visit to the museum will take you on a journey through the Stone Age, Iron Age, Barberton’s military history and mining history. Also on display are the Victorian cultural history and the cultural history of the emaSwati.

Main Museum, Fernlea House, Krugerhof House


Belhaven House, Stopforth House

Adults: R30.00

Children: R15.00

Pensioners: R15.00

Our Museums


Belhaven House was built in 1904 and is an example of the prefabricated houses that were imported during South Africa’s mining booms.


Fernlea House was built in the late 1880’s. Today it houses a display on the botany of Barberton and the history of Rimer’s Creek.


Stopforth House was built in 1886 by James Stopforth and is another example of a prefabricated wood and iron home.


Krugerhof is the last place of residence for President Paul Kruger during the South African War.


The main part of the heritage walk takes you through the oldest part of town where you can view historic building and points of interest like the blockhouse built during the South African War and the façade of the De Kaap Stock Exchange.


The Barberton Museum archives consists of, amongst other, Newspapers dating back 1886, old property records, photos and various personal documents donated to the museum by families who lived in the area. The artefact collection consists of Stone Age and Iron Age artefacts, mining artefacts, household and commercial artefacts and geological samples.


Are you a Researcher or Academic?

School Booking & ToursEducational ProgrammesAdditional Information

All school visits have to be booked in advance. Bookings can be made telephonically at 013 712 4208 or via email at The cost for school bookings is R 10 per child. School bookings are limited to one school per day and no school bookings will be made over weekends or public holidays.

During the school tour the pupils will be given a lecture on the local emaSwati history, the general and natural history of the Barberton area and the national symbols of South Africa. The lecture is followed with a tour of the main exhibition and then the heritage walk with full tours of the two house museums, Belhaven House and Stopforth House. The heritage walk is a circular tour that ends back at the Main Museum. The average school tour lasts three hours, depending on the size of the group.

Lectures on specific topics relevant to the museum can be organized when the booking is made.

Access To The Collection

  • Barberton Museum will strive to give reasonable access to their collections.

  • Access to objects in storage will be given by appointment during normal operating hours and under supervision of the museum staff.

  • Members of the public will be required to complete an archival use form when accessing objects or documents from the storerooms.

  • No person may enter a storage area without the presence of the museum staff.

  • No person shall be left unsupervised with museum objects,

  • Objects that will not be available to the public for research include:

  • Objects that are too fragile for handling

  • Objects on exhibition

  • Objects subject to legal or ethical restrictions

  • Objects identified as sensitive and protected material.

  • The photographing or scanning of objects will not be allowed without the permission and supervision of the collections manager.

  • The photographing and copying of objects in storage will only be allowed for research purposes.

  • Objects will not be put on loan for research by members of the public, but will be made available on the museum premises.

  • Researchers may be requested to provide the museum with a copy of any published research for the museum’s archives.

  • Researchers will be required to strictly abide by the reading room rules for accessing both documents and objects.

  • Museum staff will answer basic enquiries but are not able to do in-depth research on behalf of members of the public.

  • Research enquiries can be made by phone at 013 712 4208 or via email at

Reading Room Rules
  • No food or liquids, including water and hand lotions, are allowed in the room.

  • No pens or highlighters are allowed. Only graphite pencils may be used. Pencils will be provided on request.

  • No archival records or museum objects may be removed from the room.

  • No records or objects may be removed from the designated table and placed elsewhere.

  • Please ensure that your hands are clean and free from hand lotions and moisturizers.

  • Please respect other researchers and museum staff by refraining from loud conversations.

  • ue to time restraints the amount of records or objects that can be requested at one time will be limited to:

  • One box of records, or

  • Three bound volumes, or

  • Two bound volumes of newspapers (1 year each), or

  • Three research files, or

  • Five original photos (photos are available digitally), or

  • One box of small objects, e.g. late Stone Age tools.

  • Larger objects will be limited to a numbers that can be safely handled on the available table space to be determined by the museum staff.

  • The photographing or scanning of documents or objects may only be done with the permission of the collections manager.

The Handling Of Records And Artefacts


Criteria for accepting donations into the museum’s collectionGutentor Advanced Text

  • The acquisition of the object should not contravene any provincial, national or international laws.

  • The museum will only accept objects which it can care for, store and conserve in keeping with professional standards.

  • Objects that present an unacceptable hazard to personnel or the collections will not be accepted.

  • Objects too badly decayed to be restored will not be accepted.

  • Objects of which the museum has sufficient examples will not be accepted.

  • Only objects to the donor holds legal title will be accepted.

  • Objects that cannot be used for exhibition, research or education, will not be accepted.

  • Only objects free from any conditions or restrictions from the donor will be accepted.

  • Objects that compete with other institutions’ collections will not be accepted.

  • Objects accepted into the museum’s collection must support the purpose statement of the museum.

Once an object has been offered as a donation to the museum, the following process will be followed:

  • The potential donor will be issued with a receipt for the temporary transfer of the object.

  • Information regarding the object will be requested from the donor.

  • The museum staff will conduct research on the objects and determine provenance.

  • The object will be presented to the Acquisitions Committee for a decision.

  • The final approval will be sought from the Head of the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation, Mpumalanga.

  • The donor will be informed in writing whether the objects have been approved to be taken up in the collection.

  • If an object is not approved, it will be returned to the donor.

  • Unclaimed or abandoned objects will not be accepted as a donation.

  • Only the Collections Manager or the Museum Manager is allowed to take possession of potential donations. Objects left with other staff will not be considered for the collection and may be disposed of.

  • Do not leave an object at the museum without receiving a receipt for temporary transfer.

  • If an object is to be taken up in the collection, the donor will be requested to complete a transfer of title form.

  • Once title of the object has been transferred to the museum, the museum may use the object at its discretion, for any purpose it sees fit.

  • Not all donations will be used in exhibitions..


Requesting The Return Of An Object
  • Complete a request for return form. Give a detailed motivation why the object should be returned.

  • Attach the original receipt issued by the museum when the object was donated.

  • If you are not the original donor, please attach proof that you are the next of kin or otherwise legally entitled to request the return of the object.

  • The request will be presented to the Deaccessioning Committee of the museum who will decide whether the object should be returned or not.

  • The Head of the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation will need to give approval before an object can be returned.

  • The photographing and copying of objects in storage will only be allowed for research purposes.

  • Objects may be returned if:

  • It does not comply with the current collection policy.

  • The museum can no longer care for the object according to museological standards.

  • It is a lesser quality duplicate of an item already in the collection.

  • A substantial request for the return of the item to its original owner/donor is received.

Requesting Restitution
  • Complete a request for return form. Give a detailed motivation why the object should be returned.

  • Through investigation and consultation the museum will establish to whom the restitution should be made.

  • The request will be presented to the Deaccession Committee for approval.

  • The Head of the Department of Culture Sport and Recreation will need to give final approval for the restitution of an object.

  • The restitution of objects may take place if:

  • The object(s) are sacred to the individual or community.

  • The objects were acquired in an unethical manner.

  • The object is declared a sensitive or protected object by the South African Heritage Resource Authority, not to be accessioned.

Please Note
  • If an item was loaned to the museum, no formal request for the return is necessary, but the person requesting the return will have to prove that they have the legal right to do so if they are not the original lender.

  • If the return of an object that has been taken up in the collection is requested, the person making the request must prove that they have the legal right to do so.

  • A request for a return does not guarantee a return.

  • Some objects may require additional legal documents from the person making the request before the request can be processed, e.g. a request to return a donated firearm.



Physical Address:

36 Pilgrim Street Barberton

GPS Coordinates:

25°47’22.0″S 31°03’26.6″E

Contact details:

Tel: 013 766 5242

Oparating Hours:

Weekdays/Weekends: 09:00 – 16:00 (Open on Public Holidays)

Parking and security:

Secured parking