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The expanding town of Bellville grew up around a village called 'Twelve Mile Stone' which was the exact distance from the centre of Cape Town.
In 1861 in the days of horse and ox-drawn wagons 'Twelve Mile Stone' was renamed Bellville, after the surveyor general of the Cape Colony, Charles Davidson Bell.
In 1979 Bellville acquired full city status and in May 1996 it was incorporated into the Tygerberg municipal area.
In early colonial days a signal cannon was fired from Tygerberg when a ship entered Table Bay. Distant farmers who could hear the signal would also fire their cannons so that those far away could hear the message. Farmers then rushed to Cape Town with their fresh produce.
Bellville is built on the slopes of the 415 m Tygerberg, so named because of the pattern of the soil and vegetation which resembled the spots of a leopard and the leopard being known as a 'tyger'.
A fairly easy 4 km walk along a gravel track from the suburb of Welgemoed leads to the summit of the Tygerberg, with magnificent views over the Cape Flats and mountains of the interior.
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