Fort Mistake in Transvaal War of Independence, Battlefields Region, KwaZulu-Natal
In the midst of the Biggarsberg, built on a high summit overlookng the area, half way between Ladysmith and Newcastle, lies Fort Mistake, referring to the ruin of a small fort resembling an Indian fort and previously called Fort Selby.
By whom was this Fort built and for what reason are questions that have intrigued many historians and there are many and varied legends that surround this Fort. Generally accepted is that it was built by the British and was one of a series of British signaling posts that were built between Ladysmith and Newcastle during the First War of Independence (1880-1881). Another alias given this mystery was Dartnell’s Folly.
The remains of the once sturdy fortress can be reached after a brisk 45 minute climb, starting at Fort Mistake Motel on the Ladysmith / Newcastle Road (N11)
The Fort consists of two structures built out of stone without mortar or foundations which would indicate that it had been built in a hurry. One of the structures is conical in shape and it was armed with 2 guns.
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