Fourways THEN and NOW
Middle Stone-Age Hunters were the first resident of the Greater Sandton area, arriving around thirty thousand years ago. It was around ten thousand years ago that the ancestors of the San People settled, followed by Bantu speaking communities. From the original granite outcrops of Witkoppen, Norscot and Lonehill the economy evolved into a hive of agriculture and metalwork.
Norscot Farm was part of the original farm of Witkoppen which had been proclaimed as long ago as 1856 and had been granted to the Van Vuuren’s. By the 1900’s much of the original farmland had been in the hands of the van der Walt family. The land had been used to farm water-melons and breeding of Friesian Cattle.
In 1935, Ernst Eriksen met the van de Walt brothers after his wife Ethil was taken back by the views of the north of Johannebsurg and wanted to settle and build a home. Ernst Eriksen persuaded the van der Walt’s to sell 423 acres of land to him. Ernst built Norscot Manor in 1936 and as more land came up for sale, Norscot Manor eventually comprised of 605 acres of land. The stone house was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in Westcliff.
The house derived its name from the family’s ties to Scotland and Norway – the ‘nor’ was for Norway and the ‘scot’ for Scotland.
The Ernst and Ethil had two children and lived in the house for over 50 years. Ernist reared cattle, sheep and pigs while Ethil grew award-winning chrysanthemums. Their daughter, Joyce, received a diploma in agriculture and farmed the property for a while. Their son, Ernst, followed in his father’s footsteps and ran the motor company, Eriksen Ford.
Norscot Manor remained the home of the Eriksen family until 1982 and was then bought by the Sandton municipality. The property was developed into a community centre to serve the northern suburbs.
It is believed that a short distance from the CBD is the oldest house in Fourways which belonged to the van der Walt brothers.
The below photograph may bring back some memories for many. Please feel free to comment in our comments section below.
Jumping forward to 2020, this is what the corner of Witkoppen and William Nicol looks like today in 2020.
BMW Cedar Isle is a block away from the original popular 4Ways stop. Storageworx Fourways is situated below BMW and boasts a large variety of self storage units that are convenient and affordable to rent on a monthly basis.
Fourways is the fastest-developing commercial and residential hub in northern Sandton, north of Johannesburg, South Africa. The main access routes to Fourways are off the N1 at R511 William Nicol Drive, or alternatively along R564 Witkoppen Road. Fourways is now a large area made up of eight suburbs and three estates. The suburbs are Magaliesig (aka Little Fourways), Norscot, Fourways, Norscot Slopes, Lonehill, Beverley, Craigavon and Broadacres.
10 Things to experience in Fourways
It is unlikely that larger shopping centres will be built after Fourways Mall, due to the increase of online shopping and the poor economy.
Fourways Mall, which has been under construction since 2016, is set to be the last of an era of massive shopping complexes. It will be the largest mall in Africa, beating the Mall of Africa, Gateway Theatre Shopping Centre and Sandton City.
The new and improved mall has expanded by 90,000 m2 . Visitors to the mail will have access to 3,000 additional parking bays. There have been road infrastructure improvements as well. The mall boasts a food court and entertainment offerings. New stores at the mall will include a mix of local and international tenants such as Lindt, Hamleys, Cotton On, Nike, G Star Raw, Starbucks, and Superdry, while many existing tenants have taken to expanding and upgrading their stores, such as Mr Price, Foschini, Edgars and Woolworths.
Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Drive, Elandsdrift, Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa
See nature at its best on horseback. Ideal the horseriding enthusiast or beginner. With trails through rivers, bird sanctuaries and bushveld.
Copperlake Breweries, 17 Main Avenue, Sunrella, Lanseria, Gauteng, South Africa
It’s all about craft beer, good food and plenty of entertainment. Situated on a farm behind Lanseria Airport, Northern Farms. They also offer games on the lawn, cycling events and a greenhouse where you can pick your own vegetables and herbs.
Dainfern Golf Course
The Dainfern Country Club golf course forms part of the greater Dainfern residential estate.
The 18 hole course has played host to both amateur and professional local championships and promises a challenge on the best of days
Hiking in Northern Farm Reserve
Plot 33, Nietgedacht, Johannesburg North, Fourways / Lanseria, Gauteng
Approximately 1600ha plot you can encounter bird watchers, horse riders and numerous MTB cyclists.
Montecasino Bird Gardens
William Nicol Drive, Fourways, Sandton, Johannesburg
Montecasino Bird Gardens is home to over 1 000 birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other small creatures with the most diverse private collection of African cycads in the world and a collection of over 142 species of birds to marvel over.
Fourways Farmers Market
Corner of William Nicol Drive and Monte Casino
The market exposes visitors to fresh, local foodstuffs with plenty of innovative delights and mouth watering treats. Visitors can look forward to a well spent day spent with plenty of things for little ones to see and do.
The Beerhouse Fourways
1 Sunset Avenue, corner of Witkoppen Road, Fourways, Santon, Gauteng
20 Different beers on tap as well as their famous 99 bottled varieties. There is sure to be something on the menu to tempt your taste buds and quench your thirst. They also offer a variety of meals including pizzas, salads, sandwiches and a selection of light lunch options.
Leaping Frog Shopping Centre
William Nicol Drive and Mulbarton Road, Fourways, Johannesburg
This shopping centre boasts a number of speciality and unique stores. These include clothing stores like Chanson, hair dressers, a medical practitioner, a pharmacy, Curves, The Post Office, Checkers and a few Banks to mention a few. There are several choices of restaurants for hungry shoppers to fill their tummies. These include Banjaara, The Brazen Head, Humble Harry’s, Rodizio’s, Two in One, Andiccio.
Tree Top Adventures
Riversands Commercial Park, Corner R511 and Erling Road, Fourways, Sandton
Fourways is home to a forest that dates back almost six decades. These views are best enjoyed at canopy height. The Tree Top tours are only 10 minutes north of the Fourways Mall and have obstacles suitable for all ages.
Some interesting facts about Fourways
- The name Fourways derives from the fourway-stop where William Nicol Drive and Witkoppen Road meet.
- Norscot Manor is used as a recreational centre, boasting events from weddings and social functions, to business gatherings and other meetings.
- The name Norscot comes from the ‘Nor’wegian and ‘Scot’tish nationals, Ernst and Ethel.
- Fourways High School and Bryanston High School have a long-standing rivalry which sees them take up swords in the modern day settling of the rugby field. According to Fourways High School deputy, the friendly rivalry dates back to 1988 when the school first opened its gates. Since its inception, Fourways High’s first team rugby boys had continuously lost to Bryanston High School. It was not until 2007 that the curse was finally broken.
- Tanz Café is a live music venue nestled on the Bryanston and Riverside border. It was known for giving musicians like Dan Patlansky, Laurie Lavine and Josie Field a platform for showcasing their talents. But what many might not know is it also gave comedian Trevor Noah a platform to showcase his talents years before he became famous.
- Steve Hofmeyr once threw tickets to U2s concert worth R5 000 into the Juskei River. This was out of protest to comments U2 front man, Bono made with regards to the infamous ‘shoot the boer’ song.
- Fourways Mall, once completed, will be the largest mall in Africa.
- At 68 years old this year, the Indaba Hotel was first known as the Little Rose Neath Hotel and straddled the outskirts of Johannesburg in the 1950s. Back then, the journey was a day’s trip from the centre of Johannesburg, but it was one willingly made for the hotel’s sumptuous Sunday lunches.