Adderley Street was originally
named Heerengracht, after the canal which ran down its centre. For many years it was a residential street,
lined with large oak trees, but by 1850 it had become strongly commercial in character. Mayor Hercules
Jarvis named it Adderley Street in 1850, to honour British Parliamentarian Charles Bowyer
Adderley (elevated to the peerage as Baron Norton in 1878) who fought successfully against the plan for the
British government to make Cape Town into another penal colony.
Besides being the home of the post office, the railway station, the first department stores, and
the first hotels, Adderley has also been home to flower sellers. Freshly cut flowers – including fynbos
species such as king and pincushion proteas, depending on the season – are available from the friendly flower
sellers, where this trade has operated for the past 100 years. These flowers are generally a lot cheaper than
At the top of Adderley street
stands the Groote Kerk – the oldest church in South Africa – and the Company Gardens, which were established by
Jan van Riebeeck after his arrival in the Cape in 1652.
The church now has some bigger neighbours
The flower sellers are now protected from the burning sun