Words: Betsie Loock-Van der Merwe
The suburb of Hatfield in Pretoria was proclaimed in 1905 on a portion of the farm Koedoespoort, which previously belonged to the Wesleyan Methodist Society. In 1903 a portion of the land was sold to Patrick Duncan, colonial secretary of Transvaal at the time. The new suburb was measured out and named Hatfield after an estate in Herfordshire, England that belonged to the second earl of Selborne, the then (1905) governor of Transvaal. One of the well-known main roads was named Duncan Road after Duncan.
This new suburb on the remote eastern outskirts of the city comprised a couple of hundred huge erven. Over the years beautiful large family homes were built in the shade of the jacaranda trees, and the suburb took on an elegant, stately and quiet character.
The University of Pretoria was established in this suburb around 1910, schools and churches followed, the community grew, and Pretoria further expanded to Hatfield’s north, east and south. The N1 highway was constructed close to the neighbourhood, and the suburb’s central position soon developed into a most convenient and sought-after residential and commercial location.
Hatfield boasts numerous historic buildings, embassies, government departments, beautiful old churches and green parks. In recent years it also became the home of the Hatfield Gautrain station and it is on the route of the A Ye Reng bus system.
Today, Hatfield is a vibrant, colourful and contemporary suburb. It offers a comfortable, modern-day lifestyle to a high number of students, young professionals and families, as well as some foreign representatives and older residents.
The community proudly participates in making Hatfield a desirable and happy place to live in. They work closely together with institutions like The Hatfield City Improvement District, Brooklyn Police cluster and many other community initiatives to achieve this goal.
The real estate mix in Hatfield is diverse, but mostly comprises residential properties suitable for student accommodation. These ranges from basic studio apartments and bachelor flats to one- or two-bedroom flats and large free-standing properties converted into communes.
There are also several townhouse complexes and a few hundred free-standing homes, most of which are now occupied by professional businesses and embassies.
Quite a few high-rise luxury apartment developments and office parks have recently been erected in the area close to the Gautrain station.
Not surprising, recent statistics show a huge influx of younger buyers under the age of 35. However, a significant percentage of stable property owners still falls in the 35 to 49, and older, age category. The area is ideal for investors as well.
Parents who wish to send their school-going kids to primary schools close to Hatfield have several options. St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls is a private school offering primary and secondary education, as well as boarding facilities. The school is situated in the adjacent neighbourhood of Hillcrest. Hatfield’s southern neighbour, Brooklyn, boasts two superb co-educational primary schools, namely, Laerskool Pretoria-Oos and Brooklyn Primary School. Other primary schools situated a little further afield, but still within easy access, are Arcadia Primary School, Laerskool Menlo Park and Laerskool Lynnwood.
Secondary phase learners have excellent opportunities in adjacent suburbs. The renowned Pretoria Boys High School and Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool Pretoria are situated minutes away from Hatfield and close to Tuks. Their female counterparts, Pretoria High School for Girls and Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool, are in the neighbouring suburbs of Arcadia and Sunnyside respectively. TuksSport High School form parts of the celebrated Tuks High Performance Sport Centre and is located on the sports grounds of the university.
Hatfield is vibey and hip and well-known for its busy nightlife. Catch the beat at one of several clubs and bars – Aandklas Hatfield is a rock-and-roll hang out, popular for its live music, chilled vibe, friendly patrons, and apparently… yummy food.
The Blue Room Hatfield describes itself as “haven for mature individuals seeking intelligent nightlife” – chic, upmarket, stylish decor, great DJs and artists – less crowd, more sound.
Moloko Pretoria Club is popular for hosting colourful, themed events with an array of local and international artists.
For those who fancy all-night partying, grabbing a good bite and having a jolly ball, The Jolly Roger will make your dreams come true.
Our objective is to develop a vibrant, desirable, welcoming environment, while continuing to maintain a clean, safe and attractive village in which students, its residents, businesses, investors and visitors can flourish
Hatfield City Improvement District
- Hatfield Plaza
- The Hill Centre
- Hillcrest Boulevard
- Hatfield Galleries
- Brooklyn Mall
- Relish Bistro: family-friendly restaurant chain with a rustic feel
- Mustang Sally’s Pub and Diner: American-style eating
- Namaskar Restaurant: flavours of northern India
- Madisons Bistro: great for those dining with kids
- Luinis Pizzeria: rustic Italian-inspired food
- University of Pretoria Museums
- Rugby at Loftus Stadium
- Movies at Brooklyn Mall
- The Union Buildings
- Antiques and extra-ordinary items at Duncan Yard