Fort Durnford is a former frontier post and home of the Estcourt Museum in the uThukela District of KwaZulu-Natal. Built in 1874 shortly after the Langalibalele Rebellion to protect the townspeople against an attack from the Zulus, the fort stands on a rise overlooking the old military post at Bushman’s River drift.
Constructed out of local sandstone, the fort’s wall are 0.6m thick and tower 9m high. There are two towers, one to the south east and another to the North West. The windows are heavily barred and were originally fitted with iron shutters turning on hinges spiked to the walls for closure when it was not manned.
Inside the building you will find a stone paved hall with guard, barrack, and storerooms, as well as a vaulted powder magazine and office which were closed off by a grille and presumed to be used for prisoners. Other features of interest include an underground tank and a pit in the North West Tower that reveals two secret tunnels; one leading towards the military post and another exiting from the hillside.
Interesting displays include fossils, Iron and Stone Age articles, old wagons, exhibits on the Moorleigh mission station and the Amangwe homestead, and an extensive collection of bird eggs. There is a reconstructed Amangwane Zulu Kraal in the grounds.