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The Hilton Estate

The Dairy at Hilton is being developed on a 66ha portion of the Hilton College Estate. Hilton College was first established on an original Voortrekker farm, “Ongegund”. This was sold in 1860, following sub-division, to Gould Arthur Lucas and Joseph Henderson. Henderson named his portion “Lower Hilton” and Lucas’s became known as “Upper Hilton”. It was on “Upper Hilton” that Hilton College was founded in 1872, by Rev. William Newnham, with the support of Lucas.


Over the years of Hilton College’s existence, the extent of the Hilton Estate has grown as a result of further land acquisitions. The property on which The Dairy at Hilton is being developed (Ptn 10 of Hilton 12304) was acquired by The Hiltonian Society in 1959.


The Estate

The Hilton Estate is situated at the end of a prominent spur above the uMngeni River valley and consists of a large plateau area, the Gwens gorge which includes four waterfalls, and a significant tract of land within the uMngeni River valley. The upper part of the Estate, within the plateau area, is undulating and incorporates two shallow valleys of moist Midlands Mistbelt Grassland. The uMngeni River valley is deeply incised with a height difference of approximately 100m between the plateau and the valley floor. The valley is edged with steep slopes and some impressive cliffs.


The vegetation within the Estate is very varied. The plateau consists predominantly of grasslands, plantations, and farmlands which encircle the manicured surroundings of the Hilton College campus. The uMngeni valley and the Gwens gorge areas contain mainly unspoilt Valley Bushveld and some small areas of forest. The uMngeni valley and Gwens portion of the Estate is a declared Nature Reserve, in terms of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. The boundaries of the Hilton College Nature Reserve are to be extended to include the indigenous grasslands. The Dairy at Hilton is fully located within the area to be included in the extension.


With the varied vegetation and topography which constitutes the Estate comes a bird list of about 300 species. Oribi, duiker and reedbuck are commonly seen on the plateau, and the uMngeni valley area of Nature Reserve boasts nyala, bushbuck, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, warthog, caracal, serval and jackal, as well as a variety of smaller creatures.


Fleur-de-lys Club Membership

On acquiring a site at The Dairy at Hilton, the purchaser will be entitled to apply for membership of the Fleur-de-lys Club, at the rate applicable at the time, and to maintain that membership throughout the period of ownership by annual renewal. That membership will entitle the owner to full use of the facilities of the Club, and to access to the Estate as described on this page. It is understood that use of certain facilities may attract specific fees.

Access for residents

The Home Owners’ Association of The Dairy at Hilton has entered into an agreement with The Hiltonian Society whereby residents of The Dairy enjoy limited access to the Hilton College Estate and its facilities. Via membership of the Fleur-de-Lys Club, situated on the school campus, residents will be able to enjoy the Nature Reserve, walk and cycle on the extended property, and make use of some of the school facilities. Residents of The Dairy at Hilton will also be able to participate in the community life within the school: attend Sunday services in the chapel, perhaps, or theatre and music evenings, and, of course, enjoy being spectators at school sporting events. Hilton College is very much a community, a rural village, and residents of The Dairy at Hilton will have opportunities to participate in that, to whatever extent they choose.

Residents of The Dairy at Hilton wishing to make limited and controlled use of certain facilities at Hilton College and of the Hilton Estate, are required to become members of the Fleur-de-lys Club. Access to, and use of the facilities will be controlled by the Club manager.

The Home Owners’ Association will, from time to time, negotiate details relating to the use of the Estate and various campus facilities, by Fleur-de-lys Club members resident at The Dairy at Hilton.



At this stage, it is envisaged that the following campus facilities may be used:

• Squash courts
• Tennis courts
• Swimming pool
• Driving range



Club members, on application, may be granted permission to walk and ride bicycles on the Estate, subject to any rules applicable from time to time.


Nature Reserve

Club members are entitled to enter the Nature Reserve, on the understanding that the following will apply to access to the uMngeni Valley area of the Reserve:


1. The Conservation office will limit the number of entrants per day.
2. During term time, residents other than parents, will be restricted to entering the Nature Reserve during the week.
3. When the school is making use of the Nature Reserve (eg Outdoor Leadership Exercises) it will be closed to Club members.
4. There may be temporary closures as determined by the Estate Manager.

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The development is being undertaken by Gwens Stream Estates (Pty) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hilton College Endowment Foundation. In terms of agreements with The Hiltonian Society, Gwens Stream Estates is to purchase the property and engage in the development and sale of sites in The Dairy at Hilton. Property owners will be responsible for building their own homes in line with carefully specified architectural guidelines.


The rationale behind the establishment of Gwens Stream Estates (Pty) Ltd is to increase Hilton College’s endowment by converting some of the value embedded in the Estate into valuable residential property. The funds realized will build the school’s endowment and assist materially in the provision of bursaries to deserving boys.



The Hilton College Endowment Foundation will be the ultimate beneficiary of income generated from The Dairy at Hilton. The Endowment Foundation was established in 1959, and exists to support Hilton College in a variety of ways, but particularly in providing funding for bursaries for deserving boys.