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Munro Drive
Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Type:Mountain Pass


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26°10'19.76" S 28°03'30.31" E Alt: 1759m

Munro Drive is a short mountain pass in Johannesburg, connecting the suburb of Lower Houghton with the suburbs of Upper Houghton and Yeoville. It is less than 1 km in length with a gradient in part as steep as 1:7. It is a scenic circuitous road, and leads from Houghton Drive in Lower Houghton to Elm Street in Upper Houghton.

Munro Drive was planned and built by Johannesburg Consolidated Investments (JCI) which owned Houghton Estate. It was named after John Munro, a director of JCI - of Scottish origin - who came to South Africa on account of his health and arrived in Johannesburg in 1892.

A memorable feature of Munro Drive is the retaining wall, built using hammer dressed stone by very capable stone masons. The wall has a nominal batter combined with a curved plan and was built using local quartzite stone - probably quarried on site.

Some fine wrought iron balustrade panels - set between rectangular stone stub-columns - were used to protect pedestrians using the upper pavements adjacent to the retaining walls.

The construction work was completed in 1918.

(William Martinson, May 2020)