Barkly West - Encyclopedia

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BARKLY WEST, a town of Cape province, South Africa,21 m. N.W. of Kimberley, capital of a district and of an electoral division of the same name in Griqualand West. It is built on the right bank of the Vaal, here spanned by a bridge. Pop. (1904) 1037. Originally called Klipdrift, the town was the first founded by the diggers after the discovery in 1867 of diamonds along the valley of the Vaal, and it had for some years a large floating population. On the discovery of the "dry diggings" at Kimberley, the majority of the diggers removed thither. Barkly West remains, however, the centre of the alluvial diamonds industry. The diamonds of this district are noted for their purity and lustre, and are generally associated with other crystals - garnets, agates, quartz and chalcedonies.

Barkly West electoral division includes the whole of Griqualand West save the Kimberley division. It is divided into the fiscal districts of Barkly West, Hay and Herbert, with a total pop. (1904) of 48,388, of whom 12,170 are whites (see Griqijaland).

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