Interesting Facts

Bonnievale History

Bonnievale-Interesting-FactsThe Mary Myrtle Rigg church, said to be the only church in the world built at the request of a child, was built by Christophe Forrest in memory of his longest surviving daughter. Mary Myrtle died before her 9th year after contracting meningitis. On her deathbed she requested that her father build her a church, and Rigg built the Norman-style church near Mary Myrtle’s grave in a lucerne field where she used to love playing.

Before the water from the irrigation canal reached Bonnievale in 1900, the valley was dry and only the land next to the Breede and a few streams were suitable for stock farming. The water from the canal opened up the valley for agriculture by enabling irrigation, turning previously pale green valley into a lush farming area.

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