Memory Hold-The-Door antiquarian and second-hand bookshop is no ordinary shop. Renowned for their extra-ordinary selection of Africana and other historical literature it also caters for the everyday readers who just want to lose themselves in a good read. You can also find collections of vinyl’s, comics and children's books, gifts, cards and postcards.
The Haenertsburg Museum — depicting the history of our beloved area is situated within the bookshop — spills out onto the stoep (veranda) and coffee shop.

Memory Hold-The-Door Antiquarian and Second-hand Bookshop boasts a name with lots of history. Named after John Buchan’s autobiography “Memory Hold-The-Door”, a Scottish born British writer was the first person to have elaborated on the beauty of the Haenertsburg and Magoebaskloof areas in his books.  His first novel “Prester John” was set in this area.

The wonderful bookshop will have you seated in front of the fireplace — sipping on a warm cup of coffee.

Prof. Louis Changuion, a local author has launched many books at Memory Hold-The-Door, namely; "Silence of the Guns" as well as “John Murray, The Duke from Haenertsburg".  Other notable authors such as the late Kimon Neophyte, Clem Shunter, Jeanette Ferreira and Bridget Hilton-Barber have also graced this little bookshop. The "Writers Wall" boasts the signature of many known authors.

Memory Hold-The-Door Bookshop often host music evenings.   For the past few years, Richard Cock and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra have made The Pennefather Complex their stop-off after their annual concert in Magoebaskloof in Spring time.

Fall through the looking glass and explore our enormous library of antiquarian and collectible books, along with all the novels and non-fiction, we have what you are looking for.


  1. The bookshop joins The Haenertsburg Museum which is predominantly a cultural history museum with one small section on natural history. Professor Louis Changuion, who is a specialist on the Anglo Boer War and other wars, says: “My focus, when researching, collecting and selecting for the museum, was and still is on the village and surrounds only – loosely referred to as ‘The Mountain'”
    The signage/captions are in three languages, English, Afrikaans and Northern-Sotho. The displays are in chronological order and are divided into 5 periods, starting with:
    1. Pre-1860: Before the White man came
    Divided into three sub-sections each with a display cabinet with artifacts on that period:
    Pre-History; Early Black cultures; Later Black Cultures
    2. The Period 1860 – 1887: Arrival of the White man; Divided into two sub-sections each with a display cabinet with artifacts on that period:          The Missionaries and Indigenous wood extraction and Early Gold Mining
    3. The Period 1887 – 1896
    Divided into two sub-sections each with a display cabinet with artifacts on that period:
    The Founding of Haenertsburg, 1887, and The Magoeba War, 1895 – 1896
    4. The Anglo-Boer War, 1899 – 1902
    Two display cabinets with artifacts on the war
    5. 20th Century Developments
    Divided into three sub-sections each with a display cabinet on that period: The period of New Settlers; The period of Afforestation and More      Characters in our History
    6. Our Natural Environment
    The plan for future development is eventually to have all the hundreds of photos, maps, documents, newspaper cuttings and other material filed and made available in the museums. Our belief is that a museum should not only be a place of interest for visitors but a research centre as well.

You will be able to find an interesting selection of books on the area, many of them written by Prof. Louis Changuion. There is an interesting book called “Our Corner of the World” in which the history of Haenertsburg and environs over 125 years is portrayed in pictures. A very nostalgic journey for those of us who have been here for a long time! This book is available at Memory Hold-The-Door Bookshop at The Pennefather Complex.

Coffee shop on the veranda

Enjoy lazy hours on the veranda — where you can indulge in a good cup of coffee, a chilled glass of wine or a light meal.  Breakfast is always good here.

Open Wednesday to Sunday.