Parkes Shop: our forestry heritage

Visit this old shop (dating from the early 1900s) for our exhibition about the history of the timber industry in Knysna

The Parkes Shop - behind Millwood House in Queen Street - houses displays about the history of timber in Knysna. Here you'll find stories about the woodcutters, the timber merchants, the trees of the forest, etc. 

More info below

  • Please see the links below for stories about the Knysna Forests and the people who worked in them in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. 

Find us

  • Parkes Shop (behind Millwood House), corner Queen Street & Clyde Street, Knysna
  • Latitude, longitude -34.037275, 23.050865
  • From Knysna Central: drive eastwards on Main Street towards Plettenberg Bay. Turn right into Queen Street at the stone church (St. George’s Anglican Church); you’ll find Parkes Shop behind Millwood House on your left on the corner at the T-junction. Enter via Millwood House.

Knysna Museum hours

  • Mondays to Fridays: 9.00 a.m. to 4.00pm
  • Saturdays: 9.00 a.m. to 12.00pm

Museum contact

The Parkes Shop story

This Victorian-era building was built as a commissary for the workers at Parkes Sawmill, and was moved to its current position next to Millwood House in its hundredth year.

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The Knysna Forests

The story of the Knysna Forests - from exploitation to conservation

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The woodcutters

The story of the people who harvested the timber from the early 1800s to the late 1930s

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The timber merchants

Two companies dominated the timber economy - and, indeed, much of the general economy - of Knysna in the late 19th Century and well into the 20th Century: Thesen & Co., and Geo. Parkes & Sons Ltd.

These are their stories.

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Timber products in the early days

How were the different timbers used in the 19th and early 20th Centuries?

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The trees they harvested

Economically important trees in the Knysna Forests in the 19th and early-20th Centuries

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The Coffee Pot Railway

The story of Knysna's beloved narrow-gauge railway (1907 - 1949) - with actual footage of the train in action!

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Books & movies about the Knysna Forests

A brief look at the literature inspired by the Knysna forests

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