Nestled between two mountains and a river lies the small town of Victoria West. The town with an unofficial population of little over 11 000 people was founded in 1855 and has since grown into a thriving Karoo town. The main economic activity in the region is sheep farming. Victoria West was founded in 1843 when the Dutch Reformed Church bought a part of the farm Zeekoegat from Mr J.H. Claassens. The town was then named after Queen Victoria of England and was known simply as Victoria. It was only later, when Victoria district was formed in the Eastern Cape that ‘West’ was added to the name to distinguish it from its eastern counterpart. The town in the Eastern Cape was renamed Victoria East.
It is interesting that a small town like Victoria West was the location for the second Standard Bank in South Africa. in the original building was constructed in 1856 and although the bank moved to a new building, the signatures of the first shareholders can still be seen on a piece of pig skin in the Victoria West Regional museum.