One of Johannesburg nicest and oldest suburbs, Linden is nestled in the foothills of Northcliff Hill and is located between Emmarentia and Darrenwood, to the northwest of the city centre. The lush area is mostly on an incline, with its charming homes—many of which have just undergone restoration—placed along a grid of numbered avenues and streets.
The Linden farm, which once stood in this area of Johannesburg more than a century ago, is the source of the name Linden. One of Linden’s distinguishing characteristics is the classic old-fashioned verandah, which is replicated in a number of residences in the neighbourhood. The original farmhouse is still somewhere in the suburb, restored to its former beauty.
The heated swimming pool at Linden lies halfway down the slope, heading off towards Emmarentia. The Emmarentia dam and Botanical Gardens are also well worth a visit at any time of year, the grounds being a lovely green location to escape city pressures. In fact, Linden is practically surrounded by green parkland of some kind, the majority of which are bird sanctuaries and parklands, which add to the tranquillity of the area.
Greenway and Gleneagles Road, the trendy suburb’s main thoroughfares, are lined with restaurants and vintage and art décor stores, making this area of Johannesburg one of the best-kept secrets in the city. Trendy Greenside is just around the corner from Linden.
History of Linden, Johannesburg
The suburb was located on property that belonged to one of the original farms called Klipfontein before the Witwatersrand’s gold was discovered there in 1886. It was possibly called Johannes van der Linde who, along with Lourens Geldenhuys, planned out the area before it was made into a suburb in 1901. Before the property was surveyed, the fruit was grown there. It was included in the City of Johannesburg in 1937.
Around 350 families are thought to have resided in Linden by 1934, and many of them had modest fruit farms that profited from the region’s exceptionally fertile soils. The region gained notoriety as an upscale Afrikaans suburb in the 1950s and was given the moniker “Boere Houghton” shortly thereafter. Even though most of the fruit farms had long since vanished by that point, Linden’s suburb still stands out for its abundance of peach trees.