Bryanston is one of the most affluent and attractive suburbs of Johannesburg, forming a central residential area that is mainly home to the wealthy upper-class citizens of the city. Due to its proximity to a number of prominent schools in the area, Bryanston is also known as a particularly family-friendly part of Johannesburg.
While the suburb was previously considered a part of Sandton (when this area was considered to be its own municipality), it became part of Johannesburg when Sandton was officially incorporated into the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.
The human history of the Bryanston area goes back to prehistoric times. Artifacts such as stone tools have been found that point to the likelihood of Stone Age hunter-gatherers using tools and inhabiting the area surrounding Lone Hill. Further evidence has been found of the presence of Iron Age man using the area for smelting purposes. It was from these distant ancestors that the native Bushmen are thought to have descended.
European settlement in the area did not take place until the early 20th century, when a few small farms were first established along the Braamfontein Spruit and the Klein Jukskei River. It was also during this time that the first evidence of gold reserves in the region was found – a discovery that would lead to the declaration of Johannesburg as a key mining area with one of the richest gold deposits in the world.
The name ‘Bryanston’ was chosen by early residents of the area due to its English connotations, and many of the main streets still bear English names, such as Blackpool, Croydon, and Coventry, to this day. Amid some legal complications regarding the mineral rights to the area, the town as it first stood was laid out around the mid-20th century. As a fairly modern area, Bryanston was one of the first to benefit from the emerging practice of ‘town planning’ – an advantage that contributed to its current status as a highly desirable living space.
Bryanston is located in the Gauteng province, towards the northeastern part of Johannesburg. It falls within Region E of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, with the N1 Western Johannesburg Bypass Freeway forming its northern boundary. The area is also bisected by Bryanston Drive, which runs through Bryanston to connect Morningside and Randburg.
Bryanston is the site of a few notable landmarks, both natural and man-made. Lone Hill, the central feature of the area, is an ancient site of both historical and strategic value that has been prominent for centuries. A recent corporate development, known as The Campus, has attracted a significant number of large corporations, such as Google and Microsoft, to site their national headquarters in Bryanston. The Bryanston Country Club is another institution (founded in 1948) that forms a central hub within the affluent region.
- Bryanston is home to 28,758 people, at a population density of around 1200 per square kilometer.
- The majority of the local population is white, with English being the predominantly spoken first language.
- Bryanston covers a relatively small area of around 25 square kilometers.