Pringle Bay, once considered as a possible harbour for the farmers of the Overberg, was named after Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Pringle, commander of the British Navy at Simons Town in 1796. It is situated on a small bay surrounded by mountains and overlooking False Bay. This picturesque area has a rich history. Archaeological evidence of the original inhabitants, the Khoi Khoi people, can still be seen. There are many tales of shipwrecks, pirates, deserters, Slave runaways and cattle-thieves too. Hangklip was formerly known as Cabo Falso (the “false cape”) because its resemblance to Cape Point sometimes prompted sailors from the east to turn north earlier than they should have done. False Bay has Cape point at the one end and Pringle Bay Hangklip at the other.
During the 1930′s land in the Hangklip area between the Palmiet River and the Rooiels River was acquired by three business partners, Harold Porter, Arthur Youldon and Jack Clarence. They called it the Hangklip Beach Estates and divided the area into three townships, namely Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels and sold off plots to interested parties. The first stands were marked out of the original farm, Hangklip, in 1937 and the whole village of some 1700 erven now forms part of the transitional zone of the Kogelberg Bio. Until the Second World War, when the coastal road from Gordon’s Bay (named Clarence Drive after Jack Clarence) was built to service the radar stations at Stony Point and at Hangklip, this area had been accessed via Sir Lowry’s Pass and Kleinmond with a pontoon crossing the Palmiet River. While the spectacular Clarence Drive was cut out of the cliff face to connect the many little hamlets that lie along this part of the coast, a jail was necessary to house the prisoners doing the hard work. At this time, the original structures of what is now Glen Craig was built by the prisoners in the form of a quadrangle, with a ‘parade ground’ in the middle for their exercise and ablutions. During World War 2 Glen Craig also housed Italian Prisoners of war and Hangklip Hotel was the barracks of the personnel manning the (still visible) radar station high on the slopes of Hangklip Mountain, watching out for German U-boats.