Hillcrest was formerly a sleepy village, governed by its own Town Board  on the outskirts of Durban that has now become a booming suburb incorporated into the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. Hill Crest (as the town's name was variously spelt until 1969) was founded on a rise in the main road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in 1895 as a farming or "weekend" village, then a good distance from what was the emerging port of Port Natal. The village was laid out as leasehold sites on a portion of the farm Albinia owned by William Gillitt, one of the main pioneer families of the area and after which the nearby suburb of Gillitts is named.
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