Roberts House is an important example of the middle class British Colonial Style villa built in the late nineteenth century. It is a National Monument and an exotic immigrant to the Last Outpost of the British Empire nestled in a green oasis of indigenous trees.
The Roberts family’s daughter Esther was born here and grew up to be the first female social anthropologists of the then Colony of Natal. She was well known as a librarian, author of research papers and books dealing with the indigenous population, and as a confidant and friend of Killie Campbell one of the doyens of Africana collectors in the country. Her large collection and library is now linked to the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Most importantly Esther stood many-a-day silently outside the city hall with her solidarity group called the Black Sash,lamenting injustices endured by the non-white population.
She died here more than ten years before South Africa was liberated. In the new democratic South Africa, the road was named after her.