Archive by Author

Baynesfield Estate and Joseph Baynes

  Joseph Baynes came out to South Africa as a Byrne Settler and eventually settled at Nel’s Rust in 1856. As well as building up a large farming operation, he built a magnificent home on the farm. As Baynes left no heirs, the farm was left in trust for the benefit of South Africans (see […]

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Umvoti Villa Farm

Of all the images I took for the book Farmhouses of Old Natal (Otterley Press 2017), my favorite is that of Umvoti Villa Farm in the Umvoti (Greytown ) District. The farm which is owned by the Tarr family, is run by Linda and Dawie Pieterse, who are well renowned for Tarr’s Roses. Built in […]

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PMB – Church of Madonna delle Gracie

Named the Church of Madonna delle Gracie (Our Lady of Mercy), the tiny church in Epworth, Pietermaritzburg, built by Italian prisoners of war can accommodate about 50 worshipers. I have been trying for a long time to get access to the Church and I got lucky this EasterĀ  Sunday. A big thank you to Franco […]

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Byrne Valley – Blarney Cottage

I have just posted up the Blarney Cottage album under – Galleries – Natal farms – Byrne – Blarney Cottage. The cottages are the original of those built by 1850 Byrne Settlers Sophie and Frederick McLeod in 1879. This posting however is an indictment of the KZN Province, who have allowed these cottages, placed in […]

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Montrose Farm – Mpomphomeni

Montrose Farm was expropriated from the Lund family by the Nationalist Government in the 1970’s with devastating consequences. The ANC led Government has just adopted a policy of Expropriation without Compensation, which will have much more devastating consequences if followed through. “The more things change , the more they stay the same” seems to be […]

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Eden Lassie – Tala valley

I recently was attending the Alan Paton Book Festival, at Eden Lassie wedding and Conference Centre, in the Tala Valley, where our book “Farmhouses of Old Natal” was being presented. Not having been there, it was good to visit another great functions venue, and meet the very hospitable owners. The well turned out venue is […]

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Villa San Souci – Pietermaritzburg

Many of the traders of old are only now giving way to the new breed of traders. The home Villa San Souci, built in 1884 by John Harwin, was a relative of the founder of Greenacres & Harvey in Durban. John started his trading empire in Pietermaritzburg as a draper and his business, later became […]

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Dargle – Dargle Farm

Dargle farmhouse, originally a Boer farm named Buffelshoek was acquired by Thomas Fannin in the 1840, and is one of the older houses in the Dargle valley in the KZN midlands. The original house was replaced by the Dargle cottage which features in the album under – Galleries – Old Natal Farms – Dargle Farm. […]

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Dargle – Kilgobbin Farm

Kilgobbin Farm,with its gables looks like a church and in fact Kil means church and Gobbin, is the name of an Irish Saint. Kilgobbin was built in 1875 by Merydyth Fannin, son of Thomas Fannin who came out in the 1840’s. Merydyth had made much money in the diamond fields but he wanted to settle […]

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Cramond House – Albert Falls

Cramond House, originally part of a 3063 acre farm, near Albert Falls, has been in the Mackenzie family since 1856. The present home was built in 1900 and retains much the same footprint. The farm is presently owned by Drummond and Bridget Mackenzie, and the house still retains its original charm, along with its owners. […]

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