Natal Old Farms

Baynesfield - S29.44.942 E 30.22.855

Baynesfield Estate measuring 24000ha was donated to the nation by Joseph Baynes (buried on the Estate) provided it was used for Agricultural purposes, and including for research. This gallery has images of the main house (1898), outbuildings and also of the Baynesfield District & Recreational Club

Bergville - Dalmore Guest Farm

Dalmore Guest farm is an active farm lying between Bergville & Winterton. The farmhouse was built in 1913 but fell into serious disrepair and used as labourers housing. The farmhouse has been recently restored by the Blackburn family and is now a well established Guest Lodge offering both self catering and meals. The farm borders the upper reaches of the Spionkop Dam and is close to the Nature Reserve and Spionkop battle field.

Boston - Calderwood Hall

Calderwood Hall, situated on the Midmar - Boston Road, was built by the son of a Scottish immigrant, Joseph Jardine. He was married to Edith, and they produced 12 children , all of whom were born in the house. The home, was originally part of a large farm of 50000 hectares. The land was eventually sold off to Mondi, and all that remained was the 30 hectares that remain with the house. The home which took several years to complete (1902) fell into disrepair, and was bought by the present owners in 1996 and extensively renovated. The Hall is now a wedding and conference venue , with accommodation for 68 guests.

Colenso - Umsolusi Reserve

Umsolusi Private Game Reserve is 10 Kms south east of Colenso on the Bloukrans River. The area was settled in the 1830's and developed as a farm , more latterly as a game reserve. There are remnants of the old farm buildings dating back to the 1800's. There are also old graves on the farm that relate to the early farming activities. Sadly the farm has had land claims over it - some settled, however the local community have seen fit to burn many of the lodges,some of which they inherited as part of the process. The white Rhino have been removed as their well being was threatened.

Dargle - Aird Farm and Dargle Pottery

Aird farmhouse in the Dargle Valley, was built by Jim Clarke in 1882, who had a dairy farm whilst doing his transport riding. The farm now has self catering cottages overlooking a small dam. Dargle Pottery is off the D666 in the Dargle valley and was started by Ian Glenny who was one of the founders of the Midlands Meander. The pottery has a large range of pottery ans has been in existence for over 35 years.

Dargle - Beverley Farm

Beveley Farm, lies in the Upper Dargle Valley at the foothills of the Hlosane mountain which dominates the whole valley. The farm was originally a Boer Farm called Buffelsbosch, but was bought by Thomas Fannin in 1847 and renamed Beveley. The main farm house was built in 1913 and is well maintained in its original state. The property is fairly small and today the buildings have been extended to include several self catering cottages.

Dargle - Corrie Lynn

Corrie Lynn in the Dargle valley along the Petrus Stroom road has been in the Fowler family for many generations. This album has images of the original farm house and also some of the old iron outbuildings dating back to 1882. This working farm also has an art gallery,quality furniture manufacturing factory & outlet and a comfy self catering cottage with views over the Dargle valley.

DUNDEE - Lennox Farm

Lennox Farm, to the north east of Dundee and in the vicinity of the Talana battle site, is owned and run as a Guesthouse by Dirk and Salome Froneman. It is an ideal stayover for those visiting the battlefields in the vicinity of Dundee. Although not a billet during the Anglo Boer War it dates back to that era and no doubt was visited by forces from both sides. This album has images of the exterior, interior and outbuildings in addition to memorabilia of the Fronemans, both of whom served in SA Armed forces and Dirk a Provincial Rugby player for Free State.

Dundee - Talana - Thornley Farm

Thornley Farm which lies to the north of Talana Hill and battle which took place on the hill belonged to the Smith family, the original settlers in the area. The farm was used as a HQ during the battle on 20 October 1899 and also as a temporary mortuary for wounded. The album features the farmhouses, outbuildings, stables and the graves of Peter and Isabella Smith.

Estcourt - Klipfontein Farm

Klipfontein Farm which is off the Escourt to Winterton road near Frere is a working farm and also a B&B with a small cottage. What distinguishes this farm is the abundant aloes surrounding the main Homestead, which in winter are a majestic display. This gallery has images of the cottage, the main house and the aloe display in winter.

Estcourt Slievyre Farm

Slievyre farm dates back to the 1830's when it would have belonged to the early Trek Boers. It is situated on a ridge that is the watershed between the Bushmans, river to the east and the Bloukrans river to the west. The farm is presently a game farm, but it is of interest due to the old farm house dating back to about the 1880's and the old graves hidden deep in the bush. The graves belong to a British soldier Captain Travis who died whilst visiting the farm in 1868, and the other grave has no markings. The farm also had the Estcort to Weenen rail line running through, and the old watering point of Havilland. Much of the route of the old line is still visible. Remains of an old sandstone cottage are also hidden in the bush, images of which appear here. At present there are cottages and bomas adjacent to the farm house which are used by hunters or persons looking for a getaway.

Fort Nottingham - Lions Bush Farm

Lions Bush (originally Leeuw Bosch) farm at the turn off to Fort Nottingham, a farm of 6000 acres, belonged to the early Voortrekker, Johannes Maritz, but was sold to Duncan McKenzie for 300 Pounds in the 1850's. Duncan was an early Byrne settler who had arrived in 1850. After a short spell in Richmond, Duncan joined the roads department and then acquired Lions Bush. This area suffered many raids from Bushmen, 62 between 1845 and 1872, and was the reason for the establishment of the nearby Fort Nottingham in 1856, by the 45th Foot, Sherwood Foresters, a Regiment from Nottingham. Duncan was married to Margaret and they brought up a large family, including General Duncan McKenzie, who was born on Lions Bush in 1859. Duncan (Jnr.) went on to become a transport rider, businessman, and decorated military General. He married Kathleen McArthur in 1883 and farmed at Lions Bush focusing on cattle , sheep, horses, hay, dairy and timber. The farm has changed hands but is presently owned by Christopher Brown, who is a great, great grandson of Duncan McKenzie(snr.). This album has images of the site, and a painting of the original Lions Bush home, which was burnt to the ground, the current home, converted from the old barn into his home and, a home built for Peter Brown, Chris's late father. Also featured are old boilers dating back to the 1890's, old barns and the graves of members of the McKenzie's wider family.

GLENCOE - Uithoek Farm (Karel Landman)

The farm Uithoek belonged to Karel Pieter Landman a Boer leader at the battle of Blood River. He settled on this farm and the original cottage which still exists is the oldest remaining Pioneer house in Natal. His son in law, De Jager, settled on the neighboring farm Wasbank (now Manor House). The plaque on the cottage indicates that Karel Landman lived in the house from 1852 to 1875, and is a National Monument. This album has images of the cottage, the Landman family graves, some old memorabilia in the cottage, and images of the more recent farmhouse and outbuildings.

GLENCOE - De Jager farm

The Manor Farm house on the outskirts of Glencoe on the road to Washbank, was the farm owned by Kommandant De Jager, brother in law to Karel Landman, also a famed Boer Commando. The album has images of the house and outbuildings and of the family graveyard with many members of the De Jager family. This house was not burnt by the British during the Boer War as it was used as a billet by the British as it overlooked the pass through which the rail line from Glencoe to the coast, ran.

Karkloof Barrington Farm

Barrington Farm lies in the Karkloof Valley and is a full working farm, unlike many of the old Natal farms that have been cut up over the decades. The farm is presently owned by the Morphew family, who acquired this farm from M.L. Roberts. Roberts was one of South Africa's most successful jockeys. The farm house has the well known Natal verandas wrapping around the red brick structure, and overlooking well manicured gardens.

Karkloof - Colborne Farm

Colborne Farm lies in the Karkloof Valley at the foothills of the Karkloof range. The farm is presently owned by the Morphew family. This album has images of the red brick home, and of the interior. Like many Natal old farms the homestead has wide verandas on at least two of the facades, and burnished wood features liberally inside.

Lidgetton - Lastingham

Lastingham was one of the farms that were granted to John Lidgetton (1800-1861), as part of a settlement scheme, where he was responsible for bringing out 104 immigrants. The settlement area originally was about 10000 acres and included Riet Vallei which belonged to W.S.Pretorius, Geelhoutbosch and Easingwold. Descendants George (1831-1907), John Augustine Lidgett (1871 - 1948) , and Geoffrey Lidgett were subsequent owners of the farm, which was first registered in John Lidgetts name in 1859. He had bought the 5169 acre farm for 325 pounds. The Lidgetts were the founders of Lidgetts Town, and were also responsible for starting St Mathews Church (1903) and rebuilt in 1952. John Lidgett is buried therein. Lastingham, named after a village in York, was built in 1911, on this farm which for a long time produced wattle. Most of the farm was sold off and Lastingham now only has 100 acres of land and has run as a B&B since 1986. Ref: Lions River Heritage Society.

Lords Of The Manor - Mooi River - (Oatesdale)

Lords of the Manor , or originally Oatesdale was built by the son of a Byrne settler, Edward Oates. He bought the 1000ha farm in 1885 and was commissioned to build a school for girls, which became known as the Highland School for Girls. The building was started in 1887, however the Boer War interrupted the build, and for some time the building was used by Boer Commandos. The building was completed after the war and utilized as a school until 1914, and then taken over and used by Edward Oates until 1916. Oatesdale was used by the Oates family until 1965, and has since then been used as a hospitality venue. Oatesdale was renovated in 2007, and renamed Lords Of The Manor, which is now a boutique hotel, restaurant, wedding and conference venue. This album has images of the Manor's grounds, cottage accommodation, chapel and the exterior and interior of the hotel itself.

Manderston - Thorner Estates

Thorner Estate about 3 kilometers to the east of the old Manderston station between Camperdown and Richmond, was one of the early large farms established in the late 1800's. Thoerner wa owned by J Moon in 1879 and was 1200 acres in size. Moon built the estate up to 26000 acres by 1906 and farmed maize and cattle. He was one of the first farmers to realize the importance of dipping to control tick born disease. The large farm has been subdivided over the years and the original site now comprises accommodation establishments, and existing farm enterprises. This album has images of the early farm outbuildings, built from stone and the concrete and brick silos, also dating back to the early 1900's and intervening period. (Access to the original farm house was not obtained)

Natal Midlands Farms from the air

This album has images of farms photographed from a micro lite. Some of the farms, I have been unable to identify and are identified by a general area description. The farms are in the area of the Karkloof, Dargle Lidgetton and Midmar - Petrus Stroom area. Some are identified such as Inchbackie, Smythes farm, and Greens farm. There are also images of the landscapes in the Dargle, and towards the Drakensberg from Nottingham Road. Flight was with the compliments of Owen Llwellyn Davies.

Oliviershoek farm & The Ledges

This album has images of the farm Oliviershoek, very close to the Cavern Berg Hotel. This farm was originally a Boer farm, but is of historical interest due to the remains of the old farm house and the graves of the Brown family dating to the 1880's. The ledges is a holiday establishment adjacent to the farm.

Richmond - Beaulieu Estate

The original owners of Beaulieu Estate were William and Fanny Nicholson from Yorkshire , who arrived on the 180 ton Sandwich in Durban harbour in 1850. These Byrne settlers set out for Byrne, and unlike many other settlers decided to stay. Over the years they accumulated more property and had 12 children, two of whom remained unmarried and lived all their lives on the farm. Descendants of the family remained on the farm for several generations, however the farm is now in the ownership of a timber company and the house used as a training centre. The home has been upgraded over the years and the entrance portico has 1937 marked on it.

Swartberg - Hlani Farm and Groenvlei cemetery

Swartberg has often been referred to as the breadbasket of KZN and the images of Hlani Farm illustrate this well, with the mechanised maize planting depicted here. The album has images of the remains of the original stone farmhouse on the perimeter of the farm and images of the old graveyard of the Joyner family on Groenvlei farm. The graves relate to the Joyner, Westbrook and Hulley families.

Van Reenen - Wyeford Farm & St Josephs Church

This gallery has images of the St Josephs Church, built by Italian Prisoners of War (1941 - 1946), which is to the west of the N3 at the Tugela Toll. Wynford farm is at the base of Van Reenens Pass and for may years was a resupply station and stopover for Transport Riders making their way from the coast inland and back, in the latter half of the 1800's.