Adamshurst is named after the first owners William and Ellen Adams who . received the farm by way of a grant, and the home built in 1881. The farm was originally part of a farm and nursery named Millpark, but split from that property. The home with its two gables, has a wide 36 m long passage along its width and crossed by a similarly wide passage from front to back. The farm has had many owners, among them the Bottomley's, Putterrill's, Blackburns, Leycester's, Greenacre's, Evans, du Preez's and latterly Dawn and Warwick Dorning. As well as the corridors, other features of the home are the Victorian blue and white tiles, Burmese teak floors and mahogany doors, that add lustre to the lounge and dining rooms. The farm is presently on the market. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017 - Jacqueline Kalley.
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 interior and exterior built 1882, and outbuildings and also of the Baynesfield District & Recreational Club. Joseph Baynes came out with his father Richard in 1850 as part of the Byrnr settlement scheme on the Divonia. His father started farming in the York area and then Joseph and other members of his family, bought Nels Rust in 1852, and by 1902 had doubled the farm size. Baynes was a progressive farmer of cattle ,dairy, pigs and horses. Sadly Joseph lost both his wives early on and had no heirs, and for this reason left his Estate in trust for the benefit of South Africans. Baynes also started the Model Tea Room in Durban & Johannesburg and produced butter and dairy products on a commercial scale. Today the farm still operates as intended and includes an agricultural training institute. Joseph and his wife are buried in the well kept Mausoleum on the Estate.
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.
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.
Montrose Farm, dating back to the 1880's is presently the site of the Mpomphomeni township. The farm,prior to expropriation in the 1970's was owned by the Addison and Lund families, the last before expropriation being Nancy and Guy Lund. The farmhouse, after expropriation, was used firstly by Local Affairs, and now refurbished as a Museum. The veranda's span three sides, with yellowood posts, and the interior burnished Oregon pine floors, decorative chimneys, and carved mantle pieces. In the original garden, is a dilapidated stone building believed to be part of the original Voortrekker home.
Blarney Cottage in the Byrne Valley outside of Richmond is the original cottage, somewhat altered, that was built by Sophie and Frederick McLeod. Frederick was the 4th son of George & Ellen McLeod, who came out as part of the Byrne settlement scheme on the Minerva in 1850. The brick house was built in 1879 and lived in by Sophie and Frederick, followed by other members of the McLeod family, the last of which donated it to the Province. The other lime painted wattle and daub cottage was built by Bentley, who married Nellie and he died in 1967. The buildings were renovated by Barklays Bank and Gordon Verhoef & Krause in 1985, but the KZN Province has allowed them to fall into disrepair, as this album depicts.
This album has no farmhouse, only the remnants of house forming part of the estate known as Enon. Voortrekker Rudolph sold the farm to Captain Lloyd in 1859, and then to hunter General Nathaniel John Gordon. Gordon and wife Marion went on to have 10 children. The farm was taken over by his son Anthony and in turn his son, Bertie, whose brother Dick built Forest Cliff in the 1920's. The house originally of wattle and daub and yellowwood floors cut from the local forest. Dick lived here until the 1950's. It was then owned by Maitland and Con Gold until 1973. The farm was then bought by NCT tree farming, and at this stage the house became vacant and was ransacked of its yellowwood in 2001, and then demolished. All that remains are remnants of the foundations, a tree house, and the trees planted at the time. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
In 1850 6208 acres of land was granted to Voortrekker Christhoffel Botha. The land was shortly sold to Gerrit Naude , who subdivided the land selling off 2000 acres and then 4000 acres in 1874 to Mark Hutchinson. Mark was a good farmer and expanded his farming activities and sawmill operation and including the introduction of trout. In 1920, Mark's grandson Alec, took over the farm, but also sold off portions until only 1100 acres remained. The farm was taken over by Rod Nairn until 1964 and then taken over by Tony Kerr. The current owners are Pino and Caroline Canderle, who have converted the old dairy into a well known restaurant, Lalampara. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
Henry James Stansfield, the son of the Lord Mayor of London, bought part of the farm Boschfontein in 1868. He married Mary Gower Hodson of Caversham in 1883. Pierre de Gersigny was the next owner and in turn was bought by Neville Schaefer and his wife Helen in 1987. Neville bought the neighboring farm to bring up the farm to 500 hectares. Much renovation of the home and the gardens has taken place including David Hicks designed gardens , new pavilion, swimming pool and potager. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
William Mackenzie emigrated to Natal as Byrne settler on the Edward and arrived in Durban on 24 March 1850. As with most of these schemes, they did not work and after marrying Isabella Trotter, several other attempts at farming followed. In May 1856 William received a grant of the farm, and named it Cramond. The farm was 3063 acres in extent and alongside the rail line to Greytown. Thomas, Williams fifth son took over the farm after William died in 1887. In 1900 Tom built a house on Cramond called Craigie, and renamed Cramond when the original home (Craigie) was demolished, and retains the same 1900 footprint. The farm produced pigs, butter, vegetables and mielies. At some point a polo ground was established, as were gum plantations, and a dairy. Tom and Dora had five children and Eric took over the farm in 1947, and in his time part of the farm was, by necessity sold. Drummond Mackenzie, (Eric's older brother),born 1942, now owns the farm, with his wife Bridgid, and his other brother Michael lives on another part of the original property. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - 2017 - Otterley Press - Jaqueline Kalley. This album has images of the home and some of the memorabilia, and of the adjacent more modern home built by Italian P.O.W.'s Ref: Farmhouses Of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017 - Hugh Bland & Jacqueline Kalley
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.
James Methley, son of the Reverend James Methley of Shafton, came out to South Africa in 1848 and bought 6000 acres of land formerly belonging to the Vootrekkers. He also acquired Geelhoutboom from Jan Abraham Landman who had owned the land from 1851 and called a portion of it Newstead after the family farm in Yorkshire. They moved from Shafton in 1870 after it was razed to the ground. The original dwelling of two rooms dates back to 1847. The Methley Plum was grown here and by 1929 there were 10000 plums trees on Newstead. James died in 1903 and the current owners are Paula and Mike Schmidt who bought it in 2005 from Andy and Sas Armstrong. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
Yellowwoods was formerly known as Geelhoutboom, by Trekker farmers after the extensive yellowwood trees found in the local forest. The house was built in 1880 for James Methley's son, Willoughby. This house was built on part of the Methley's farm Newstead. The early fruiting plums developed by the Methley's provided a useful income to the farm. Various families have lived at Yellowoods, including the Pennington's,and Melville's, and now by John and Meryn Turner, who have meticulously restored the home . The Lions River Heritage Society awarded the Turner's their Heritage Certificate in recognition of their work.
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.
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.
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.
Dargle Farm was settled in the 1840's by Thomas and Ellen Fannin from Ireland. The farm of about 6000 acres was originally a Boer farm called Buffelshoek but renamed Dargle after a similarly named stream in Ireland. In 1848 other members of the Fannin family joined Thomas and the stone walled cottage was built to replace the earlier mud, thatch, and daub home. Extensive use of the locally available Yellowwod was used for the floors, windows and rafters. The Fannin family over the years sold off portions of the farm, and in 1883 was sold to Neville Griffin. Members of the Griffin family still own the farm and the cottage is sometimes made available as a bed & breakfast. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - Jacqueline Kalley and Hugh Bland - 2017
Horses have always been a part of Selsley, and this remains the same today, albeit without the polo strings. Selsley was originally part of Thomas Fannins farm, The Dargle. Ownership then changed from a Mr Woodhouse, the Bucknalls, and the Kimbers of Maritzdal. In 1998, Selsley was sold to David Watson who in tern sold it to Gail Wray, who runs it as a horse stud 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 in the Dargle Valley. In 1873 he bought a 1400 acre farm, Middel Bosch and called it Kilgobbin. Cattle, sheep, horses, butter, and timber were the main products of the farm. Yellowwood from the local forest was extensively used in the interiors and stone for the exteriors. The farm has been held by successive members of the Fannin family, but eventually sold in the mid 1900's by Claire and David Fannin. It was renamed Bridgewood, but subsequent owners,Eric and Zia Harrison renovated it, and renamed it Old Kilgobbin. It was then sold in 1996 to John and Carl Bronner, the current owners. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017. Hugh Bland and Jacqueline Kalley
Owthorne was built by William Charles Shaw in 1882, and the gable bears this moniker in his memory. Charles had come out to South Africa aged three, in 1850 with his father who worked on the local sawmill. The farm was aquired by way of a grant in 1877, by Charles, the farm formerly being a Boer farm called Boschoek. Charles sons followed on in the farm, however the farm then passed on to Thomas Woodhouse in 1906, and then sold to Safcol in 1947. The farm is now owned by Normandien Farms and in the care of Barend and Zaan Van Rooyen. The original brickwork has been plastered and the wooden verandah posts replaced with concrete.The interior however still retains much of the original status. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Editor Jacqueline Kalley - Images : Hugh Bland - Publisher Otterley Press 2017
Herbert Edward Mingay came out to Natal and after a spell of transport riding acquired the the farms Half-my-Right and then Ingudwini, later renamed Inglenook. The trading store was built in about 1892 and still stands on the farm and is featured in this album. Herbert Mingat and his sons moved to Inglenook and initially lived in the store. In time the locally made bricks were used to build the main farm house which was completed in 1905. A mill was built on the farm and between 1902 and 1927 milled meal for the local people and for sale. The mill was eventually demolished.. After Herbert came Wilfred and Annie and in turn their son John who married Marie-Anne, who still live on the farm, with their son Clive and his wife Angela. The farm is a timber and beef farm and Marie-Anne and John live in a cottage, with Marie-Anne curating a fascinating Museum of old Natalia equipment and mementos. The farm has extensive old outbuildings, a testament to the extensive farming activities over the years.
John and Mary Anderson arrived on the Minerva as Byrne Settlers on 29 June 1850. They had eight children. Descendants of John, Lucy Anderson bought Emerald Dale for her sons Max and Alfred from JA Ivins who had named the farm Emerald Dale after his daughter Emerald. The sons split the responsibilities into dairy and agriculture and Max moved into Emerald Dale in 1918. Alfred split and moved on but his barns and outbuildings survive. Max died in 1975 and his son Meredith farmed there until his death in 1995. In turn his son Charles and his son William farm the land and run sawmills. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal
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.
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.
Rosehill Farm, or what remains of it still exists and is owned by descendants of the Harrison Family who arrived in 1863. The original farm that was at one stage over 3300 hectares was sold off or expropriated and now is a small area known as Hingham Nursery run by the family descendants . The family churchyard where family members were buried has also been deconsecrated and has become a business. This album has images of the church, graves and the original farmhouse used by the family. Below are extracts from the source quoted below which give more detail of the family history. Reference Source: https://molegenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/04/sugar-and-natal-pioneers-harrison.html Sugar and Natal: the Pioneers - Harrison Guest post by Jennifer I Giles. In 1858 Henry Pratt HARRISON (B: 1823 in England) married Emma Mariah FISHER (B 1832 in England) who was the daughter of James and Elizabeth FISHER. As a young man, Henry worked as an assessor in the shipping business in London. Emma and Henry lived in London before they and their son Edwin, aged 2 years, and daughter Ursula, aged 16 months, emigrated to South Africa on 3rd July 1863 on the ship Monsoon (a Barque sailing ship of 296 tons). At approximately 5 pm on Sunday 20th September 1863 the Monsoon safely anchored in the outer bay of Port Natal. In Durban, Henry was originally involved with Customs and Excise and soon bought land at Avoca, about 16 km north of the port. In approximately late 1863, Henry built the substantial seven bedroom home Rosehill on the ocean side of Avoca; it consisted of a solid brick home with verandahs on all sides and calico ceilings in the bedrooms to help to combat the heat. Henry planted coffee and built a coffee mill in the valley at Rosehill. By 1870 he had 140 acres under coffee. Unfortunately, the coffee got blight, so Henry turned to growing sugar cane in 1876 and, in order to produce more sugar, he bought the adjacent land. On 8th December 1898, Henry Pratt Harrison passed away at the age of 75 years at his home Rosehill. On 17th December 1898, nine days following the death of Henry Pratt Harrison, H Fisher Harrison and his brother Robert J Harrison signed a Memorandum of Agreement, witnessed by their mother, Emma Harrison, and their sister, Ursula Harrison, to carry on business in partnership as sugar planters. Fisher and Robert Harrison ran the estate, as the Harrison Brothers partnership, for their mother until she died in 1917, at which time the property was divided among the family once the estate of their mother, Emma, was finalised. Ursula Harrison (eldest daughter) bought 10 acres including the old homestead Rosehill and Robert bought the remainder. Robert had already built another .Fisher Harrison lived with his sister Ursula at her home Rosehill. In approximately 1924, Robert decided to retire. Robert Harrison died on 30th May 1928, and a Mr Price continued to run the farm for the family. In 1957 the Government instructed the Durban Municipality to begin developing a new housing scheme for Africans at KwaMashu (3). Following this, a fairly large section of the Avoca Estate farm land was expropriated by the Durban Municipality in order to obtain more land on which to build the KwaMashu township (2) The Avoca Estates land stayed in the family until 1964 when all but a mere 4 hectares surrounding Blanche Harrison's home was sold to Coronation Brick (approximately 1400 acres of land (2)) and, in turn, to Glen Anil (a Real Estate Development Company). At this time the original Rosehill homestead built by Henry Pratt Harrison in 1863 (143 years ago) still stands and belongs to the great-great-great granddaughter of Emma and Henry Pratt Harrison. Blanche Harrison's home on the Avoca Estate also still stands today. References: 1. Harrison, Kenneth. Diary records (undated). 2. Bryce, John. Personal Communication, 2006. 3. Edwards, Iain. History. Cato Manor Development Project. www.cmda.org.za/history.htm 4. Osborn RF. Valiant Harvest: The founding of the South African Sugar Industry, 1848-1926, South African Sugar Association, 1964.
Greystone Farm overlooks the upper reaches of the Wagendrift Dam on the Bushmans River. The farm was occupied by the Boers in 1838 and the battle of Vegt Laier took place on this property, (site under water) and was the site of the Boer Laager when attacked by the raiding Zulu's in 1838. The farm was subsequently owned by Sir Henry Ogle, Wheller family and then by Sir Frederick Moor who built the stone house in 1879. Moor was to become the last Prime Minister of Natal before union in 1910. In 1981, the house was declared a National Monument. The Moor family who still live in the area aquired 700 acres of land which they donated to the Province and this land is known as Moor Park. The homestead has panoramic views over the Dam. The remaining 50 acres of property upon which the house stands has subsequently been owned by the Veld and Vlei Trust and in 1994 the property was acquired by the Midlands Christian Centre. A chapel, the Emmaus Chapel was built and the property continues to be used as an adventure centre with ample accommodation for visiting groups.
The original Heavitree farmhouse wa sa green brick house under thatch built by the Robert & Sarah Ralfe who had come out as Byrne settlers in 1850 on the Minerva. They came to the Estcourt area in 1853. Heavitree was named after an aunts village in Devon, whose inheritance in favour of Robert, assisted the acquisition of the farm. The farm was in turn farmed by Robert Jnr, Harry, Douglas , and now, Tim Ralfe. The original home was sadly burnt down in 1972. The house was restored as far as possible and yellow wood from Brynbella, a cousins farm used to rebuild. The farm house has been refurbished and is now lived in by Gary and his wife Marie-France. This album has images of the home, gardens, and outbuildings.
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.
Mein Heim meaning "My Home" is the sandstone home built by Johannes Renken in 1928. Twice married Johannes had 19 children between his two wives with 38 years separating oldest and youngest. Of German extraction Johannes who was born in Hanover (KZN) aquired the farm Greenford and renamed it Mein Heim. He was one of a larger community of German settlers near the Lutheran Church at Draycott. Renken sold the farm in 1942 to the Wilson family for who farmed there for 40 years and thereafter Anthony and Benedict Arde who renovated the house, and are the current owners. The farm has as a feature the old water cold safe in its garden.
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.
The Farm Cotswold was originally a Boer farm and subsequently farmed by John Methley, Bucknalls, Dobie's , McKenzie's and to the Worral's in 1973. Matheew Worrall continues to farm Cotswold to this day. The farm has a sandstone with the date 1889 and has sandstone barns built to accommodate wagons. For many years the farm was owned by General Duncan McKenzie, the third son of Duncan, who arrived as a Byrne settler in 1850. The farm was acquired from the Land Colonization Company in 1902 by the Mckenzies and Gen. Duncan bought the farm from his father. He married Lady Katherine McArthur in 1883, and Cotswold was to become their home until Duncan's death in 1932. There is a smaller house at the back of the main farmhouse built for a relative. This album has images of the home, barns, cottage, and documentation relating to the McKenzie's. The farm today is an active dairy and beef 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.
This sandstone house was built by David Slatter in 1884. Extensions were done by his son WJ Slatter, and the castle like crenellations in 1908. Holme Lacy was named after David's home in Hertfordshire, prior to coming to SA on the Amazon (it is thought) in 1850. He was a businessman in PMB and a member of the Legislature. Walter, James son became a farmer in Greytown at Holme Lacy and is buried on the farm graveyard (1937), alongside with his wife Evelyn and infant daughter Enid. His twin brother David also farmed on another portion of Hole Lacy known as Holmesdale. Other members of the Slatter family occupied the farm, one being Colonel Walter Stanhope Slatter, followed by his son Anthony and it was one of his daughters Jennifer, whose husband Jack Mason came to the farm. Murray, Jacks son farmed Holme Lacy until 2005. At this point Murray's brother, Andrew and his wife Vanessa took up the farm and are the present occupiers. Timber is the main focus of the farm.
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.
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.
This small cottage like house in the Greytown area is the earliest farm house in this area alongside Umvoti Villa. It has a very simple plan and the age is only apparent from the worn doorways and old scratches on the sash windows. The following information was supplied to me by Gilbert Plant, whose ancestors owned this old home. The date of 1853 attributed to this house could be incorrect. My great grandfather, Henry Plant, was one of the Byrne Settlers who arrived on the Lady Bruce in 1850, but moved on to Greytown. As far as I know, he was the first to acquire Oakford, which was so named after the village of Oakford in Devon, where his wife Sarah Jane, (née Bryant) was born. I have the original sketch plan drawn by the architect for a "Proposed New House" drawn for his son Henry Gilbert, dated 19/12/05. The signature of the architect appears to read RD Mackenzie. I suppose there may have been a house constructed in 1853, the proposed one being to replace it(?), although Henry Plant had been by then only three years in Natal, during which he would have had to travel inland and find land, and so on. It seems unlikely that such a solid dwelling would have been possible at that date, given that his priorities would have lain in establishing his farming enterprise. Conversely, the name, 'G Plant', scratched on one of the panes of glass in what is now used as the sitting room,would have had to have been done when Henry Gilbert, or Gilbert as he was called, was already over 33 years old! I have only been once in the house, briefly, so I can`t say whether the sketch plan is that of the house that stands today. Perhaps the proposed house was never built?? One could only tell by having the plan in hand for comparison, which I have not had the opportunity, (or nerve!) to do, as I don`t know the current occupants. In any event, I just thought the above might be interesting to you. Regards, Gilbert Plant
Umvoti Villa Farm, named after the Umvoti River and about 20 kilometers south of Greytown is now home to the Tarr family who are renowned for their rose production. The farmhouse built in the 1880's, has been home to many families,, starting with the Mare family, who built the farmhouse. In turn the house has been home to the Ellis's, to early 1970's, the Wootten's to 1977, Le Roux's, the Vogel's, and since 1989, the Tarr family. The farm is now home to Linda (Tarr) and Dawie Pieterse. Minor alterations have been made, the most significant being the low wall outside of the veranda's.
The buildings in this album formed part of the farms owned by the Slatter family, who came out to Natal. This farm house and barns were sold to the Municipality when Merthley Lake was built in order to supply Greytown with water. This does not form part of the farm Holme Lacy which is close by and still owned by descendants of David Slatter, and will form part of a separate album.
The farm, now known as The Knoll was originally occupied by Voortrekkers in the 1830's. who moved on to establish Pietermaritzburg. It was used as a hunting lodge for a while. The farm was granted to magistrate Philip Zietsman on 1 January 1850, and at this time became known as Groenekloof. It was then acquired by the Ireland brothers from PMB and the property and garden expanded and the farm renamed Bloemfield Heights. in 1870. At various times the farm was used as a trading post, transport riders stopover, hotel, and for a time a boys school, St Peters in the 1900's. In 1914 the property was renamed The Knoll. In 1925 The Knoll was owned by the Hendrie family, and used as a dairy, potato farm and dairy, and a commune. The property fell into disrepair, but in 2002 taken over by Mandy and Mark Manley who have restored the farmhouse. The Knoll is now the restored homestead, but also has guest rooms and the old barn used for theatre and musicals. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - 2017 - Otterley Press
Hilton was originally named Ongegunt by the owner Pieter Grobbelaar who was granted the farm on 1 July 1847 and in extent 6136 acres. The farm, farmhouses and outbuildings were acquired by Joseph and Jane Henderson who moved into a small cottage called Dutchman's Cottage. The farm in succession was taken over by Wilfrid Henderson, his son Jack Henderson and then his daughter Naomi. It was Naomi that married Frederic Tatham. A descendant Tony now lives in the original home depicted here. The present home designed by architects Kent & Price, was built in 1903, and a second more modern house added to the property later. There are extensive old stone outbuildings and the family cemetery to the east of the house.
The farm Fairfell was the home of the Prime Minister of Natal (1903) , Sir George Sutton, who came to South Africa with his family in 1872. Sutton acquired Unit 6 Stocklands & Oatlands in extent 180 acres and called it Fair Fell. The house was built in 1874 made of brick and stone and completed in 1875. The house has direct views of the Howick falls . Sutton died in 1913 but remained in the Sutton family until 1980, when it was sold to Dawn Mackenzie, then Derek & Eve Hughes and now by Sandra Murphy. The house is a National Monument and presently is run as a restaurant - Yellowwood Cafe. Ref: farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterleypress.com - 2017
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.
Benvie, originally owned by the Swanepoels in 1852, was sold to Henry Liversage in 1866, and in turn to John Geekie in 1883. Benvie the original home still stands as does the old church purchased in 1886 from Fords Rest and reassembled on the farm. The farm has been owned by the Geekie family ever since and in 1997, the daughter of Kinsey Geekie, Jennifer and her husband John Robinson, took over. The house was restored and the majestic gardens revitalised. The carriage room was made into a guestroom and the workshop turned into a flatlet. Trees were sourced from around the world and these late 18 century trees take pride of place alongside the famous azaleas and rhododendrons.
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.
Shafton Grange lies across the road from the Karkloof St Mark's Church, but has been extensively extended over the years. The farm originally owned by James Methley was acquired in 1852 by Edwin Parkinson, who built the farm house. Family continued to live in the house until acquired by Roger & Jean Barnes, who in turn sold it on to the Rogers who run a Lipizzaner stud. Much of the interior of the house is made from yellowwood as is the barn, made entirely of yellowwood. Ref; Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterleypress.com - 2017
Shawswood built in about 1880, is built of red brick and the front facade has two green painted gables. It has always been a Shaw home, currently owned by Bundy (Walter) and Wendy Shaw, Bundy being named after the original settle who came out to Natal in 1850. The original farmhouse Clarendon burnt down, and the new house Shawswood built over three years, to replace it. As was normal most of the materials were produced locally or extracted from the forest. A farm school was built in the 1950's and this is now guest accommodation. Likewise the old stables have been turned into accommodation for school groups. A large indigenous forest forms part of the farm. Started by the Shaw family, the Shaw's are still custodians of this old farm. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterleypress.com - 2017
Originally a 6000 acre farm granted to George Trotter in 1857, the farm was split up by a later owner, Maurice McKenzie, into small holdings. The farmhouse was built in 1860 and has been extended over the years by succesive owners including the Fyfes, Train's, and the Hans Merenskey Trust. The farm is presently owned by Dr Graeme Maxwell and with a portion of the farm bought back, is now 560 hectares in extent. The farm has been a timber and dairy farm for much of its productive years..
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 , 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.
Lynton Hall was built in 1895 for Charles Partridge Reynolds, near Pennington. The building was designed by architect, William Street-Wilson and Fyfe’s partners, James W Paton & Wishart. Sadly, the original drawings for the house have been lost. The castellated bay, gable and tower was a look-out point for cane fires and as a defensive structure in the event of strife. The tower has one of the bedrooms incorporated into the tower, which has an open but protected platform. The interior has a grand hall and exposed pendant trusses. The interior fittings, like doors, windows, marble floor tiles and stained-glass windows and wooden stairways were imported and had to be transported by sea to this remote site, with panoramic views over the Indian Ocean.
Ongeluksnek Valley extends about 50 kms south in the direction of Mount Fletcher and the Lesotho border. Along this valley can be found the Trappist Missions of Mariazell and Maria Linden. The valley is a rich alluvial plain with a permanent supply of water that emanates from the Lesotho mountains to the west. There are a number of old farms and trading stores in this valley, however most of the stores are derelict. With the advent of taxis and more mobility, the people prefer to shop in Matatiele of Mount Fletcher where prices are cheaper and all services are available. Many of the old farms, most of which are built from local sandstone have been consolidated and as a result are also in disrepair. This album has images of many of these old farmhouses.
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)
George Greaves, a Surveyor came out to South Africa on the Rydal in 1851, and was granted the farm Ashley in 1851 for his surveying work. Ashley was originally the Voortrekker farms Bosmansrand (No 936),and Buffelsvallei (No 947). It was Buffelsvlei that became Ashley. A subdivision of Ashley in extent 2227 acres was sold to Andrew Clark who built the original home in 1903. The farm was sold to the Crookes family in 1942, but the house was in ruins . Ashley at this point became Mount Ashley owned by Frederic N. Neville Crookes. The main farming activity has been pigs and dairy. Neville had with his siblings been brought up at Renishaw, married Marie and had four children. These chidren grew up in the 1903 restored homestead at Mount Ashley. The farm was bought by Basil in 1970 who married Moira and one of their sons Russell is the custodian of the farm at present. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
Tweedie Hall, a National Monument, has a commanding vista over Midmar Dam. This was the home to Eliza (1845-1933) and James (1846-1930) Morton and arrived on board The Prince Alfred in August 1868. It was on teh banks of the Umgeni that they built their modest cottage and named it Tweedie Hall after the namesake in Strathearn. James bought 12000 acres of land and became an influential businessman and farmer. The silos wee the first in Natal in 1884, and some of his many improvisations. William Street Wilson an eminent architect designed the home and it was built between 1886 and 1891. The Mortons had four children, James, Eliza, Agatha(Swan) and Euphemia Blackhurst. Descendants have lived in Tweedie Hall, with Mary and David Marshall being the present owners. David is the grandson of Agatha Morton. The family graveyard overlooks Miidmar to the north of the home. Most of the interiors are in the original state having been carefully maintained over the years.
James Piccione came out to South Africa in 1879 and soon made his mark on the Mooi River area after he aquired Greenfields in 1894. James became a prominent cattle breeder, thoroughbred horse breeder and trainer. He built the main house in 1893 and the substantial stabling thereafter. During the Anglo Boer was he used the farm to provide remounts to the British troops and up to 1400 British troops were billeted here from time to time. The farm has had several owners since including Adam & Cathy Kethro (1998), used as a restaurant and ownership has changed again in 2016. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
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.
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.
The Cedars, situated in Town Bush Valley, built in the 1950's, was one of the first dairies supplying Pietermaritzburg. The original 60 acre farm is now only 5800m2, with the rest allocated to development of the suburb. James English was the first of the family to occupy The Cedars in 1876, after many of the original Byrne Settlers had abandoned farming on the small allotments. Must of the timber in the forest and in particular, Yellowwod was used in the construction. In 1909 Daniel English aquired the farm and he owned this for 43 years when it was bequeathed to his son Dennis in 1952, followed by James grandson Alan. It was Alan who passed the custody of the house on to Jane Pennefather in 1992. The house has been carefully restored to a pristine state. Fruit and vegetables grown in the area were supplied to shops in the towns. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - 2017
San Souci, proclaimed a national monument in 1983, presently are the offices of the Ingonyama Trust which administer all traditional land in KZN. After becoming dilapidated, the house has been restored to its former glory, with the exception of the gardens and paved areas. This 1000m2, Neo Classical building with a wrap-around veranda was built by John Harwin in 1884. John was the nephew of Richard Harwin who arrived in 1842, and started Greenacres and Harvey in Durban. John arrived in PMB in 1862 and set up a shop Harwin & Co, a drapery, which became John Orr's. The San Souci home was built of the finest material by Italian and French craftsmen , which included the iron railings, pressed steel ceilings, and extensive and intricate stain glass windows. The architect was German national, Albert Halder. In 1978 the house was used for the filming of Zulu Dawn. The Harwin family sold the home in 1979 to architect Louis Grove , who restored it. Records indicate that John Harwin had a small dairy herd here and hence the inclusion in the book "Farmhouses of Old Natal" This album has images of the home. Ref: Farmhouses of Old Natal - Otterley Press - Hugh Bland & Jacqueline Kalley - 2017
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.
Reg Raw had taken up the farm ‘Esperanza’, the farm being used as a shooting lodge. In 1892 it was acquired by Peter (Pat) McKenzie and renamed ‘Seaforth’. Farming was tough, without easy access to markets and the inclement weather and for this reason McKenzie spent the years 1896 to 1898, transport riding as far as Salisbury, to generate an income. Seaforth remained in Pat and Helen McKenzie’s hands until his death in on the farm in 1951. Rinderpest, locusts and snow blizzards (1903 & 1905), added to the challenges of farming in the district. Water was plentiful with an average rainfall of about 48 inches. Pat’s son Hector (1908-1969), with wife Moira (1918-1970), took over the farm in 1951. Later, his daughter Lynne in 1962, married Raymond (Jim) Watson (1940-1995) who took over the farm in 1964 prior to Hector’s death in 1969. The 2000 hectare farm became a top dairy farm in the district. The farm later was acquired by Steve Roberts in 1997/8, who split up the farm, and it is now a Guest Lodge on 167 hectares, and forms part of a 360ha conservancy adjoining the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
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.
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.
Karel Pieter Landman was born in Uitenhage in 1796, the fourth son of eleven children. After farming losses, caused by the ongoing conflict in the Sixth Frontier War and with British authorities, he, along with thirty-nine other families, left Alexandria, near Calvinia, in the Eastern Cape and settled on the Umgeni River, north of the Durban Harbour, in 1837. After the massacre of Piet Retief and his men, and the slaughter of Vootrekkers and their families near Weenen, Landman set off with other Commandos for Blood River to avenge these murders and neutralise the threat. It was whilst on their way to Blood River that Landman and his son-in-law, Johannes Wilhelmus de Jager (Lootjie), stopped in the vicinity of the Wasbank River, as it has become known, and after the battle, decided to settle there. Landman claimed and was granted, on a quitrent basis, land from Glencoe all the way east towards Wasbank. This distance was the equivalent of a two-hour horse ride, the traditional way of staking out a land claim. Landman was second-in-command, under Andries Pretorius, at the battle of Blood River and later became Chairman of the Volksraad and the first Landrost of Pietermaritzburg. In 1852, after Natal was annexed by the British, Landman settled near Glencoe on the farm he named Uithoek, with his wife, Agatha Jacomina, née Meyer (1798 – 1882). When he died, in 1875, Karel landman was buried in the family graveyard at Uithoek. The cottage that Landman constructed on Uithoek, in 1852, is the oldest surviving settler house in KwaZulu-Natal and was declared a National Monument in 1938. His daughter, Susanna, married to Johannes Wilhelmus de Jager, settled on the adjoining farm, Wasbank. In the early 1900s, during the Anglo-Boer War, the Natal Government Railways appropriated parts of Uithoek, in order to build a railway line. In compensation, the NGR were obliged to build two weirs on the Wasbank River, which runs through the farm. For a while this area of Natal was the epicentre of the war and, as British troops passed through this strategic valley, in retreat from the Battle of Talana (20 October 1899) outside Dundee, they were shelled by the Boers. On one occasion, shells intended to hit the British, who were being transported on the NGR railway, fell short of their target and destroyed the kitchen of the Landman Cottage. Trenches, indicating where the Boers were placed, are still evident above the present home belonging to Carl and Barbara Simpson, descendants of Karel Landman. Carl is the commandant’s great-great-grandson.