His­toric Wel­tevre­den homestead looking for new own­ers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

CAL­LIE PORTER and Ed Kok of Anne Porter Knight Frank have been ap­pointed agents for the sale of Wel­tevre­den, one of Stel­len­bosch’s his­toric Cape Dutch na­tional mon­u­ment home­steads.

The Wel­tevre­den homestead dates from 1812-1815, when it was built by Deborah Retief, sis­ter of the Voortrekker leader Piet, but the ti­tle deeds of the prop­erty (in favour of Hans Henske, a Ger­man from Ham­burg) go back to 1692.

The ex­ist­ing wine cel­lar was built in 1804.

Deborah Retief ’s ini­tials and those of her hus­band, Christof­fel Ester­huy­sen, are moulded into the plas­ter on a back gable on the homestead.

The homestead is in a tra­di­tional H-shape, the most pop­u­lar of all the Cape Dutch lay­outs, and has six or­nate gables, those on the ends be­ing in a Flem­ish style with a coronet mo­tif on the top.

To­wards the end of the 19th cen­tury at­tempts were made to Vic­to­ri­anise the build­ing in one way or an­other, but for­tu­nately the orig­i­nal lay­out and con­fig­u­ra­tion were kept, says Porter.

As part of this process in about 1910 the thatch roof was re­placed with cor­ru­gated iron and by 1995, when the cur rent own­ers took over, a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion was needed.

“The new own­ers had the re­sources and in-depth knowl­edge to tackle the restora­tion with to­tal ded­i­ca­tion. Through­out the lengthy task they kept in touch with the South African Her­itage Re­sources Agency and con­sulted ar­chae­o­log­i­cal, ar­chi­tec­tural and his­tory ex­perts.

“Only the ap­proved tra­di­tional build­ing ma­te­ri­als were used. For ex­am­ple, lime plas­ter (of the type that pre­ceded Port­land ce­ment) was ap­plied to the façades and this has proved ef­fec­tive in al­low­ing the walls to “breathe” (ex­ude mois­ture) and to ac­com­mo­date sea­sonal move­ment in the soft sun-dried clay bricks.

“Rare yel­low­wood for the floors and cer­tain roof tim­bers were ob­tained from the Tsit­sikamma For­est culling pro­gramme, and the win­dow glass of the sash win­dows was baked to achieve the orig­i­nal slightly un­even sur­faces.

“The roof, too, was com­pletely re­built us­ing mainly po­plar tim­bers (which are nat­u­rally re­sis­tant to borer bee­tle) and the own­ers also took the ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion to re­place the cor­ru­gated iron roof with thatch. Some of the thatch­ers used old thatch­ing nee­dles found in the brand­sol­der (loft).

The own­ers had the re­sources and in-depth knowl­edge to tackle the restora­tion with to­tal ded­i­ca­tion

Flank­ing the main home and part of the sale are a farm­house, in a mod­ern Cape Dutch style, a cot­tage and a long house, a for­mer wagon build­ing now con­verted into self-con­tained ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The prop­erty cov­ers 3.7 ha, which Kok says is a man­age­able size and suited to some­one seek­ing a life­style-cum-up­mar­ket hos­pi­tal­ity venue rather than a small farm­ing op­er­a­tion.

The list price for Wel­tevre­den is R19.8 mil­lion.

Call Ed Kok on 083 386 6999 or Cal­lie Porter on 072 409 4858.

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