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Vergelegen, Somerset West, Western Cape

Client:Willem Adriaan van der Stel
Style:Cape Dutch


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34°04'35.19" S 18°53'23.70" E

1700 The most important grant in Hottentots Holland is made to Willem Adriaan van der Stel by Wouter Valckenier. It was about 400 morgen (342.52Ha). Van der Stel built the house. Read more

1708 By company orders the property was confiscated, divided into four parts and auctioned. Barend Gildenhuys bought the part with the house on it. Although the company had ordered the house to be demolished as setting an example of ostentation, probably only the back third was pulled down while the rest almost certainly remained unchanged until the time of the first rethatching, c1740.

c1740 The first rethatching and probably at this stage the house was given the early-straight end gables.

1770s During the late 1770s the owner of the house was Jacob Malan, youngest son of Daniel Malan of Morgenster.

1780s Rudolph Johannes Loubser, who married Catharina Morkel, Malan's widow, must have been responsible for the front-gable which was probably done at the second rethatching.

1789 MW Theunissen (Die Held van Blouberg) acquired Vergelegen; he is traditionally credited with rebuilding some of the end-gables, though the present ones, holbol, seem earlier.

1816 A new wine cellar, the present library, is built.

1917 The property is bought by randlord Sir Lionel Phillips and Lady Phillips and restored.

[Fransen Hans, 2004. A guide to the old buildings of the Cape. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp, 246-8. Vergelegen website.]

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pg 22
Hatfield, Denis. 1967. Some South African monuments. Cape Town: Purnell. pg 16
Trotter, Alys Fane. 1928. Old Cape Colony. A chronicle of her men and houses from 1652 to 1806. London: Selwyn & Blount. pg 114, 116, 124 et seq.
Pearse, GE Fig. 35. Lay-out at Vergelegen: in Pearse, Geoffrey Eastcott. 1957. Eighteenth century architecture in South Africa: pp 46