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Until the middle of the 19th century the river side of Church St did not have any houses (except Ballotina), but consisted of the narrow strips of land belonging to the properties above the street. Later some subdivision took place, the Church sold off further erven, and a few houses were built there, too. This property was bought by PS van der Merwe and his mother in 1852; it was then vacant garden land. He built a small house on it, probably for himself (he was unmarried): two rooms deep, with a room on either side of the entrance passage and three at the back, one a kitchen, with a high thatch roof and a pointed gable, all as customary in the 1850s. By 1895 it had not only been Victorianised, but also doubled in length. During restoration in 1971 it was reduced to its original size, while an outside chimney was retained.
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