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Fleming House - Ronaldswaye
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape

Street:20 Bird Street


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33°57'54.44" S 25°37'00.53" E Alt: 62m

Designed in 1853 as a private house for William Fleming (of Heugh and Fleming). The building is typical of the Regency style which became popular in the city around this time. The house, which was one of the earliest villas to be built in the Bird Street area, is a double storey building with bay windows extending over both floors, with small pane sash windows. It is also noted for the fine iron work to the veranda and internal spiral stair case. The house has hosted many prominent visitors in its time, including Prince Alfred, who stayed here on his visit to the city in August 1860. In 1879 the house was sold to H.B. Christian, who gave it the name "Ronaldswaye". In 1911 it was bought by Marist Brothers and used as the Boys School, who added the extension, to the west, in 1916. Fortunately, the extensions are well considered and do not distract from the original building. Like many of the neighboring houses, it was bought by the University of Port Elizabeth in 1967 and used as part of the Bird Street campus.

It was declared a National Monument (now Provincial Heritage Site)

(Gerald Humphrey, July 2017)