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Schoongezicht - Lanzerac
Idas Valley, Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Date:n.d. : 1830 : 1914
Style:Cape Dutch


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33°56'15.18" S 18°53'38.94" E Alt: 174m

Lanzerac, formerly known as Schoongezicht, was granted in 1692, partly to free blacks, Manuel and Anthony of Angola, and Louis of Bengal, and partly to Isaac Schryver. The latter, before taking out free papers, had been a Company soldier, a Sergeant, later promoted Ensign. This was no parade-ground Sergeant: Schryver could prospect for copper, chase run-away slaves, brave lions and barter cattle with the Hottentots [Khoekhoen]. As Ensign, he had led a party of 22 men nigh on 500 mile into Hottentot territory, come within five days' march of the shadowy Kobona and returned with all safe and a thousand head of cattle - a record for any cattle-bartering expedition till then. Not all his cattle were bartered, either. A man of parts, Ensign Schryver. (de Bosdari 1953:62)

The farm was passed down through several generations and was transferred in 1808 to Coenraad Johannes Fick who almost certainly built the house still standing there, dated 1830. In 1842 it was transferred to Pieter Gerhard van der Bijl. (Fransen 2004:197) A number of outbuildings predate the homestead, with gables ranging in style from holbol to simple neo-classical. (Picton-Seymour 1989:65)

In 1900 the farm was owned by the Hon. John X Merriman, last prime minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

In 1914, Schoongezicht was bought by Elizabeth Katherina English for 18 000 pounds. She changed the name of the farm from Schoongezicht to Lanzerac. She made extensive alterations to the outbuildings, as well as the house, which she elongated. (Lanzerac website: accessed September 2015)

2015: it is now an estate with wine cellar, hotel accommodation, restaurant and galleries.

Writings about this entry

De Bosdari, C. 1953. Cape Dutch Houses and Farms, their architecture and history. Cape Town / Amsterdam: AA Balkema. pg 62
Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pg 197
Fraser, Maryna. 1981. The story of two Cape farms. Johannesburg: Barlow Rand. pg 3-23
Hoefsloot, Ted (illustrations) & Pama, Cor (text). 1980. Cape Wine Homesteads. Johannesburg: AD Donker. pg 68, 69 ill
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 65
Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 146
Stadsraad van Stellenbosch. 1929. Stellenbosch 1679-1929. Stellenbosch: Hortors. pg
Trotter, Alys Fane. 1900. Old colonial houses of the Cape of Good Hope : illustrated and described. London: B. T. Batsford. pg 14, plate XXI