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House CL Andersson: Dolobran
Parktown, Johannesburg, Gauteng

James Alfred COPE-CHRISTIE: Architect



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26°10'42.59" S 28°02'15.04" E

Dolobran was built in 1906 for Sir Charles Llewellyn Andersson, son of the famous explorer Carl Andersson. Andersson had amassed millions by speculation and brilliant accountancy. He was a prominent figure in the mining and financial world.

The mansion was towered and turreted in a romantic mixture of medievalism and Queen Anne Style. The Llewellyn Andersons rejected the original design by Herbert BAKER which was less elaborate. They considered the windows too small for the heat and bright light of Africa.

Dolobran is a two-storey building with many gables and a curious assortment of windows, some inlayed with stained glasswork. The interior is equally romantic with a particularly magnificent entrance hall with a double staircase leading to a broad landing lit by the most spectacular of the stained glass windows. The house was designed around this high central hall within the overall rectangular form of the ground floor plan. There is a variety of shapes in the rooms and bay windows, stoeps and verandahs. Most of the fittings, lamp brackets and chandeliers were art nouveau. The study is located in the octagonal tower. The retaining wall which raises the garden above Oxford Road had elaborate cast-iron railings that Sir Llewellyn salvaged during the demolition of the second Corner House. A fishpond, dove-cote and weather vane on the cupola put the finishing touches to Dolobran.


Transcription of the blue plaque:

This house was designed by J.A. Cope Christie
in 1905 for Charles Llewellyn Andersson (later Sir),
an accountant, who helped raise, served with and
later commanded the South African Light Horse
Regiment. After the occupation of Johannesburg
he returned to civilian life and assisted the
military administration as a
Justice of the Peace.
Parktown & Westcliff Heritage Trust

Click here to read an article from the Saturday Star January 3 2015, "Doloran mansion sits smug among Baker's Joburg icons"

Writings about this entry

Barry, Margaret & Law, Nimmo. 1985. Magnates and Mansions - Johannesburg 1886-1914. Johannesburg: Lowry Publishers. pg 116-119
Benjamin, Arnold, Aron, Helen & Zar, Shirley. 1972. Parktown, 1892-1972 : a social and pictorial history. Johannesburg: Studio Thirty-Five. pg
MacMillan, Allister & Rosenthal, Eric. 1948. Homes of the Golden City. Cape Town: Hortors. pg 2 ill
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 329, 331
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 157
Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 198
van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pg 161-163
Viney, Graham with Proust, Alain (Photography). 1987. Colonial houses of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik-Winchester. pg 231-243