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Swellendam, Western Cape

Style:Cape Dutch
Street:16 (19) Van Oudtshoorn Road


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34°00'54.71" S 20°27'00.57" E Alt: 157m

This is the first house of the Secretary of the Drostdy, who lived there from the time it was built in 1747 until 1813. It is U-shaped in plan, one wing (containing the kitchen) longer than the other. But both Schumacher (1777) and Gordon (1790) show it L-shaped; it probably became a U after the 1824 fire. About 1853 the three Misses Anderson (daughters of the missionary at Pacaltsdorp) started a girls' school there, and a couple of collages in the Drostdy, made of seaweed and watercolour by one of the three sisters, show the house with its old windows removed and early Victorian sashes in their place. By 1890 it went through a double-storey phase. Early this century it was bought by a private owner, who extensively altered the house and removed the upper storey. Yet the beams and the ceiling planks, never having been painted, are as fine as those of the Drostdy. The house then became part of a home for aged people. Plans existed to have it demolished, but the provincial administration stepped in and had it restored to its mid-19th-century appearance by GT FAGAN, who gave it a simple holbol gable at the side and a dormer in front. The old house is now in use as a craft school.

[Fransen 2004:458.]

Writings about this entry

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 458
Swellendam Heritage Association. 2018. Treasures of Swellendam. Swellendam: Swellendam Heritage Association. pg 22