Places To See in Durbanville

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Durbanville Nature Reserve

The discovery of a small patch of Aristea lugens, a member of the Iridacea family (long thought to be extinct), by Mrs R Linder, Dr W P O Jackson and Prof A Barnard, while walking on the common near the Durbanville racecourse in 1960, led to the National Council of Women's resolution to establish a nature reserve in the area. The Town Council was approached and 4 hectares were made available.

Under the guidance of Mesdames Jackie Boreham and Janet Starke the National Council of Women laid out paths and brought some order to this strip of "fynbos". In 1963 the Municipality gave a further 2 hectares of disused rubbish dump and fenced the entire area. The National Council of Women called on farmers to assist in the clearing of the Port Jackson trees in the new area and Koos Eksteen, a local farmer, offered to plant proteas. Thus the origin of the Durbanville Nature Reserve.It was not until 1966 that the Department of Nature Conservation proclaimed it as a reserve and subsidised the running costs.

The National Council of Women continued to work voluntarily until 1967 when the first advisory board was appointed, jointly by the Municipality and the Department of Conservation.Seeing the progress, other local organisations became involved, sundry benches were given and the local Rotarians erected the gates.

The first curator was appointed by the Municipality in 1981 and the aims of the Nature were in sight, viz to promote, protect and further the interest in this unique area of "fynbos" situated between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, where not only "fynbos" and "renosterbos" abound; and such rare species as Protea odorata Seruria brownii and Aristea lugens may be seen.To this end Council built a small information centre in 1984, where a herbarium will be started and illustrated lectures given to promote an awareness of our unique heritage for the youth and public in general.

27 Church Street - Durbanville27 Church Street

A double-storied Edwardian building dating c1900 with two projection wings and a double-story verandah on two sides. The verandah has fine cast-iron columns and brackets and has recently been restored. The walls have plaster ornamentation such as quoins and elaborate window surrounds. The broad main door has six panes and side and fan lights. The windows are narrow, high Edwardian sashes. This is one of the best remaining Edwardian buildings in Durbanville and was probably built by the same owner as Kings Court in the same Street.

All Saints Church

The Anglican Church was established in 1860 and declared a National Monument on 30 July 1982 after being enlarged in the same year. Many articles of historical interest can be found in the church and rectory. The Baptismal font, made from stone from the city of Bath in England, is inscribed with the word "D'Urban". Also of interest is the original church bell that used to be a ship's bell dating from 1812. Visitors are always welcome.

Dutch Reformed Church - DurbanvilleDutch Reformed Church Weyers Avenue

This National monument was built in 1826. It has undergone several changes since the early days, including the extension of the front porch in 1859, enlargement in 1891 and a new bell in 1903. It was extensively restored in 1974/5 before being declared a National Monument on 29 August 1975. Visitors wishing to see the inside of the church must make an appointment.

King's Court on Church Street

This is possibly the best remaining Edwardian gentlmans residence in the Northern Suburbs and has been subjected to restoration of high quality by Dr Kings Court Durbanvilleand Mrs Smook and was declared a National Monument on 12 May 1989. The first owner was Mr King, the following Andrew Murray.

The building dates back to c1905, is a doubl-story and has an iron roof and two projection gabled wings with bargeboard ornamentation and finials. The walls have plaster quoins and window surrounds. There is a double-story verandah and two sides with cast-iron columns, brackets and railings. The windows are Victorian sashes. There are four fireplaces of which two have marble surrounds and two have wooden. Viewing of the interior of Kings Court is strictly by appointment.

Onze Molen c/o High and Onze Molen Streets

In 1801 when present day Durbanville was known as Pampoenkraal, two morgan of land was granted to the burgher Johannes Jacobus Uys and the widow Roeland, who appeared to have been his mother-in-law. The land was named Johannesfontein, probably after Uys. Jan Uys as he was known, was the great-grandson of the first Uys, who came to the Cape after 1700.

The parcel of land was too small for agriculture, and the keeping of stock was expressly forbidden. It was however the standard size granted to artisans and tradesmen on which to ply their trade and build their homes. Uys was granted a further 36 morgan in 1812, and the entire property was sold to Mezst van der Spuy Meyburgh in 1837, shortly before Uys died.

The earliest windmills in the Cape were situated along the Liesbeek and Black Rivers, but the steady increase in demand for wheat products rendered these mills inadequate. Resultantly a number of mills, of which Onze Molen was one, were built in the outlying areas. While the exact date of the construction of Onze Molen is not known, a meticulously surveyed diagram prepared in 1848 shows the mill located in its present position on the original erf of 1901. Circumstantial evidence tends to indicate that Uys himself erected the mill.

In 1809 Uys was the Field-Cornet of the district Tijgerberg, responsible for the collection of tax returns and probably held this position when William Burchell, on his journey to Tulbagh, outspanned at Pampoenkraal on a wet afternoon in June 1811. He recorded in his journal:

"The Veldcornet here paid a visit to our wagons merely out of curiosity to know who we were. We purchased from him some wine and bread."

Perhaps the flour was ground at Onze Molen.

In the early 20th Century the roof, wings and machinery were removed and in later years it became derelict. It was eventually turned into a labourer's cottage.

The farm was bought by Mr B Brinkworth in 1963 and was renamed Onze Molen by Mrs Brinkworth. Investigations into the possible restoration of the building were originated, but the project appeared to be impractical and in 1983 Mrs Brinkworth sold the property to the Natal Building Society, which researched the situation thoroughly with the help of the National Monuments Council.

No plan was found and little specific information was available, so much of the restoration was based on the well-known Mostert Mill situated on De Waal Drive (Cape Town), which is of an earlier period. The authorities on Mill Architecture feel that their assumptions are reasonable in the absence of concrete evidence to the contrary.

The beautifully restored mill stands as the proud centrepiece of the Onze Molen development and Durbanville is rightfully grateful to private enterprises for saving this valuable piece of history for posterity. Because it is situated on land designated as Public Open Space, the Durbanville Municipality has assumed responsibility for it.

ian sashes. There are four fireplaces of which two have marble surrounds and two have wooden. Viewing of the interior of Kings Court is strictly by appointment.

Police Station DurbanvillePolice Station

The police station was built in 1919 and is typical of the Cape Dutch revival architecture of its period. A single-story, U-shaped building with wings and tall Flemish gables and arched verandahs between the wings.

Also present are the clasic Byzantine pillars and arches. The building has large sashes with small panes and round vents and louvres. There are a number of good quality six-panel double doors and a distinctive tall chimney.

 

Rose Garden DurbanvilleRose Garden Situated on Durban Road

This 3.5ha park with its 500 different varieties of roses, is open to the public daily (entry is free) and with its 4 500 rose bushes puts on one of nature's most incredible annual floral spectaculars one could ever wish to see.

The ground, part of the old Eversdal Estate, on which the rose garden has been manifested, was originally donated by the Schabort family. An initiative of the Western Cape Rose Society, the Rose Garden was established in 1979 and is today maintained by the Durbanville Municipality along with volunteers from "Friends of The Rose Garden" who do a sterling job in maintaining this magnificent showpiece.

Cream teas are served in the club house on Sundays from October to May and small quiet functions are permitted provided no alcohol is served and no amplified music is played.

Enquiries: 021 970 3024/5 (Wheelchair Friendly)

 

Rust en Vrede Wellington Street

The building of this historic complex dates back to 1840's to 1850's. Rust en Vrede reflects a harmonious blending of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architectural elements. The complex consists of a T-shaped main building with 1920's modern replacement Cape Dutch gable and a corrugated-iron roof. The entrance has wooden grooved columns and double doors with an attractive Georgian sunburst fanlight.

The windows are small pane sashes with solid half shutters and inside folding shutters. Floors, ceiling and grooved beams are of pine. At the back there is a semi-detached extension with two stepped parapets and veranda.The original building was built in 1840 when it served as a gaol and police quarters until 1856. After an appeal to the Governor, from a resident magistrate, a courthouse was built.It was here that the first Village Management Committee meetings were held. In 1901 with the registering of Durbanville as a Municipality, the council meetings were held here regularly, until the completion of the town hall.

Mr Meenley (a clock maker) bought the property in 1926 when a new magistrate's court was built in Bellville It was converted into 4 semi-detached houses, the Meenely family occupying the front section.In 1976 after the demise of Mrs Meneely the Municipality bought the property (1987) from the Meenely estate and renovated it between 1983-1984. It was proclaimed a National Monument on 26 October 1987 by the NMC (National Monuments Committee).

Rust-en-Vrede now houses the Durbanville Cultural Society, The Clay Museum, The Potter's Shop, The Gallery Café and a Tourism Information Office.

The Synagogue DurbanvilleThe Synagogue

The old Synagogue situated at 6 Church Street, is a simple double-story building ornamented in the Byzantine Rivival style with a straight iron roof and a triangular front gable. The side windows and upper floor front windows have rounded heads and small panes. The side walls are buttressed. The front wall has rustic plaster work and the set-back porch has side pillars and double front doors with glazed circular windows. The original building dates from c1875 and served as the Dutch Reformed Church hall of which only the walls and floor structure remain. It was rebuilt as a synagogue about 1927 and was leased to the Jewish Community until 1954 when they purchased the property.

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