Stellenbosch Village Museum – Walking Through History
Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape, is one of South Africa’s historic towns containing an array of different attractions to explore. One of these being the Stellenbosch Village Museum, which has four wonderfully, restored homes to visit at your leisure. These four historic homes are Grosvenor House, Blettermanhuis, OM Berghs House, Shreuderhuis and their gardens. Each of these lovely homes represents Stellenbosch’s architectural development over the different oric periodshist. Not only will you be able to view the interior of the homes, during these time periods, but also you will be able to gain an idea of the layout of the garden, decorations showing you the tastes of that particular time period. Stellenbosch Village Museum will certainly keep you busy for hours!
Shreudeurhuis was the first house to be restored by the museum. Not only that but it is the oldest documented and restored town house in the whole of South Africa. It was built in 1709, and survived the enormous fire in Stellenbosch. The interior furnishings, hand made wooden furniture and garden are from 1680 – 1720, typical of a Stellenbosch home of that time.
The second home to be restored was Blettermanhuis, a typical 18th Century Cape style house. It was named for Hendrik Lodewyk Bletterman, the Dutch East India Company’s last magistrate, who they appointed in Stellenbosch. This lovely home illustrates how a wealthy home from around 1750 – 1790 would be furnished.
In 1782 Christian Ludolph Neethling built the original Grosvenor House and from there was added to by successive owners until its finished form in 1803. This double storey, patrician town house, with a flat roof, is a wonderful example of the building seen a lot in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.
Om Bergh house, the fourth home of the Stellenbosh Village Museum, represents the time period of 1850 to 1870. It originally had a thatched roof similar to that of the Blettermanhuis, but in the mid-nineteenth century it was changed to look like it does today. This home characterizes this period with its wallpaper, furniture and all the other trimmings. From 1836 to 1877 Olof Marthinus Bergh and his family lived there.