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HISTORIC “OLD MILL” FOR SALE IN STANFORD

An historic property dating back to the 1830’s has come onto the market in the Cape Overberg town of Stanford.  The quaint Victorian town is located some 24km inland from Hermanus, on the banks of the Kleine River.  “The Old Mill” occupies just under 3000sqm of land in the heart of the town.  The property is on the market exclusively through Pam Golding Properties, priced at R3.010 million.

The Old Mill can trace its history back even further than the existence of the town of Stanford itself.  The Kleine Rivier Valley was first settled by farmers in the 1730’s.  But it was not until 1838 that Captain Robert Stanford retired from the British Army and elected to settle in the valley, buying up the surrounding farmland to establish his own substantial operation.  Stanford supplied fresh meat and vegetables to the British government, transporting the supplies by ox-wagon to the coast, and then shipping it to Cape Town in his own cutter.  He also commissioned the building of a large mill to grind wheat, importing it from Scotland and hiring a Scottish miller to run the operation.  The mill began operating in 1839, and played a vital role in the development of the area.  The town of Stanford was laid out and settled in the surrounding area in 1857, and from then until the mill closed, local residents would use the millstream as a public shower, with many a sportsman cooling off there after a game of rugby or tennis.

The mill closed in the 1940’s, and most of its pieces were carted away for scrap, while the main teak beam was built into the fireplace of a local farmhouse.  In the 1980’s an extensive renovation was carried out on the original labourer’s cottage – and it is this homestead which is now for sale through PGP.  The modernised cottage offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a cosy country kitchen, lounge and large family room with views towards the surrounding mountains.  A vine-covered pergola keeps the home cool in summer, and gives way to a rambling garden leading down to the old mill-house.  This could easily be converted into a magnificent two-bedroomed cottage, should the new owners require a granny flat or guest accommodation.  The property also contains a double garage with an attached laundry and half-bathroom.  The large garden includes a number of original fig trees and vines, and is fed by lei water.
PGP’s area manager for the greater Hermanus area, Adrian Kuiper, says the property is not only a piece of Stanford history, but also occupies an ideal position within the town.  “The Old Mill is located in Caledon Street, home to many of the town’s oldest and historically significant buildings.  It is close to the banks of the Kleine River, and enjoys wonderful views of the surrounding Akkedisberg mountains.  This quiet yet central location is the perfect place to enjoy the town’s scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere, as well as its convivial community atmosphere.”

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, adds that Stanford has evolved into a vibrant community.  “During the 1940’s, this once-prosperous farming town underwent a slump, as the focus shifted to the coast with the development of Hermanus and Gansbaai as tourism and fishing centres,” she says.  “But it experienced something of a rebirth in the last decade of the previous century, as it was ‘re-discovered’ by Capetonians seeking an accessible destination for weekend getaways. Many bought holiday homes here, and these new residents joined with the existing locals to lobby for the preservation of the town’s unique Victorian character.  Their efforts saw the old village declared a conservation area, and there has since been a flurry of renovation and restoration activity in the town, resulting in some magnificent homesteads being brought back to life and prosperity.  New businesses and restaurants have opened, artists and crafters have settled in the town, and the Birkenhead Brewery now produces some of the most delicious beer in the Western Cape.  It is a colourful, warm community with a strong sense of the town’s history – so the new owners of The Old Mill should find many kindred spirits in the town.”
To view The Old Mill, or for more information on property for sale in Stanford, contact PGP agent Jill Smith on 028 341 0708 or 083 700 4103, or visit the PGP website at www.pamgolding.co.za/stanford.  PGP’s area manager for the greater Hermanus area, Adrian Kuiper, can be reached at adrian.kuiper@pamgolding.co.za.


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