Oldest house in Robertson comes onto the market

An historic Cape Dutch manor house has come onto the market in the town of Robertson in the Cape‘s scenic Breede River Valley.

“De Oude Opstal” is one of the two oldest properties in the entire town, already appearing on a map as “the old farmhouse” at the time Robertson was formally proclaimed in 1853.  Whilst its exact provenance is not known, the style of the home’s gable suggests that it was built in the early 19th century. Occupying an erf of over 5500sqm, this well-preserved home is now available for purchase exclusively through Pam Golding Properties (PGP), priced at R3.65 million.  The adjoining vacant plot of 2500qm is also for sale, at an additional R1.3 million.

PGP’s Robertson agent Jolette Viviers says the home has been beautifully restored and modernised, and has been run as a successful guesthouse since 2010.  “The split-level home includes a total of six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two spacious reception rooms,” she says, “all set within a magnificent garden with numerous large trees.  A small river runs through the property all year round, and its location in a quiet cul de sac creates an atmosphere of farm-style living, even though it is actually in the heart of a peaceful suburban area, close to the town centre.”

Other features of the property include a natural pond with a small sandy beach and gazebo, as well as a large swimming pool measuring 7m x 15m.  The home also boasts views over the Langeberg mountains which border the scenic “valley of wine and roses”, as Robertson is commonly known.

Whilst the exact construction date may not be known, Viviers says the property’s history is not a blank page.  “We do know that a wagon-making family, the Streichers, lived in the house in the 1890’s, at a time when this craft was becoming increasingly important for transporting the fruits of the Cape’s fertile farms to the up-country mining settlements.  But sadly after this heyday had passed, the property fell into disrepair.  It was purchased on auction for the princely sum of R2400 in 1945, in a completely ruined condition.  A young businessman named Johan de Jong bought the property in what was at the time considered a terribly risky transaction – locals thought he was mad to exchange a perfectly good modern home for an old ruin.  With a limited budget but ample enthusiasm, de Jong set about renovating the property, preserving the original doors and windows with their hand-made glass, but replacing the thatch roof and a great deal of ailing woodwork and walling.  Once the project was complete, he moved his family into the home and filled it with a renowned collection of antique furniture.”

The current owners purchased the property in 2010 and converted it into a guesthouse, which has received a four-star rating by the Tourism Grading Council.  This makes it an appealing proposition for buyers who would like to continue running the business, says PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg.  “The tourism industry in Robertson is growing steadily, thanks to its location on the scenic Route 62, and its growing number of popular festivals such as the Hands on Harvest, Robertson Slow and the Wacky Wine Weekend,” she says.  “The property also has the distinction of being the only Cape Dutch guesthouse in the town, adding to its appeal to both local and international visitors.”

Borg adds that De Oude Opstal would also make a wonderful family home. “Robertson offers an enviable outdoor lifestyle with numerous activities for the whole family to enjoy, from bird-watching to mountain-biking or even a round of golf at the new 18-hole Silwerstrand golf course, which opened in April,” she says.  “The valley also contains a number of leading wine estates such as Van Loveren and De Wetshof.  Infrastructure has grown to the point where the town now offers a full complement of retail, sporting, medical and schooling options, including a private English-medium school.  This is a wonderful lifestyle for residents of all ages, and being just 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, is perfectly accessible for weekenders and holiday-makers.”

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