Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The legacy of a Manor House in Harrismith

The View Manor House built in 1912
as told by the hosts of De Oude Huize Yard
The original plans, by architect Edwin A Agutten, dated 23 May 1912. 
Mr Agutten was educated in London but was working in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa by 1906. 
He was in partnership MB Price from 1906 (until 1909 when he left for London. 
A year later he returned to South Africa, settling in Pretoria. 

The magnificent Town hall building was also designed by Messrs. Price and Agutter. 
There were a lot of extra red bricks available after the completion of the Town Hall and the extra bricks were utilized to build house and today you can see examples of these house like Tom's Place and The Olde Pastorie in Harrismith. 

You can read about the Town Hall on our blog here

The owner was A.W.N Duncan Esq. (known to all as Billy)
Esq. is the abbreviation for esquire, which signify a title of dignity which ranks above gentleman and directly below knight. 
Billy was the Manager of the then National Bank and he was one of the rate-payers to petition the Council to establish a Municipal Hospital.  


There was also a very strong Freemasonry in town and Billy was part of the Southern Cross 1778 Lodge. This Lodge was opened in 1891 
Mr Duncan named the house The View and it is still known as The View

The Original Garden gate with the name plague The View 
Mr Duncan was the Chairman of the Hospital board and he unveiled the corner stone

This Edwardian house, built in 1912, with its unique teak pillars 

The unique solid teak columns that support the roof of the veranda

The property was then sold to the Frame Weaving Cotton Mills and it was occupied by the Factory Manager Mr Longbottom and his family. 
It was then bought by Dr Kock whom stayed for a few years and then moved to Cape town.  
Mr Koos Blignaut, a Lawyer keeping practice at Cloete and Neveling then bought the house.  
Rijk and Bea Becker bought the property in October 1975.
Rijk practice as a medical doctor and was Mayor of the town in 1983

The View with a view 
The original stable door.
When Rijk and Bea bought the property the stables were still equipped as 

working stables for the  horses.  
The stables that has now been regenerated 
     Lets ring the bell and enter though the gates and learn more
The little cobble stones lead the way 

A fish pond with a difference
Turn the door knob and you open an olde world charm 
A peep through the windows 
Look at the beautiful brass hardware 

The owners did not want to show off their antiques we did manage to steal this photo
The entrance hall table 
The beautiful old fire places are all in working order 









Staircase still made of oregon pine 

Ceder, Pine, Pepper, Birch and Maple trees surround the house.
This is probably the biggest Pepper tree in South Africa 

Something about Rijk and Bea 

Rijk is the grandson of Jack Wearing Becker. 
He was part of the Wielrijders Rapportgangers during the Boer War and
was involved in reconnaissance for Danie Theron
Bea is the granddaughter of President Brand of the Free State 
Sir Johannes Henricus Brand was born in 1823 and died in 1888 and 
was the President of the Orange Free State from 1864 till 1888 and know to all as Jan Brand 
Her father was an ambassador and she grew up in Canada, Netherland, England,
Beirut, Lebanon and Greece.

Lots of blessings to you all 

Sandra 

Thank you for all the wonderful friends whom are sharing this story!!!