Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past Y3-04

Greyton is a small town in the Overberg area in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Before Greyton was established in 1854, the verdant plains and forested ravines of the area were home to the Hassequas khoikhoi tribe who had their kraals near the Gobos river, which they named after their ancestral chief. Their many thousand heads of cattle and sheep were the reason why Ensign Schriver of the Castle of Good Hope was sent here in the late 1600s to barter with their head man, Captain Stoffel Koekson. So rich did Koekson become from this bartering that he eventually took his people to live in the Boschmanskloof, where he built them proper mud-brick houses, the foundations of which still lie under the old houses of Boschmanskloof today.

Weltevreden farm

In 1793, Koekson’s tribal lands were given to the young Dutchman Marthinus Theunissen, who built a homestead (no longer standing) on his farm Weltevreden. He did not stay long because he could not resolve the constant disputes with his neighbours at Boschmanskloof and Genadendal over boundaries and straying cattle.

Subsequent owners of Weltevreden included two wealthy brothers of the famous Cloete family from Constantia who bred horses. Marthinus Theunissen himself became a very wealthy man in Stellenbosch, owning Vergelegen at one time.

Agricultural village

In 1846 a wealthy Englishman, Herbert Vigne, bought Weltevreden. He established a freehold agricultural village on Weltevreden in 1854, keeping two small portions for himself and bequeathing the remainder of the farm as commonage. He named the village “Greyton”, after Sir George Grey, the then Governor of the Cape.

Old shed and wagon in Greyton

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4 thoughts on “Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past Y3-04

  1. Very interesting article! I don’t know what kind of filters you used in the first image, but it looks great – it gives it a vintage look. Thank you for showing me a part of the world I will never see in person.

    Liked by 1 person

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