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House Capt. Elsworth - The Rafters
St James, Western Cape

Lancelot Andrew ELSWORTH: Design Architect

Street:Upper Quarterdeck Rd

Cumming-George 1933

SOMETHING quite different to that which is usual is generally the choice of an architect who builds for himself. This house at St. James on the False Bay coast is a charming study of the 14th century farmhouse type adapted to modern times. Simplicity was the keynote of domestic architecture during the middle ages, and here on the rugged slopes which overlook the False Bay, this small house is delightfully typical.

The foundations of rough mountain stone have walls above of rough plaster on brick showing the marks of the trowel. On the S.E. elevation the most striking feature is the change from the square of the garage to the octagonal end of the sitting room with its softly rounded shingle roof.

Windows, mostly of two light casements follow traditional lines, the hall door, constructed on simple Tudor lines, is composed of moulded battens with wrought iron strap hinges and thumb latches. A frieze of softly moulded plaster work in which the name of the house "The Rafters", is embodied, is finished on either side with vine pattern.

Above the doorway is the gabled sleeping balcony projecting somewhat on wooden corbels, its front of waney-edged weather boarding.

Within the house, the lounge, which is octagonal at one end, shows the roof trusses of yellow wood with moulded king posts.

The plan is that of small hall, dining-room, lounge, a staircase hall and a small self-contained suite of rooms

Upstairs three bedrooms, the sleeping balcony and bathroom. A play-room-boxroom is also included and entered from the balcony.

(SAAR Nov 1933:278)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 115 ill, 116 ill