Gabriël Theron (Gawie) FAGAN: Restoration Architect 1973-1974
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The Drostdy has had a very checkered history. Bletterman, former landdrost of Stellenbosch, was granted 2 000 rix-dolars and sent to Tulbach to commence building the Drostdy. On 13 December 1804 the foundations were set out according to a plan drawn up by Bletterman, and when a landdrost, Hendrik van der Graaf, and heemraad were appointed on 7 January 1805, the work was already well advanced. Completion of the Drostdy was delayed by controversy which arose when van der Graaf arrived with THIBAULT, the Government Inspector of Buildings, and handed Bletterman a new plan drawn up by THIBAULT. Bletterman, assuming that the plans had been approved by the Governor, felt obliged to comply although it meant demolition of part of the half completed building. Costs were increased and only when funds were requested did it become apparent that Governor Janssens was not aware of THIBAULT's design. "I declare that I have been shamefully deceived by the country officials in the way in which I have been informed of the building projects in Tulbach" (Fagan 1975:44). By 1822 the building needed repairs and the cost of these repairs was one of the reasons for the drostdy being moved to Worcester. The building was then bought very cheaply by a young settler, Heatlie, who restored it for little money and used it for his private dwelling. By the turn of the century it was again in disrepair and was bought by Sir Meiring and Lady Beck who restored it, only to have it damaged by fire in the mid 1930s by James MORRIS. It was extensively damaged by the earthquake of 1969. It was then acquired by the National Monuments Council who again had it restored in 1973-1974 by GT FAGAN. 2015: It is now a museum with displays of early Cape furniture and household items and with an extensive collection of gramophones.
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