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Rhone
Franschhoek district, Western Cape

Date:1795
Type:Homestead
Style:Cape Dutch
Status:Extant

Neither holder of the original grants of 1691 of Rhone and Languedoc stayed on to farm his lands, and later the properties were merged by Jean Garde, the rough walls of his simple dwelling surviving within the present structure. In 1727 Claudine Lombard acquired the property, and 25 years later Rhone was taken over by her son-in-law, Pieter Joubert, His wife, Magdalena van Hoeting, outlived him by a number of years. Marrying for the second time, she and her new husband Gerrit Victor completed the building of Rhone homestead which had started before the untimely death of her first husband.

Although on a less pretentious scale than neighbouring Boschendal, Rhone is by far the more elegant of the two houses. Neo-classical in concept, the front gable is dated 1795, the triangular pediment flanked by urns above the more conventional flutings and scrolls of the plasterwork. The house stands upon a plinth-like stoep and at each corner of the H-plan, pilasters rise to support the crisply moulded holbol end-gables. The fanlight over the front door is hooped with ellipses in a most pleasing manner, and the sash windows of the facade have curved tops, similar to those of Boschendal. The interior woodwork too, is delicate in design and there is a louvred screen dividing the beamed, high-ceilinged main rooms.

Throughout the last century Rhone was farmed by the Haupt family, until it was acquired by Cecil John RHODES for his fruit farming scheme, together with Boschendal, Good Hope and other neighbouring farmlands. Fully restored in recent times as a taphuis by the Anglo American Corporation, Rhone, together with the buildings surrounding the werf, has a sophistication not often encountered in the vernacular building type of such homesteads.

(Picton-Seymour, 1989: 59)

For further information on the measured drawings see Pearse Collection.


Writings about this entry

Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pg 32
Trotter, Alys Fane. 1928. Old Cape Colony. A chronicle of her men and houses from 1652 to 1806. London: Selwyn & Blount. pg 188-190
Trotter, Alys Fane. 1900. Old colonial houses of the Cape of Good Hope : illustrated and described. London: B. T. Batsford. pg Frontice [Plate XXXIII]
Fassler, J Plate 89. Rhone, Groot Drakenstein. Plaster Details(J. Fassler delt. From Measured Drawings by C. J. Slade.): in Pearse, Geoffrey Eastcott. 1957. Eighteenth century architecture in South Africa: pp 139
Fassler, J Plate 90. Rhone, Groot Drakenstein. Joinery Details (From Measured Drawings by C. J. Slade. J. Fassler delt): in Pearse, Geoffrey Eastcott. 1957. Eighteenth century architecture in South Africa: pp 140