Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Auld House
Swellendam, Western Cape

Client:Johannes Wilhelm Paulsen
Style:Cape Vernacular
Street:4 Voortrek Street


Click to view map

34°01'02.66" S 20°26'51.73" E Alt: 145m

Auld House. The land on which this house was built was granted to Johannes Wilhelm Paulsen in 1802. He built a T-shaped house on it. It was bought in 1826 by Joseph Barry, senior partner of the firm Barry & Nephews which, for more than half-a-century, dominated all trade in the Overberg region. In 1857 the house became the home of Barry's successor, his grand-nephew, John Joseph Barry - later a member of the Legislative Assembly. Later still, the house became the property of JJ Barry's son-in-law, GC Deneys Reid.

The house suffered from a fire in 1834. The fire affected the facade only, but Barry took the opportunity to enlarge the house by the addition of a row of rooms in front, with the extended voorkamer acting as a link and giving the house the shape of an H with a tail at the back, much like Meerlust. The new facade, with its eight-panelled door, low dormer gable and double-sliding sashes with slightly curved heads and both inner and outside louvred shutters, is a good example of the style of the 1830s. The end-gables are pedimented holbol, while that supporting the kitchen chimney is straight. John Joseph Barry added a room to the left wing in front. At the back, where the ground is sloping, the house is double-storeyed. Its interior, with most of its woodwork intact, is much like it was in die early 19th century.

A most interesting complex of outbuildings, two of them double-storeyed warehouses, others thatched, as well as some old chicken coops and some portions of old werf wall, forming a small courtyard directly behind the house, are a fascinating reminder of the Barry trade empire. The complex has been expertly restored.

[Oberholster p111.]

Books that reference Auld House

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pg 459-460
Swellendam Heritage Association. 2018. Treasures of Swellendam. Swellendam: Swellendam Heritage Association. pg 29