Werf layout and circumstances: the entirely self-sufficient Babylonstoren and the network of farms in the De Villiers family holdings & Solms Delta in the Groot Drakenstein valley
Meet at Babylonstoren in time for the 10am garden tour by the resident horticulturalist (your R10 entrance entitles you to this). The garden replicates the Company’s Garden layout, aided by Patrice Taravella‘s design.
The outing starts at 11am, in the Babylonstoren car park.
Our outing is designed to investigate how the location, aspect, size and ownership histories of the farms we are visiting were integral in shaping the werfs through time.
The De Villiers family was very influential in this valley’s history and we shall see the degree to which each farm was incorporated into the vast and wealthy de Villiers dynasty – and the effect that had on its physical layout.
Babylonstoren was outside this family network for much of its history and so needed to be self-sufficient, while the De Villiers farms formed a network of resources. Thus we start at Babylonstoren to see how this need to be self-sufficient this translates into built fabric.
Then we wend our way to Solms Delta, stopping at other werfs that belonged to the De Villiers family network, noting the differences that brought into the built fabric. We end at Solms Delta, where Katie will give us an insider tour of the archaeological investigations she is currently busy with on the werf, including the architectural puzzles the old stables have revealed
Lunch is at Solms Delta – Bring your own picnic or book at their restaurant Fyndraai. 021 874 3937. The offer a delicious cheeseboard with paired wines for R130.
Visiting the museum over the lunch break is ‘’required reading’’ before Katie’s detailed tour starts after lunch.
Directions: Travel on the N1, take the R44 turn off., turning left at the second stop street, heading towards Franschhoek. Babylonstoren is on your right.
Solms Delta is on the R45, 3 ks on your left after the R310 intersection, in the Franschhoek direction.
Outings are restricted to paid up members only