LOCATION: The Groot Drakenstein valley
How the werf location, aspect, size and ownership histories of the farms in the Groot Drakenstein valley we are visiting were integral in shaping the werfs through time: the entirely self-sufficient Babylonstoren and the network of farms in the De Villiers family holdings & Solms Delta.
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.
Babylonstoren garden replicates the Company’s Garden layout, aided by Patrice Taravella‘s design.
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.
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.