Blueprint from the past

Blueprint from the past

Did you know that many of the old buildings in Stellenbosch were shaped like letters of the alphabet? In his 1965 book James Walton beautifully explains and illustrates the development of the T-shape, H-shape and U-shaped houses, each time giving a real farmstead as example.

He explains that most Dutch settlers initially stayed in simple, rectangular cottages with 2 or three rooms, similar to what would in recent years be occupied by farm labourers. Later, as the settlers’ families and income grew, their dwellings expanded, eventually developing into the Cape Dutch style we know today.

Important features of 18th century dwellings were the kitchen, voorhuis, achterhuis and stoep. Walton explains:

The first step in the development of the Cape house appears to have been the removal of the kitchen from the main rectangular block to a point at the rear of the house, giving a T-shaped plan. Such a house had an entrance hall, or voorhuis, flanked by a bedroom on each side and with a doorway leading to the kitchen at the rear. The kitchen originally served also as a dining room but later a cupboard was placed across the middle to separate the two parts.

Here is Walton’s visual representation of how the Cape Dutch floorplan developed.

 

Cottage

Below is the floor plan of a simple two room dwelling used by most of the Cape settlers. This one is based on a cottage from Zuurbrak.

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T-shaped house

This upside-down T-shaped dwelling is still relatively small but the kitchen has been moved to the back of the house. In this floor plan from Saxenburg, two bedrooms look out unto a stoep.

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H-shaped house

This horizontal H-shaped house is similar to the T-shape, but rooms are added to the back of the house. In this example from Nederburg  the stoep extends around the whole house

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U-shaped house

This large U-shaped house has an elegant floor plan with courtyard and multitude of rooms.

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The aerial map at the top is based on the 1817 map by Hertzog, the young landmeter. Read about him in our blog about Hertestraat. If you are lucky enough to live in a house from the 18th or early 19th century, please share your picture of your U-shaped, T-shaped or H-shaped house !

Article: Y Coetsee 2017
Sources: Stellenbosch Drie Eeue (1979)
James Walton. Homesteads and Villages of South Africa (1965)

——live Stellenbosch——–


 

Het jy geweet dat heelwat historiese geboue in Stellenbosch soos letters van die alfabet lyk? James Walton illustreer in sy 1965-boek hoe die T-vormige, H-vormige en U-vormige huise ontwikkel het, en gee telkens ‘n historiese plaashuis as voorbeeld.

Walton verduidelik dat meeste Hollandse setlaars aanvanklik in eenvoudige, reghoekige huisies met 2 of 3 kamers gebly het, soortgelyk aan wat in moderne jare as ‘plaaswerkershuisies’ geklassifiseer sou word. Later, namate die settlaars se families en inkomste gegroei het, het hul huise uitgebrei. Hul wonings het uiteindelik ontwikkel tot die Kaaps-Hollandse styl wat ons vandag ken.

Belangrike kenmerke van 18de-eeuse woonhuise was die kombuis, voorhuis, achterhuis en stoep. Walton verduidelik:

The first step in the development of the Cape house appears to have been the removal of the kitchen from the main rectangular block to a point at the rear of the house, giving a T-shaped plan. Such a house had an entrance hall, or voorhuis, flanked by a bedroom on each side and with a doorway leading to the kitchen at the rear. The kitchen originally served also as a dining room but later a cupboard was placed across the middle to separate the two parts.

Visuele voorstelling van hoe die Kaapse Hollands vloerplan ontwikkel het.

Kothuis

Hier is die vloerplan van ‘n eenvoudige tweekamerhuis wat deur die meeste Kaapse setlaars gebruik is. Hierdie een is gebaseer op ‘n huisie uit Zuurbrak.

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T-vormige huis

Die (onderstebo) T-vormige huis is steeds relatief klein, maar die kombuis is na die agterkant van die huis verskuif. In hierdie vloerplan van Saxenburg sien mens twee slaapkamers wat op ‘n voorstoep uitkyk.

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H-vormige huis

Die H-vormige huis is soortgelyk aan die T-vormige een, maar ‘n kamer is aan die agterkant van die huis bygevoeg. In hierdie voorbeeld uit Nederburg strek die stoep rondom die hele huis.

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U-vormige huis

Dié groot U-vormige huis het ‘n elegante vloerplan met ‘n binnehof en heelwat kamers.

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Die kaart heelbo is gebaseer op die 1817 kaart van Stellenbosch, opgemeet deur die jong landmeter Hertzog – lees oor hom in ons blog oor Hertestraat. As jy bevoorreg genoeg is om in ‘n 18de of vroeë 19de eeuse huis te bly, deel asseblief ‘n foto van jou U-vormige, T-vormige of H-vormige huis met ons!

 

Artikel: Y Coetsee 2017
Sources: Stellenbosch Drie Eeue (1979)
James Walton. Homesteads and Villages of South Africa (1965)

——lééf Stellenbosch——–

 

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