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27726

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Villa Capri, 86 Main Road, St James, Cape Town

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Anonymous

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Post date: 07/08/2012
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Archive Import
History: The ground on which this house stands was granted to Johan Hendrik Muller on 4 April 1814. The house was presumably built as early as 1795. It is very probable that in the course of its long life the house has had some alterations, for instance the kitchen has been modernised and sot brick lean-to rooms were built on at the rear, probably in this century. The entrance which used to be at the side has been changed to the front and some very inappropriate steps were added in the front. The main structure, however, remains basically unchanged.
The house is on the lines of most of those built in the early days of Kalk Bay— a long front, with a step running the full length, and a hipped thatched roof. It is said to be one of the oldest surviving houses along the coast from Glencairn to Muizenberg.
What gives the house particular importance is that it was once a whaling station. Under it is a long stone-built cellar running the full length of the’ house. It has been divided longitudinally, and the front section could have accommodated a small boat beat, which was long and narrow. The back section has a raised platform with compartments along the back, which presumably had been used as slave quarters, but could well have been used for storing barrels of oil and whaling equipment. There used to be a blubber pot in the grounds and the corner posts of the fence were of whale bone which lasted better than wood.
The house is situated on a large property with an attractive garden.
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Site Features: Large walled garden - building set to rear of property. Stone wall on boundary.
Condition: Fair
Construction Date: 1814c
Materials: Thatch on stone
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Admin Comments:
1814 built by Johan Heinrich Muller who set up the whaling stations of Capri and Pentrich. Sold to James Ellis in 1841, then to Robert Langley (Muller's Son-in-law) in 1844. Whaling station closed in 1853. Sold to Johan George Rathfelder, L J Colyn, J A Bibliography archive: f & c, 03.29, p 124 'Bay between the mountains'
 
 

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