Boschendal

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Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Boschendal

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Other form(s) of name

  • Rhodes Fruit Farms

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Description area

Dates of existence

1685-

History

Boschendal is a wine estate situated in the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape. It previously formed part of the Rhodes Fruit Farms.

Boschendal was first granted to the French Huguenot Jean le Long in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape Colony. It was subsequently bought by Abraham de Villiers in 1715 and remained in that family for 164 years.

The De Villiers family developed Boschendal into a flourishing wine farm and built the manor house and outbuildings. In 1897 custodianship of Boschendal passed into the hands of the mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes who saw a lucrative opportunity in fruit farming. Rhodes Fruit Farms was established and began exporting deciduous fruit to Britain on a large scale. In 1976 the beautifully restored Boschendal farmstead and winery was opened to the public for the first time and began to emerge as an icon of the Cape winelands.

The manor house served as a museum for which archival material was collected. New owners decided not to continue operating a museum and donated the archival material in this collection to UCT Libraries in 2017.

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