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The historic Valkenburg Cape Dutch homestead, now known as The Courtyard Hotel is located on the banks of the Liesbeek River which is also a protected bird sanctuary. The land dates back to 1661when Jan van Riebeeck was the Governor of The Cape. The land changed hands many times and by 1774, Valkenberg was a flourishing farm with many buildings and barns. The giant Moreton Bay Wild Fig tree was planted between 1840 and 1860 and is a national monument.
In more recent history, the homestead was badly damaged by two fires and vandalised by vagrants who moved onto the premises. Groups and organisations like the Simon van de Stel Foundation lobbied the different councils and government departments and finally succeeded in deeming the property a National Monument in 1986.
The property was placed in the hands of Rosenfontein Restaurant on condition that they restored the house. The restoration was undertaken by architect Dirk Visser and the manor house soon exuded its former grandeur. The University of Cape Town was granted a 99 year lease and again, the property was expanded and reconditioned. The Courtyard Hotel Group took an interest in the land and converted the homestead into the heart of the complex of their exclusive hotel. The Manor House now houses reception, conference area and dining room while the barn was converted into six suites.
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