The recent articles about Vergelegen on the Heritage Portal brought back happy recent memories of our holiday stay in Somerset West over Christmas 2014.
This is the final installment of the special series 'The Story of Vergelegen'. It looks at the restoration undertaken by Anglo American Farms in the early 1990s and mentions a few of the illustrious guests that have visited the estate over the years. The series was based on an article compiled by Wilma de Bruin, editor of Restorica, in 1994. Once again we thank the University of Pretoria and the Heritage Association of South Africa for giving us permission to publish.
Vergelegen was to regain its former splendour with the arrival of Lady Florence (“Florrie”) Phillips and her mining magnate husband, Sir Lionel. A patron of the arts, a lady of great style and impeccable taste she set about restoring the old homestead which at that stage was described as “almost an uninhabitable ruin”.
In 1994 Wilma De Bruin, editor of Restorica, compiled an extraordinary article on the history of the Vergelegen Estate with the title 'Vergelegen: a perfect blend of past and present'. We have transformed this piece into a special series. After a brief introduction, part one looks at the first two centuries at Vergelegen and then tracks the estate’s decline in the early 20th Century under the ownership of Samuel Kerr.