On 27 February 2020, the heritage community woke up to the devastating news that the landmark Westcliff mansion Duntreath was detroyed by fire. The building had outstanding cultural value and was given an A rating by the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (click here for details).
Duntreath before the fire (The Heritage Portal)
The blue plaque on the property reveals some of the home's rich history:
In 1911 Thomas Farquhar, a successful stockbroker from Scotland commissioned the famous Arts and Crafts architects Herbert Baker and F L H Fleming to design his home. The house is sited majestically on the Westcliff ridge, originally on five acres of land extending from Pallinghurst Road to the Old Government Road (Jan Smuts Avenue). Built of locally quarried stone with the first floor clad in ship-lapped timber with a shingled roof, the house was extended in 1927 by Fleming to almost double its original size for J Neilson, another wealthy stockbroker.
The people of Johannesburg and South Africa mourn this tragic loss! Let's hope some of the property can be salvaged.
Smoke from the fire
Thank you to Kathy Munro, Gail Wilson, Marc Latilla and Brett McDougall for sharing some of the photographs used above.