Sir William and Lady Dalrymple are the closest thing to royalty this rabble town ever got. In 1908 they commissioned Herbert Baker to design a home high on the Westcliff ridge. Baker and his partner Fleming’s response was Glenshiel, an imposing butterfly-wing residence. So palatial were the stables, that when the house was gifted to the Order of St.John by Major Haggie, he simply converted them into a substantial home for himself.
One of the first homes to have a swimming pool and tennis courts, Glenshiel was the set for glittering parties and distinguished guests, including Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. We are privileged to have access to the interior to admire the panelling and rather grand hall, but for many the highlight of the visit will be the garden where, if the hail hasn’t damaged them, you can scent the roses from the terrace.
Our tour starts at the Ridge School (originally the Woolsack and home of Sir Aubrey Woolls-Sampson) which has fine views south, and then proceeds via Glenshiel to Pallinghurst. Now the Hope School, it is an extraordinary Gothic concoction quite unlike any other building in Johannesburg, and with magnificent views over Zoo Lake. Then back up a rather steep hill to The Stables, lovely gardens and a house which has evolved with time from housing horses to some much more distinguished residents.
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GUIDES: Adam Golding and John-John de Castro
PARK: The Ridge School, Woolston Road, Westcliff
DURATION: 3 hours
COST: R90.00 for members and R150.00 for non-members
MAXIMUM No: 50