Restoration – Koos Ellis se Huis

The restoration of this historic building was approved by Heritage Western Cape on 11 June 2014!

The restoration plans of the historic building & the new outbuilding plans were approved by the Laingsburg Municipality on 24 June 2014.

This is one of the 5 historic buildings older than 60 years on the Witteberg Nature Reserve property – the so-called “Koos Ellis se Huis”.

Now restored, this historic building serves as a residence (as per the recommendation in the Heritage Impact Assessment Report that continued maintenance and reuse are desirable), thus conserving the history of the farm Elandskloof and the surrounding Witteberg area. 

It is an interesting vernacular flat roofed building built from a variety of materials ranging from stone and mud mortar and 20th-century cement blocks.  The core of this building may well date to the 19th century, however, it has developed organically over the years.  The presence of steel-framed windows (common to all buildings) suggests that all the buildings on the farm were subject to a period of modernisation in the early to mid 20th century.  However, it is quite possible that the original windows were simple casements of wooden shutters (as with the school building). 

Although this house is one of the larger structures, it shares consistency of style with others on the farm.  In common are the traditional hearths, flat corrugated iron roofs, low parapet, and mini-gables. 

The Ellis family graveyard is not far from the dwelling.

Close to the house is a large stone kraal, as well as eroded foundations of at least one mud-brick building.

Significance:  This, like the other buildings mentioned, was a conservation-worthy building that is typical of the local style.  Along with others on the property, it enjoys group value.  It is linked with a particular family with an associated graveyard, kraal, and ruins close by.

Impact of development:  High positive, with continued maintenance and reuse desirable.

(Page last updated 2021-03-09)