13 Sep 2013
One of the oldest and most unique properties in the Cape Town Southern Suburbs, Mount Pleasant, an 1883 battlemented, Victorian-era manor house on the corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Newlands Avenue is on the market for the first time in over a decade.
Seeff agents, Barbara van der Westhuyzen and Vanessa Clerke say this landmark property and national monument should attract significant interest for its enviable location at the foot of Table Mountain and its grand, old homestead with a history that dates to the early settlement of the area. The home can be ideally used for a private or ambassadorial residence or as corporate head offices.
The interesting history starts with the Mount Pleasant farm where the old wagon route passed by to the Newlands forests from 1790 onwards. In 1823, it was acquired by Pieter Lourens Cloete of the well-known Cloete family. In 1882, the bottom left portion was bought by newspaper magnate, Fred Centlivres, who served as mayor of Rondebosch and built the homestead that stands today. It ranked among the finest at the time and served as the German Consulate from 1900 to 1931, and later as the ‘Cape Town Lads’ Hostel’ and was briefly owned by opera singer, Gé Korsten in 1980.
It was declared a national monument in 1991 and bought by the current owner in 2000, which he later restored to its former splendour.
Set on a plot of 3 272 square metres, the double storey homestead offers around 600 square metres with stunning mountain views. The 1883-date is depicted on the front façade and a 150-year old Magnolia tree, one of the oldest in the city, stands in the front along with a water fountain flanked by an old Syringa tree stump intricately carved into a garden sculpture.
According to the agents, the rear garden comprises a mini-Kirstenbosch that offers more indigenous fynbos species per acre than anywhere else in the world. The old swimming pool has been converted into a pond and stream that flows through the garden. Along the side stands the original low boundary wall of the old wagon trail.
Spacious rooms, high pressed ceilings, fireplaces, beautiful old chandeliers, wall niches, and huge teak wooden windows with sturdy internal shutters, double doors, Oregon wooden floors imported from Scandinavia and a grand old mahogany staircase that dates from 1935 - these are some of its features.
The thick walls are typical of the period and, in several rooms, there are glass covered murals that showcase the original old wall structures. The home offers four large reception rooms, a lounge with a fireplace, a second lounge/study that opens to a terrace and swimming pool, dining room with a Victorian fireplace and a billiard room.
A beautiful old wooden door imported from Indonesia separates the living areas from the large, country-style kitchen that opens to the rear garden. Also on this level, is a guest/housekeeper’s suite with a kitchenette and a separate entrance along with a guest bathroom. On the upper level are three spacious bedrooms, the main with mountain views and a large en suite bathroom. The second and third bedroom share a Victorian family bathroom.
The original double garage still has its old door and is used as a storeroom while the staff accommodation includes a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette. There is an additional storeroom as well as two outdoor parking areas.
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