Uitvlugt Manor House

In the early days the Uitvlugt manor house was the first outspan for the farmers’ wagons leaving Cape Town after crossing the Varsche Drift across the Liesbeeck and Black Rivers in the River Club area. This track was till evident in the 1920’s and could be seen passing the Pinelands station site, then past the Manor house towards the Elsieskraal River.

A visitor to Langalibalele at the Homestead described the area as a miserable place, so dry in summer that scarcely anything will grow there except for some pumpkins, while in the winter much of the land was swamp, or under water. 

The farmhouse stood where 3 and 5 Homestead Way now stand. It was a spacious thatched house built of mud and stone in an L-shape with a Dutch gable. There were seven rooms and an attic with a large pergola over the entrance. All the windows had shutters. Additional kitchens were added during Langalibalele’s imprisonment.  

There were also number of other structures plus paddocks and a windmill. The paddocks were later modified to house camels which were kept in the area while being trained. Still later it was converted into a garage by the owner of 5 Homestead Way.

Many years earlier, in 1723 three slaves had escaped and made their way across the Zwart river and hid overnight in the paddocks. The next day they made their way to a tavern in Mowbray owned by Johannes Beck and murdered the family. The family servant successfully hid the baby in the cold oven. The culprits were caught, and their heads placed on stakes at the tavern as a deterrent.  Driekoppen became the original name of Mowbray.

Successive forestry officials were stationed on the farm from about 1850. The District Forest Officer used the private road though the privately owned farm of Raapenberg to get to his office in the Uitvlugt farmhouse and requested that a hard road be built by Mowbray Municipality to improve the existing sandy track.

In 1920 while the homestead was still occupied by the Conservator of Forests it had to be structurally reinforced with concrete. The Conservator, Mr Ross, continued living in the homestead until his resignation in 1931. At that time the Homestead was considered for use as a Police Station, but nothing came of the idea.  

Margret Williamson, the editor of Pinelands News writes about the manor house when it was used by the Scouts and Girl Guides/Brownies as a clubhouse. The place was apparently eerie and was considered haunted by the scouts and guides. All the windows were shuttered and bordered up.

The homestead was demolished in 1947.