The Road Less Travelled
Providing an alternative route to and from Cape Town, via the N1, with panoramas that will take your breath away, the R60 Swellendam Ashton Road has to be classed as one of the most stunningly beautiful roads in the Western Cape.
Some historical and fascinating buildings can be spotted on the outskirts of Swellendam.
Rheenendal Water Mill
Frederick Jacobus van Eeden commenced building the mill in 1870, after planning was granted in 1864. The mill started its water-powered grain-milling operation in 1880, after parts had been brought from Europe. Production of flour continued until 1937. Between 1937 and 1969 the mill was utilised as a sub-station for generating electricity, a home for farm labourers as well as a fodder store.
An earthquake caused structural damage in 1969, but most of the original parts survived and can still be seen today. Operating as a restaurant today, the mill gives a fascinating insight into 'old' technology as does the nearby 'Dipgat". Both these structures are classified as National Monuments.
... one of the most stunningly beautiful roads in the Western Cape, with vistas that will take your breath away ...
Jan Harmsgat, a beautiful farm, can be seen nestled in the valley between Swellendam and Bonnievale. Presently a comfortable and stylish guesthouse, this farm has a rich history with amazing stories of the past owners, including famous hunter, Jacobus Botha, whose hunting career was brought to an end in 1733 by a lioness, the mate of one of his victims, who attacked and mauled him, leaving him for dead. However, though his hunting days were over, he did not die. He fathered 12 sons who gave him 190 grandchildren!
The President of the original Republic of Swellendam, Hermanus Steyn, is buried here in a small plot marked by a granite gravestone, which can be seen a few hundred meters from the main house.
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