click on arrow
Registration of First Title Deed
The first Title Deed of this National Monument was registered to Hans Henske. Title deeds had to be registered in Amsterdam, which took years to effect. Weltevreden 1692 is the third farm North of the town and is likely to have been settled at the time of the founding of the small settlement of Stellenbosch.
The property was transferred to Caspar Hendrik Badenhorst. He had five sons. Most of the 25 000 of the Badenhorst family members can probably trace their Founding Fathers to this man!
The Cape Dutch ‘werf’
The Cape Dutch ‘werf’ in front of the Manor House dates back to 1804 and has been expertly restored to its former glory.
Deborah Retief and her husband, Christoffel Esterhuysen, purchased the property in 1812 from Sybrand Vermeulen. Their initials are molded into the back gable plasterwork. Deborah was the sister of the famous Voortrekker Leader, Piet Retief. The Cellar gable is dated 1804 and rumour has it that this building was built by Piet Retief. The gables of the Manor House give the best clue as to who the builder most likely was.
Legend has it that the Groot Trek was already contemplated by 1812 and that Retief cemented the blueprint for the Great Trek (that began in 1837) while building the Manor House. It Is the only Cape Dutch Manor House with wagon wheels on the gables. Legend has It that the wagon wheels were placed on the gables to show the Intention of the Afrikaners to move from the British Colony in due course. Twenty-five years later, the Groot Trek took place from Graaff-Reinet.
The period 1812 – 1815 was the height of the Neo-Classical era and the Cape enjoyed renewed prosperity. Six important Cape Dutch houses were built during this time in the greater Stellenbosch area: Boschendal, Weltevreden, Zevenwacht, Neethlingshof, Old Nectar and Navarre.
Original House was Demolished
In 1817 the original house was demolished, and a new Cape house was built adjacent to the old one. The Cellar gable of Weltevreden 1692 was copied to become the end gables of the new house. The “H” shaped Cape Dutch house, with six elaborate gables is dated 1812. The unusual end gables are in the Cape Flemish style with a crown motif at the top.
Piet Retief’s father, Jocubus Retief, had a slave who was a first rate builder, and he was hired out to neighbours or relatives. This slave likely built Weltevreden 1692 . Slavery was abolished in 1834.
In 1908 the property was acquired by Lourens Johannes Smith whose family owned the farm until 1989. Mrs. Laurie Joubert was born on Weltevreden 1692 in 1910 – one of sixteen children.
The buildings were proclaimed a National Monument.
The Peel family purchased the property. Chris Peel saved Weltevreden 1692 from destruction. Through his loving restoration, which lasted almost twenty years, Weltevreden 1692 was restored to Its glory. Chris had an extraordinary inclination to restore all the woodwork at Weltevreden 1692 to Its former glory, and he executed this with precision. He saved the derelict buildings from destruction.
The property was declared a National Monument.
The Bezuidenhout family acquired the property. Inspired by the work of Chris Peel, André Bezuidenhout committed the family to continue with the restoration of Weltevreden 1692 and to open It up to the public to exhibit the rich history.
The Bezuidenhout Family Repurchases Vineyards
The Bezuidenhout family acquired the vineyards adjacent to the Weltevreden 1692. Vine rootstocks were uncovered going back many decades on the property.
The First Vintage of Bertha Wines was produced
The Bezuidenhout family decided to embark on winemaking. Bertha Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot-Rosé, Semillon & Shiraz, were produced by winemaker Bennie Booysen and his team.