In 1891 Mr. Jacobus Johannes Louw bought the farm Springboklaagte, as well as the property now known as 21A Viljoen street. He wanted to build his dream house here. The house was only finished in 1896.

He wanted to build a unique house to meet his requirement of a big family of 12 children, himself and his spouse.

Mr. Louw never went overseas to see Victorian or colonial styles, so he had to make use of a well known local designer.

During the Boer-war, Mr. Louw was sent to India as a prisoner of war, and during his absense, the British invaded Middelburg. The house was occupied by British troops and was used as a hospital. It was later also used for military purposes as officer’s mess, and to serve as annex for the house of General Jan Smuts, on the property next door, which was bought in 1907. This was in force until General Jan Smuts moved to Doringlaagte, now known as Irene.

The next owner was Mr. and Mrs. le Roux who sold to Mr. and Mrs. Hammond. The current and the 4th owner of “The Gables”, is

Mrs. Heleen Gouws a qualified Interior Designer in Middelburg.

In 1988 Mr. Hammond subdivided the premises and sold it, which let that the stables and wagon house on the northern side, and the small living quarters known as the cottage on the southern side fall into the sold part.

Dimitri Tsafendas, who killed Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, the mastermind behind Apartheid lived in The Gables, while attending Middelburg Primary School. It used to be a boarding house during those years.

More About . . . 

Dimitri Tsafendas & Dr Hendrik Verwoerd

The Restoration of the The Gables Guest House

All the walls that weren’t part of the original construction, where removed. Here the patio wall is removed because it made the southern part of the house too dark.

Bathroom with damp damage and water pipes which weren’t cut into the walls. The original bath is still in use and all the pipes where cut into the walls.

South-eastern view with stone foundations clearly visible. Stone foundations are still visible today, but the bricks aren’t.

South-eastern view with stone foundations clearly visible. Stone foundations are still visible today, but the bricks aren’t.

Lead glass windows in the second bedroom. The lead glass was only cleaned up and the wooden window frame sanded down.

North-eastern view of the house at the start of restoration. The house today, which was kept as ‘original’ as possible.

Lounge where the yellow painted fireplace and the patio wall lights are visible. The damaged floor is also visible. The floor was replaced and the fireplace sanded down to the original wood colour. Today this room is our dining room.

Plants damaging the wood work where removed. The wood work where repaired and some were replaced.

Pantry with wooden cabinets was unserviceable and too far from the kitchen to make it practical so it was turned into a bedroom.

The outhouse and fruit trees in the backyard at the start of measuring of the foundations for construction. First only a double garage and two rooms where built. The second floor was added another six rooms was only added in 2004.