Then and now: Timour Hall in Plumstead

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Timour Hall is an accommodation establishment for the International Police Association, situated on the border of Plumstead and Constantia. The villa offers 10 bedrooms, a large communal kitchen and two comfortable lounges for guests to enjoy while they stay there. Timour Hall also has its own conference venue and bar.

It was abandoned in the mid-1900s and was revived and restored. Timour Hall opened its doors once again in December 1989, which is a great tribute to the 200-year-old house. The building was altered by its many owners over the years, making it a unique mash of historical styles.

Dormer windows sit beside the grand, elongated central gable and a portico has replaced the old wooden verandah across the front of the house. The annex, alongside the main house, holds a ballroom with a classic domed ceiling. The ballroom was built in the late 1800s when Timour Hall was regarded as one of the socially important manor houses of Cape Town.

The history of Timour Hall

The story begins with Johan Lochner, a German soldier who came to the Cape in 1765. He worked as a waggoner and tailor upon his arrival and made a good living. He married twice and fathered 14 children over the years, eventually declaring bankruptcy in 1794.

Lochner appealed to the government for help in supporting his family. He was granted a patch of land along the Diep River in 1804, in what is the suburb of Plumstead today, so that he could re-establish himself. This was to become the site of Timour Hall. Lochner died two years later and the dwelling changed hands repeatedly over the next 30 years or so.

One of the owners was James Coleman Fitzpatrick, an Irishman and the judge of the Cape Supreme Court (and father of Percy Fitzpatrick, the author of Jock of the Bushveld). He purchased the estate in 1873 and listed it for rent two years later in the Cape Argus. The house was advertised as Timour Hall - the earliest recorded use of the name.

The advert also stated that the residence consisted of ten bedrooms, a kitchen, pantry, storeroom, a parlour, dining and drawing rooms, as well as a coach house and extensive stabling. The property had 35 000 vines, a large area of grazing pasture, garden ground on either side of the Diep River and a perennial stream.

A few years later, in the 1880s and 1890s, Judge Fitzpatrick began selling portions of the land. In 1898, Jacobus Stephanus Marais purchased the portion of the property that held the main house. It remained in his hands until 1936.

More land of Timour Hall estate was sold off in the 1950s and the house changed hands once again. Dr D. Pfeiffer, a medical practitioner in Cape Town, purchased the house and left it to his wife, Marianne, upon his death. Marianne was the last private owner of Timour Hall before she sold it to the Cape Provincial Administration (CPA)in 1960.

Timour Hall under new ownership

The CPA considered building a school on the land but decided to make it a nursery instead. Timour Hall was declared a National Monument in 1977, but despite this, it fell into disrepair over the next decade.

Eventually, it was revived and leased to the International Police Association, who use it as a self-catering guesthouse today, called Timour Hall Villa.


Take a look at the historical pictures and story of Chapman’s Peak Drive.


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Author: Seeff

Submitted 14 Sep 18 / Views 676