The Old Village on Modderfontein Accommodation & Restaurant Citrusdal Cederberg Western Cape South Africa
Self-catering Farm Accommodation Clanwilliam Cederberg Western Cape South Africa
Clanwilliam selfcatering houses


History of The Old Village on Modderfontein Citrusdal
Jan van Riebeeck sends a party of explorers under Jan Dankaert to fiind a route to the north and the "Kingdom of Monomatapa". They are shown a route across the mountains by Bushmen through what is now the farm Modderfontein. There they see the river with a herd of about 300 elephants on the bank - so naming it Oliphant's River. This difficult route through the "Groote Cloof" becomes the route for subsequent explorers, travellers and farmers.

Modderfontein becomes the first farm to be established in the valley by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It is granted to Jurgen Hanekom who builds a kraal and a modest house and begins farming cattle to supply meat to the VOC.
The first structures on the farm are built, a modest house and the kraals to keep the animals safe from predators – still standing today in their original state, almost 300 years later.
VOC coin

The gabled Cape Dutch-style main homestead is built.

Thomas Bain starts building Grey's Pass (named after the governor of the Cape) to repplace the old "breakneck" pass used since 1660. The pass is 12km long and is built by a team of about 100 convicts.


After two years the "modern" pass is openend and the Post Office
and Postmaster's house are built at its base.

Photo: Grey's Pass circa 1920.

Grey's Pass Citrusdal circa 1920
James McGregor buys Modderfontein. He arrived in the valley in 1856 as an itinerant trader (smous) based at Modderfontein. The farm remains in the family for 140 years. Shop and trading store are added.

1860 - 1918
During this period travellers' accommodation is built, the first doctor comes to the valley and practices from the farm. The smithy and wheelwright ply their trade, a policeman is based there and a building is modified to act as a jail. James McGregor becomes the wealthiest man in the valley. He dies in 1912 and is buried in the farm cemetry. In 1918 two sons die 6 days apart from the Spanish Flu, leaving only daughters on the farm.

The last of James McGregor's daughters dies. Traffic now enters the valley through the the new Piekenierskloof Pass. The shop closes.

Modderfontein is bought by the present owner. Restoration of farm and buildings begins.

Most of the buildings have been restored and the farm is now fully organic, producing citrus, rooibos tea, cattle and buchu on 4200 ha.

The McGregor graveyard on Modderfontein

Pet Friendly Accommodation Citrusdal Western Cape South Africa

Reservations & Enquiries: Tel: 022 921 3963 | Fax: 086 622 6815 • Sonia Hager 082 802 4580

PO Box 470, Citrusdal, 7340

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