A character-filled home whose past intertwines with those of several key figures in Cape history, has come onto the market in the upmarket Hermanus suburb of Vöelklip. “De Mond” occupies a seafront erf of over 2300sqm, with sweeping views across Walker Bay and the surrounding mountains. The historic property is on the market exclusively through Pam Golding Properties, priced at R35 million. The group’s chief executive Dr Andrew Golding says the property offers a unique blend of historic character and modern comfort, ideal for both relaxed family living and entertaining.
The home traces its history back to the late 18th century, when Hendrik Cloete of Groot Constantia purchased grazing rights in the Hermanus area. In 1790 he built his holiday home here, naming it “Lustplaas”. Cloete spent many happy summer months in the home, with his guest list including the influential Lady Anne Barnard. In 1839 he sold the property, which then changed hands several times until it was subdivided in the early 1900’s.
By the early 20th century, Hermanus was growing in popularity as a holiday destination for well-heeled Capetonians. Among the regular visitors to the town was James Hamilton-Russell, a prominent member of parliament for the United Party. He purchased the home in 1946 and renamed it “De Mond House”, establishing it as a regular gathering point for his renowned family and friends, including United Party leader De Villiers Graaff. The home has remained in the family’s ownership ever since, and their name has become synonymous with the very best of the local wine industry.
It was James Hamilton Russell’s son Timothy who in 1975 had the foresight to purchase 400ha of land in the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and established the very first vineyard in this now fruitful wine region. To this day Hamilton Russell Vineyards are the southernmost in Africa and the closest to the sea, internationally recognized for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular. Timothy retired to spend his remaining years at De Mond in 1991, and passed away in 2013. His son Anthony Hamilton-Russell now owns and manages the acclaimed family estate.
PGP agent Rose Marie Marais says the historic home has been lovingly restored by the family, and boasts gleaming wooden floors, open eaves beneath immaculate thatched roofs, and high quality craftsmanship throughout. “The walls are over a metre thick, offering cool in the heat of summer, and cosy warmth in the depths of winter,” she says. “While the interiors have been upgraded to contemporary living standards, they maintain a sense of the home’s unique past, and include character-filled spaces for both public entertainment and private family time.”
The main homestead offers three en-suite bedrooms as well as a farm-style kitchen, dining room, study and family room, plus a spacious lounge which leads out onto a vine-covered patio. Separate from the main house is a substantial cottage with another two en-suite bedrooms. The home also offers a double garage and staff accommodation. The rolling park-like gardens have been immaculately maintained, and include a number of mature trees.