A Little History
The title deeds for the property, ‘Glen Avon’, date back legibly to 1756 and although we are not sure when the house was originally built, we do know that it was built by the slaves of that time and that prayer books and mint coins were placed in the corners of the house for ‘good luck’ for the farmer, who owned the property. The Strawberry Lane area was, before the apartheid era, mainly owned by the Muslim fraternity, as they had settled around an Imam, who was banished for practising his religion, to what was, in the early days of the Dutch East India Company, identified as a wilderness area, as their religion was against the law, during those early days of slavery at the Cape. After slavery was abolished at the Cape on the 1st December 1834 and the freed slaves had spent a further four years apprenticeship to assist the farmers with their labour losses, many of these freed peoples settled around the Muslim Imam and took up farming fruit, vegetables and flowers, along the Spaanschemat River to sell on the Cape Town market.
The other side of the river formed part of the postal route between Muizenberg and Cape Town. When the Apartheid system was introduced in 1948 and forced removals took place from the early 1950’s. Sadly, these families were split up and forcibly moved out of the area, and Constantia became a ‘whites only’ area. The Muslim graveyard behind Glen Avon was nevertheless retained by the Muslim people and as the dead had been buried around the perimeter of the graveyard and it had became necessary to convert Strawberry Lane into a proper road, the government then expropriated half the old Manor House, to complete the road, thus demolishing two of the beautiful Dutch Gables. The two front gables still remain to this day and by their shell insignia, they show that the slaves originated from somewhere around Java.
Glen Avon has been restored by the present owners to its former glory, after this sad time in the history of South Africa. In 1997, the doors of the guesthouse with four guest rooms in the main Manor House opened for business. Over the following years between 1997 and 2014 surrounding properties were purchased and Glen Avon expanded to offer fifteen guest rooms and the owners house, which has now re-located to a property opposite the guest house. In 2015 the adjacent property was purchased, thus adding to the gardens at Glen Avon and providing a retreat, where boardroom meetings can be held in the peace and tranquility of this magnificent piece of Constantia real estate. This is a much loved family property and we hope that your stay will be both enjoyable and relaxing.