Sunday, October 3, 2010

A bit of Constantia history

Walking in the grounds of Groot Constantia this rather blustery morning, I came across this unusual round grave in the middle of the vineyards with Devils Peak and the eastern face of Table Mountain in the distance. On the tombstone in front of it, one of the three rather broken plaques stated that Lambertus Johannes Colyn and his wife Eleanor Mary Coetzer were buried here - Eleanor's death being 2 October 1839 – yesterday 171 years ago. She was famous for riding over a neigbouring farm, Bergvliet, to get to her son's farm – a right of way hotly and expensively contested in the Cape law courts that contributed to the insolvency of the neighbour - and immortalized in the name of the road known today, rather ungrammatically, as Ladies Mile.
Her husband’s father, Johannes Nicolaas Colyn, was famous the world over for his Constantia wine – enjoyed by Queen Victoria and Napoleon, and praised in the writings of Dickens, Austin, Dumas, Longfellow and Baudelaire.
For more scenic Sunday blogs, click here.


  1. I know Ladies Mile Road, but have never really wondered where the name came from. Actually very interesting and not at all what I would have thought.

  2. I have always wondered where the name Ladies Mile originated -- thanks caroline

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