As you drive through Hout Bay you pass this imposing looking Cape Dutch homestead - Kronendal. The house was built along the old wagon road linking Constantia Nek to Hout Bay. (Hout means wood in Dutch - reflecting the origins of this place as the source of much plunder of trees!) Although there had been buildings on this site earlier, work on this house was begun in 1793 when Johannes Guilliam van Helsdingen was the owner. He apparently copied the design of the gable of Groot Constantia for his elegant home.
Kronendal has a ghost too, according to the entry in Cape Dutch Houses by Phillida Brookes Simons. In the mid 19th century, a young English soldier stationed at the Cape fell in love with Elsa Cloete, daughter of Kronendal's owner at the time. Cloete forbade the couple to marry, and the soldier hanged himself in despair from one of the oaks in the avenue. Else died unwed and her unhappy ghost haunts the house to this day.
Kronedal now houses a restaurant, Kitima, and a table is laid each night for the unhappy Elsa.
1 year ago