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History of Ellensgate

This quaint rondavel-style double storey home was built originally roundabout 1915 as a single storey by one Jameson, who during that time, was the city engineer of Pretoria. The house was built with solid slate with an original thatch roof. Jameson was also the culprit who was responsible for the import and mass planting of the Jacaranda trees in Pretoria, which gave the capital of South Africa the nickname of "Jacaranda city". He also planted a Jacaranda tree on his property which, today, is one of the biggest and oldest Jacaranda trees in Pretoria.

History of Ellensgate

This Jacaranda tree has been invaded by a bougainvillea which is photographed by many tourists during the month of October when in full bloom. This property was acquired by Dr Jack Holloway, on a public auction in 1923. Holloway was a government economist, politician, socialite and University of Pretoria professor.

Tienie, the wife of Jack, was a well-known Afrikaans nursery poet. The family had three daughters and a last-born son. When playing outside in the garden each child had a special spot. Soon the area at the pedestrian gate, on the corner of the property, became the place where the family's eldest daughter, Ellen, used to play. Ellen, died of glandular fever at the age of fourteen. The family then started to refer to the property as Ellensgate in honour of their beloved one. The current owners were so touched by this story that they decided to continue the Holloway tradition.

History of Ellensgate

The upper storey was added in 1923 to change the quaint cottage into a mansion. The property was sold to Mr. Brent, a government official in 1953. His wife was a well-known piano teacher who had a piano in almost every room. Brent-Wessels is also the composer of many traditional Afrikaans songs like, "Ken jy die land waar die Boerevolk woon". A fire burnt down the thatch roof in the 1970's.

It was almost a ruin, waiting to be demolished, when the current owners saw its potential and bought the property in 1995. With love, tender care, and a passion, Ellensgate was once again restored to her former glory of the previous century.

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