Fourie House, the homestead of Doornboom, Heidelberg, Western Cape, is by far the oldest of a number of historical buildings dating back to 1728.
Fourie House, the Doornboom homestead, is one South Africa’s oldest surviving clay houses. It used to be the house of Louis Fourie, founding father of Heidelberg, who fled to South Africa in 1688 with the French Huguenots.
In 1716, he obtained grazing rights from Governor Van der Stel and settled alongside the Duivenhoks River and the Doornboom farm was established.
From the middle of the 18th century onward it was run as an informal boarding house by the formidable Susanna Fourie, widow of first owner Louis, and was used as a stopover by numerous travellers going eastwards.
A decade ago the old clay building was on the brink of collapse. Fortunately a few dedicated volunteers took up the challenge of saving it. The T-shaped building underwent extensive (and expensive) restoration and was officially opened to the public.
Although unpretentious, its thick walls, beamed ceilings, thatched roof and enormous hearth lend the house an undeniable charm, harking back to the days of the pioneers.
It is one of the few remaining examples of what a simple farmhouse in the outer districts looked like when the Cape was still a wild part of Africa.
Die Fouriehuis of Doornboom-opstal is by verre die oudste van ‘n aantal historiese geboue in Heidelberg. Dit is een van die oudste oorblywende kleihuise in Suid-Afrika.
Sowat ‘n dekade gelede is die huis omvattend teen ‘n hoë koste gerestoureer en amptelik oopgestel vir besigtiging deur die publiek.
Heidelberg is the gateway to the well-known and spectacular Garden Route of South Africa and falls within the Hessequa municipal area.