Granted in 1712 by Governor William Herlot to one of the new free citizens of the Cape Jan Lorenz, originally from Rostock in Germany. Lorenz made the first steps towards developing the farm and planted the first vines along with fruit and vegetables to supply to the Cape's fast growing shipping lanes.
The name Nabygelegen - "lying nearby" - probably stems from that time, when Lorenz's family all lived in
the area. After his death in 1721 the farm passed through several hands until 1847 when it was acquired by the Du Toit family in whose control it remained until 2001.
The farm's old homestead and outbuildings were built over a long period of time with many alterations and additions. The stables and the old cellar building certainly stem from an earlier time and may have formed part of the original barn built in 1712. The homestead stands out and has the classical Cape Dutch H shape and pedimented neoclassical gable which was constructed in the late 1700's.
It is worth mentioning that prior to the modern history and even sporadic Bushman and Iron Age settlements, the area of the Bovlei and specifically the farm itself was inhabited by prehistoric man. The lush fertile valley with its strong flowing river attracted ancient man. Stone-age implements and hand axes have been found, some dating back over a million years. Most of these finds were discovered in the deep, red, vineyard soils by the vineyard team on their daily rounds.
Many of these tools are now on display in the Wellington museum and others can be viewed in the tasting room at Nabygelegen.
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