Things To Do in KimberleyDunluce
Where? Dunluce, no 10 Lodge Road, Belgravia, Kimberley
When? Contact the McGregor Museum for further information and a guided tour.
How? Call +27 (0)53 839-2700
How much? Price on request
One of the satellite attractions of the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, Dunluce is a beautiful, elegant late-Victorian homestead built in 1897 and one of the most elegant houses on the Belgravia historical walk, its wooden facade and many of the furnishings still intact.
First known as Lillianville, Dunluce (called such in 1903 by the new owner, John Orr, after Dunluce Castle on the north coast of Antrim, Northern Ireland) was designed for Gustav Bonas, a diamond buyer by Daniel Westwood Greatbatch - the architect also responsible for Kimberley Boys’ High School, the Kimberley Sanatorium (now the McGregor Museum), no 3 Egerton Road (his residence), and No 9 Egerton Road, amongst others.
Its beauty attracts attention not only from architects but artists and visitors. That the house is still in its original state has a story behind it:
The house came on the market in mid-1975 in need of a major restoration and, at the time, the only interested party was a speculator who wanted to demolish it to make way for a block of flats.
Desperate to save it the house was offered, with all its contents, to the director of the McGregor museum at a good price. Unable to buy it the museum approached a number of corporates, suggesting it as a manager’s residence.
Barlow Rand came onboard on condition that their manager be allowed to use it until 1985. Since then any restoration work has been managed with funds from the National Monument Council and the gardens have been looked after for over 50 years by gardener Charlie Dzene.
The double-storey residence is of square form with a complex roof, and decorative wooden fretwork.
Probably the most interesting snippet of historical information about it is the direct hit it took by a Long Tom shell during the siege of Kimberley. A 100 lb shell apparently aimed at Rhodes’ headquarters, the Sanatorium, fell short of its mark and crashed through the roof of the house, almost obliterating the rear bedroom and breakfast room.