Bertram House

Museums in or near Gardens, City Bowl in Cape Town, South Africa.

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsBertram House

Where? Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town

Overnight? Accommodation in Gardens, in Western Cape

One of the Iziko stable of museums, Bertram House is the only remaining red brick Georgian style house in Cape Town. Originally built as a residence, the building became a museum when it was restored in 1984.

If you are even vaguely interested in vintage interiors, then a visit to Bertram House is for you. The beautifully maintained interior depicts the life and home of a typical wealthy English family in the way they lived in Cape Town at the beginning of the 19th century.

The beautiful style of house, once common in Cape Town, lies at the top end of Government Avenue in Cape Town's Central Business District. Its named after the original owner's first wife, Ann Bertram Findlay.

There is a morning room (back then it would have been a parlour), a double drawing room, a dining room, study, and kitchen on the ground floor. Whilst upstairs is a typical lady's bedroom and a number of exhibitions of jewellery, ladies pastimes and English silver.

In those days bedrooms and the upstairs part of the house would not have been seen by visitors and, in keeping with this, upstairs decoration is low-key.

Downstairs was there to impress, which is why the entrance hall has a covered portico and black and white marble floor. Attention was given to cornicing and woodwork, there are ornate curtains, cut-glass chandeliers and wallpaper.

As a residence the house served a number of families before it passed to the South African College in 1903. It was then used as office space before being given to the government in 1930 (at that stage South Africa was a union) and then to the South African History Museum.

Note: Bertram House was briefly closed for maintenance. Contact the museum to make sure they are open.

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