Mostert’s Mill

Name:           Mostert’s Mill

Location:       Mowbray, Cape Town

Status:           In progress

The farm Welgelegen on which Mostert’s Mill is situated, originally belonged to Steven Bothma. It changed hands frequently and in 1756 it became the property of Jacob van Reenen, whose son Dirk Gysbert van Reenen inherited the farm towards the end of the century. His daughter married Sybrand Mostert, who eventually became the owner of the mill after whom it is named.

 

Mostert's Mill had ceased working by 1873 and was sold by the Mosterts to a Mr Wilks, who then sold it in 1891 to Cecil Rhodes. The mill became derelict but a restoration by the Dutch millwright Christiaan Bremer, as a collaborative effort between the Dutch and South African Governments, was undertaken in 1935. The mill and the adjoining threshing floor were declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 15 March 1940.

 

After again becoming derelict, the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa began a campaign to preserve it, leading to the formation of the Friends of Mostert's Mill in 1993. A further restoration in 1995, again by Dunning-Bremer, and Gabriel Fagan Architects returned the mill to working order.

 

On 18 April 2021, a fire that started on the slopes of Table Mountain set fire to the Mill. Only the conical structure, ironmongery, some of the sweeps, the mill stones and some parts of the external timber members were left. This practice is currently working on its restoration with the Friends of the Mostert’s Mill.