Heritage Forum

Smartt’s farm

Sep 25, 2017 | News


The Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation receives various inquiries about buildings and landscapes in the town and district every week. We provide one example of a query and an answer, in the hope that readers of the newsletter may want to become collaborators on a panel that seeks to do research on history and to exchange it with others. Send your name to info@stellenboschheritage.co.za if you wish to collaborate.


I hope you can help me with information. The heritage collections in Parliament contain a photo album of a tour that the Empire Parliamentary Association undertook in South Africa in 1924. One phot o is captioned “Sir Thomas Smartt’s farm”. See attached. Do you know which farm it was and whether it still exists? If the name has changed, what is it today?

Thanking you in advance.

Best regards

Lila Komnick


Dear Lila

I refer you to other members of the Foundation who have already done research on this. Meanwhile, I confirm that SAHRA confirms, on their website, that Sir Thomas Smartt also had a farm near Volksrust in Idas Valley. It may now be part of Rustenberg or Schoongezicht.

I do not have much available elsewhere about Glenban (sometimes spelled Glen Ban) belonging to Sir Thomas Smartt. (He died on the farm and was buried there after his family rejected a state funeral).

“Smarrt died on 17 April 1929 on his farm
Glenban outside Stellenbosch. In a public statement Hertzog praised
his conviction, honesty and purpose, concluding that he was one
of South Africa’s most worthy sons. He offered the family a state
funeral, but in terms of Smartt’s wishes he was buried in a small and
intimate ceremony on his farm. On the day of the funeral all flags on
public buildings were flown half-mast.”

(From Mouton’s The Sacred Tie. The text on the flags: Cape Times, 18 and 19 April 1929.)

1924 Sir Thomas Smartt

Lady Smartt cultivated Lachenalia Tricolor plants / bulbs on Glenban which were sent to Dr I.B. Pole Evans in Pretoria. Illustrations of this plant sent to Pretoria were published in the magazine “Flowering Plants of South Africa”.


Nelleke Bakkes

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