The short history of Belvidere
The story of Belvidere begins in 1830 when the land was acquired by George Rex, the "squire and proprietor of Knysna" who settled here and became the foremost timber merchant in the district. When a young Scotsman named Thomas Henry Duthie married George's third daughter, Caroline, in 1833, he bought the farm named Belvidere from his father-in-law for £750.
In April 1835 the young family, now with a first baby, named Caroline after her mother, moved into their cottage, which was situated where "The Bell" now stands. At that time it would have had timber walls and a rush roof, and the cellar which now houses the wine would have been used as storage.
By 1848, the family had quite outgrown the cottage. There were twelve children in all, and plans were made to build a larger house. Foundations were laid on 2 October 1848, and in November 1849 the family had their "first dinner out of New House". At that stage it was a single storey building with a thatched roof, dormer windows and small bell-turret. A drawing of this building can be seen in the Hall. The raising of the walls to create a second storey, replacing the thatch with corrugated iron and the additions of the verandahs were done by Thomas' second son, Archibald, in the 1870's.
In its life, Belvidere House was an official post office serving the local community, with business being transacted from the glass door in the drawing room. It was a centre of gracious hospitality.
Carolineˋs Bistro at Belvidere Manor
The Bell Tavern at Belvidere Manor
Historic Memorial & Church | the Holy Trinity Church, Old Belvidere
A Charming example of 12th century Norman style architecture. Circa 1851