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NNestled quietly and enviably against the slopes of Table Mountain, and separated from its lower reaches by the world-famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, is one of Cape Town’s most prestigious suburbs, Bishopscourt – or if you will, a 4000sqm piece of heaven.
Steeped in history dating back to European settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, Bishopscourt started out as Jan Van Riebeeck’s farm, Boscheuvel ("Bush Hill") in the early years of his arrival. The farm, boasting imported grape vines and a variety of fruit and nut trees, was primarily used as victualing stop for the Dutch East India Company in 1652.
AA few years later, Van Riebeeck planted a wild almond hedge along the borders of Boscheuvel to protect the cattle of the Cape colonists from the Khoikhoi. Together with a series of thorny shrubs they formed a defensive barrier from the mouth of the Salt River, along the Liesbeeck River, up Wynberg Hill to Kirstenbosch. Remnants of the hedge are still visible today.
WWhat’s in a name?
Throughout the years, ownership of the land changed hands quite a number of times. As Mr. H. Maynier’s property, it became known as Protea Estate before the Anglican Church bought it 1849.
Used as the official residence for Anglican Bishops and Archbishops of Cape Town, the property was befittingly named Bishop’s Court. Leah and Desmond Tutu were also among the residents, and it was in their home that Nelson Mandela spent his first night of freedom after 27 years of imprisonment in 1990.
The following day, Mandela (and his fellow comrades) held his first press conference at the estate’s garden, before acquiring his own home in this lush, green and leafy neighbourhood a few years later.
TToday, the highly sought-after residential enclave is dotted with pristine homes owned by the British High Commissioner, the US ambassador, business executives, family buyers and other various local and international personalities.
Immerse yourself in the beauty, tranquillity and splendour of Bishopscourt
You too can treat yourself to the quaint ambience, well-kept oak tree-lined avenues, lush valleys and sweeping panoramic views that Bishopscourt has to offer.
Plus, there’s plenty that you can do around the area, such as hiking through charming trails - including the Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine - chasing waterfalls, or taking a free guided tour of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
But now, one thing stands between you and this dreamy experience: accommodation.
Luckily, a number of gorgeous villas await your arrival.
The AmaXhosa are part of three nations known as Nguni that are found in South Africa. The other two are AmaSwazi and AmaZulu. The AmaXhosa settled in the Eastern Cape and over time spread to the Western Cape.