Garden Route Accommodation

Shear Heritage

The Overberg owes a substantial part of its initial prosperity and growth to wool production. From the first import of the Spanish merino sheep by Colonel Jacob Gordon in 1789, it took only 65 years for the wool to be exported with the direct shipping of wool by Barry and Nephews, from Port Beaufort to London in the late 1850s. Of course the sheep have to be thanked for that, growing the riches of well-known families with names like Van Reenen, Van Breda, Reitz and Barry. In Swellendam’s case, the pioneer of the wool industry was the famous Magistrate, Anthonij Faure, who already in 1803 had a herd of nearly 700 wool sheep on his farm, Rotterdam.

It was the start of an industry, which today, 200 years later, still makes Swellendam one of the three largest wool producing districts in the country. And just as it was 200 years ago, wool is still produced in largely the same way, with the same techniques and shearing, and exported around the globe.

The Swellendam Heritage Association would like to celebrate this historic link with wool by having a Sheep Shearing Day at Sandkraal, a farm just 10km from the original Rotterdam yard belonging to Magistrate Faure. A short talk on the history of the wool industry will be followed by observing the shearing process, accompanied by an expert who will deliver commentary and answer questions. The outing will end with tea at the homestead. The Association warmly invites our members, their guests and any other interested persons to join us on this relaxing and educational day.

Practical Arrangements:

To plan this outing brings a few practical considerations. Sheep shearing is entirely dependent on good weather as wet wool cannot be sheared. The weather also determines the progress of the shearing team on their programme from farm to farm. Because of these reasons it is not possible to fix a date far in advance. A firm date will be fixed in the week of 12 to 17 September. The exact date will be communicated when it has been identified.

The costs for the outing: Members: Free Non-members: R 20 per person

Members & guests who would like to join, are requested to contact us directly here at the Augusta de Mist