The surrounding Langeberg mountains form a beautiful backdrop of stone cathedrals and rocky peaks, shaped by wind and rain over thousands of years.
The farm is covered with aromatic fynbos, proteas and renosterveld, which in times gone by supported a perfect harmony of birds, fish, reptiles and mammals. This included buffalo, rhino, leopard and lion, Quaggas roamed the open spaces along with numerous antelope, including steenbok, springbok, grysbok, duiker and eland.
Nomadic people shared this paradise too. Their legacy of empty caves and forgotten hand tools bear testimony to their hunting expeditions. The fresh mountain streams and abundant food provided a haven for all.
The structural history of Orange Grove Farm has remained a work in progress, with various families and individuals contributing to the property from as far back as the 1750’s. However, the 210-year-old Manor House at its center has remained steadfast, as the dwelling that anchors the whole farm, a peaceful haven surrounded by vineyards, trees, rolling lawns and rose gardens.
Orange Grove Farm was originally part of the loan farm Norree which was granted to Gerrit Cloeten Jansze by the VOC ( Dutch East India Company ) who left it to his widow Anna Catharina. The first mention of the farm Norree is dated 24 May 1764 in the inventory of the estate of “Anna Catharina Kuuhn huijsvrouw van den landbouwer Gerrit Cloeten Jansze” The farm’s history preceding 1764 is unknown but it is clear that the loan farm Norree was well established before 1764 as it already had a dwelling and outbuildings, according to the estate documents of Anna Catharina.
In 1813 the freehold land tenure under a perpetual quitrent system was introduced. It replaced the old system of loan farms. On 21 November 1823 Norree was granted as quitrent farm to J H Cloete and P J du Plessis. J H Cloete can possibly be a descendant of Gerrit Cloete as the ‘n’ seems to have been dropped from the Cloeten at a later stage.