History

The first house on the site of Anford was initially built in 1872 by the Coetzee brothers Fanie and Andries on the farm that was then known as Hartebeesspruit. The old trading route between Pretoria and that time Lourenzo Marques now Maputo in Mozambique ran through the farm. Post and trading wagons went by delivering and collecting post on these old routes. Many old outspan areas are located in the area. The old traders planted the many willow trees next to the rivers for shade. These willows are more than a 100 years old and many have now started dying out. A post stone was used to place the post on which was placed in a post bag that was water proof. The first house on the site of Anford was burned down by the English in their "scorched earth" policy during the second Boer war in 1901, and the Coetzee women and children was taken to the concentration camp in Belfast.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2177

The old Anford house was rebuild a couple of years later as a raw brick and mud building with corrugated roof. In 1935 Dr Stegman bought the farm Hartebeesspruit from the Coetzee brothers. Dr Stegman farmed with cattle and was also the resident doctor in Belfast. In the 1945 Cliff Alexander bought the farm Waterloo from Dr Stegman. In 1948 Mr Alexander started to rebuild the old house in a Cape Dutch style. The roof trusses were made from Oregon Pine and a slate roof was erected. All the floors were replaced with wooden Oregon Pine floors. Mr Alexander build the first dams on the farm and was also a founding member and designer of the Belfast Golf Club. The one dam, called Surprise dam, was the first trout dam that was build and stocked in the Belfast Machadodorp area specially for trout fishing. Mr Alexander then divided the property into three parts and sold off portion 3 to a Mr Japie Prinsloo and portion 2 to Mr Cyril Hefer but kept portion 1 where the Anford house was on. Mr Cyril Hefer had the opportunity to rename the farm and decided to call it Waterloo after the Waterloo scandal in the USA at that time. He was quoted saying " Daardie ou van Waterloo het sy g@t gesien en ek voel ek gaan nou myne ook sien met die koop van die plaas". Dr Paul Marchand bought portion 1 from Dr Alexander in 1976. Dr Marchand practiced as a plastic surgeon in Johannesburg and used the house as a country retreat and holiday home. Many well known and influential people from Johannesburg regularly came to visit Anford as guests of Dr Marchand. The old Anford fishing logbook dates back to 1984 and has confirmation of theses visitors and their fishing abilities. In 2001 the van Noordwyk family bought the farm from the Marchands and ran it as a self catering guesthouse for a number of years. In 2008 the van Noordwyks decided to upgrade and repair the old house, the cottage in the forest and some of the out buildings into a country house and restaurant that opened in early 2009.

A Boer and English observation post located on the farm overlooking the town of Machadodorp and protecting the trade and postal route can easily be reached on foot. The old horse kraals can be clearly seen as well as the areas where the tents were pitched. The Battle of Bergendal (also known as the Battle of Belfast) was the last set-piece battle of the Second Anglo-Boer War. It lasted from 21 to 27 August 1900 and took place on the farm Bergendal about 5 kilometers from Anford near the town of Belfast. The 5,000 Boers were under the command of General Louis Botha and the 20,000 British Empire forces were led by General Sir Redvers Buller under the overall command of Lord Roberts. Belfast was also one of the sites where the English had several concentration camps. Machadodorp is an interesting historical village where President Kruger ran his parliament for 3 weeks during the Boer War in 1900. Machadodorp was also the capital of the old Boer Republic. There is a very interesting Boer War Grave Yard at the outskirts of the village - and many other historical sites in the area. Interesting Ruins and round stone circles built by an ancient people are evident in the area for those interested in stone age history. A 75 000 year old celestial calendar was discovered nearby called Adam's calendar. It is alleged that these were build by Indian gold miners during the time of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba .

 

English Scorched Earth Policy

The W H Coetzer triptych depicting the Scorch Earth policy - War Museum of the Boer Republics. This scorched earth policy led to the destruction of about 30,000 Boer farmhouses and the partial and complete destruction of more than forty towns. Thousands of women and children were removed from their homes by force. They had little or no time to remove valuables before the houses was burnt down. They were then taken by ox wagon or in open cattle trucks to the nearest concentration camp. Conditions in the camps were less than ideal. Tents were overcrowded. Reduced-scale army rations were provided. In fact there were two scales. Meat was not included in the rations issued to women and children whose men folk were still fighting. There were little or no vegetables, no fresh milk for the babies and children, 3/4 lb of either mealie meal, rice or potatoes, 1 lb of meat twice weekly, 1 oz of coffee daily, sugar 2 oz daily, and salt 0,5 oz daily (this was for adults and children who had family members on commando).