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HISTORY OF THE AVENUE

In its early days, the Avenue used to be a promenade, and was and still remains a crescent. It extends from Drostdy Street at the bottom, that is the Dutch Reformed Church parsonage, to Van Riebeeck Street, the idea being to facilitate a link with the farm road to Jonkershoek.

Although the Avenue dates back as far as 1781, the six semi-detached houses (numbers 22 - 32), were only built during the 1890s. Jan Beyers was the builder, and he was most probably motivated by the need for housing which developed during this period.

The Avenue, as also Stellenbosch as a whole, has become synonomous with oak trees. Lady Anne Barnard, resident at the Cape of Good Hope from 1797 to 1803, referred to the charm of the village during one of her visits to Stellenbosch, and also mentioned the circumference of two oak trees as being six meters.

The local importance of the oak trees is evident as far back as 1887 when specific rules for their conservation were formulated: that property owners may not remove or damage them in any way.

The oaks of the Avenue were declared historical monuments in 1950.

It is not clear when the carriageway (street) in the Avenue was constructed, but early on there were notices at both entrances, ‘No thoroughfare’. In fact, no traffic was allowed next to the river in the early 19th century. In 1818 the Here Kommissarisse declared horse riding, or in fact any vehicle, prohibited in the Avenue.

Another example of conservation is the waterstream which boasts the original river stones - the only waterstream in Stellenbosch which can lay claim to this.

The Avenue is encircled by two nationally known landmarks, namely the Theological Seminary at the bottom, and the equally well-known Danie Craven Stadium at the top.

22 the Avenue has been in the family since 1979.

Source: Hofmeyr, A. Die Laan en sy Mense. 1982