The tradition of constructing the buildings around a central enclosed farmyard or werf, marked by a low wall, has been followed at Alphen. The following buildings of historical interest are situated around the old werf, now known as The Great Square:
The Manor House
With Uitkyk, one of only two double-storey farmhouses
built in the Cape, the manor house was erected by the Kirsten
family sometime around 1760. It is still at the heart of
Alphen and houses the Alphen
Hotel reception rooms and Cloete’s, the formal
restaurant. Many of its original features – such as
the front door with rocaille carvings and the Voorkamer
with its teak and yellowwood screen – continue to
serve as cherished reminders of the rich history of this
A ‘jonkershuis’ or ‘young man’s house’ was frequently built for a son and his family. Constructed in the early 1700s, Alphen’s jonkershuis is older than the manor house and forms part of the original ‘woonhuis’ on the werf. Today the Jonkershuis houses the Boer and Brit Pub, a popular neighbourhood ‘local’.
The Dower House
A “dower house” was the home built for a widow on her late husband’s estate. The Alphen dower house, parts of which date back to 1801, never served this purpose. Originally called “The Lodge”, it was adapted from two 18th century cottages, which formed part of the original 'woonhuis' by the Henry Cloete who added the second storey, for his widowed sister Augusta. Today it provides accommodation for the hotel.
The Winery, or Great Cellar
In its day the largest wine cellar in the Western Cape . Built on the site of the 18 th century slave quarters, and incorporating elements of the earlier structure, it was rebuilt by Louie Cloete in 1906. The exterior remains largely untouched but the interior has been modernised for office suites.
The Pressing Cellar
Built in the early 1800s, it is thought to have been designed by Thibault. The exterior of the building has not been altered to any significant degree so that it remains a fine example of Cape classical architecture.
Constructed in 1772, it is the only remaining water mill in the Southern Peninsula . The Mill ran off a complex water system and processed the grains grown on the estate.