Rental Details for Parktown mansions

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Parktown mansions
South Africa
Rental Phrase
Originally built for coal-magnate Charles Jerome,:138 this house available to rent as a function hall.
Wikipedia page:
Parktown mansions
  • Hohenheim was the first of the Parktown mansions when completed in 1894. It was demolished in 1972 when the Johannesburg Academic Hospital was built.
  • Dolobran
  • Villa Arcadia
  • Glenshiels


The mansions of Parktown (a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa) are an important part of the history of the city of Johannesburg. They were the homes of the Randlords, accountants, military personnel and other influential residents of early Johannesburg, dating back as early as the 1890s. The first of these mansions, Hohenheim was designed by Frank Emley and was built for Sir Lionel Phillips and his wife Lady Florence Phillips. The name Hohenheim had been used originally by Hermann Eckstein, one of the first Rand Lords to name his house after the place of his own birth. When Phillips became the head of Eckstein & Co, he moved in to Eckstein's house but due to the expansion of the city decided to build the new Hohenheim in an enviable site further from the mine workings. Sir Lionel Phillips was banished from the Republic for his involvement in the Jameson Raid. It is perhaps fitting that the next occupant of this famous house was none other than Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the author of the best selling book 'Jock of the Bushveldt'. The house was demolished but a plaque remains in honor of this important building.

Countless period homes and mansions were destroyed during the construction of the Wits Education Campus, Pieter Roos Park, the Johannesburg General Hospital and the M1 motorway. The heritage of the remaining houses is closely guarded by the Parktown Westcliff Association.

Important Architects included Leck and Emley, Aburrow and Treeby, James Cope Christie and Sir Herbert Baker and his partners Masey, Sloper and Francis Flemming.

Hohenheim was the first mansion built in the new township of Parktown. It was designed by Frank Emley and built in 1892 for the first Rand Lord Hermann Eckstein. It was then the home of Sir Lionel and Lady Florence Phillips but was soon taken over by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick as the Phillips's went into exile following the Jameson Raid. The home was demolished to facilitate the construction of the Johannesburg General Hospital. A Heritage Plaque is in place to commemorate the site of this historic monument.

Marienhof actually predates the laying out of Parktown as a township. It was constructed in 1890 for Edouard Lippert after he bought a large portion of Braamfontein Farm. Whilst the farmhouse is no longer standing, parts of the original stone fence and gate remain.

Besides these important remaining Parktown Mansions, there are still countless other period houses in Parktown worth mentioning, but perhaps not with the stature and important residents of those listed below.

1904, 18 Gale Road, designed by Baker, Masey and Sloper

This was built as the home of Archdeacon Michael Furse (later Bishop Furse). The house was built from stone quarried from the property itself. The beautiful gardens include a manicured lawn and bedded garden in the front and a rather wild garden in the back extending down the ridge to Empire Road. The Gardens also house a tiny chapel built for the Archdeacon. The house remains a private residence. The exterior is mostly still unaltered from its original design but a modern cottage has been added on the grounds.

1904, First Avenue designed by Baker, Masey and Sloper

As early as 1890, before the establishment of Parktown, entrepreneur Edouard Lippert had created a plantation of over two million trees on a ridge just North of Johannesburg. The property was partitioned and Brenthurst was the last plot to be sold. The house, Brenthurst, was built for the Consolidated Goldfields of South Africa and became famous as the Oppenheimer residence in 1922. The 40 acre property is now home to Brenthurst, Little Brenthurst, the Brenthurst Library and most famously the Brenthurst Gardens, Johannesburg's most famous private gardens. Brenthurst gardens are open to the public on certain days each year and private tours can be arranged. The house remains the Johannesburg residence of the Oppenheimer descendants.

1905, 16 Victoria Avenue designed by James Cope Christie

Baker was originally commissioned to build this house for Sir Charles Llewellyn Andersson but Andersson rejected his designs and employed Cope Christie to build his fairytale home. The exterior of the house combines various styles including a strong Victorian influence with lots of iron work, art nouveau stained glass window panes and a fairytale domed turret with a weather cock. The house still belongs to the original family with Andersson's great great grandchildren residing there now. The interior is said to be decorated with hunting trophies, Animal heads and period furniture, however public entry is not permitted.

1904, 15 Saint Andrews Road designed by JB Nicolson

This was the home of James Goch, an important photographer in early Johannesburg. By the 1930s the House was being run as an hotel and in the 1960s it became the Overseas Visitors Club. In 1989 it was bought by the steakhouse chain, Mike's Kitchen and remains a flourishing restaurant to this day.

1905, 15 Jubilee Road designed by Leck and Emley

Exclusive and executive, Emoyeni is one of Johannesburg's prime estates. This heritage site, perched on the highest ridge in Parktown, offers panoramic and breathtaking views extending as far as Magaliesberg. Designed by architects Leck and Emley, and built in 1905 for the Honourable Henry Hull, who was to become minister of finance in the first Union government, the house is faced with red brick with Tuscan colonnades and has Palladian windows, white eaves trim, stone insets and segmental pediments, being described as English Renaissance.

1902, 22 Ridge Road designed by Aburrow and Treeby.:138

Originally built for coal-magnate Charles Jerome,:138 this house available to rent as a function hall. The house is characterised by its double-story wrap-around balcony, exquisite pressed-steel ceilings and ornate fireplaces in every room. The original 'brookie lace' ironwork was reported to have been imported from New Orleans.:138

1906, 17 Victoria Avenue designed by Henry Aldwyncle

Often described as Parktown's most romantic, this house was modelled on period French castles. Its Conical Towers were unfortunately removed for structural reasons. The house was built for Henry S. Wilson, a tradesman often known as the 'Oats King'. It is owned by the University of the Witwatersrand and used as a residence.The house has undergone minor renovations since its construction, which revealed two small, hidden rooms in the lodge framework, supposedly used for religious purposes.North Lodge is lesser known for its reports of haunting by university residents, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century. Up until the late 1970s residents complained of temperature changes, inexplicable knocking sounds, strange music, poltergeist activity and an intense 'evil' presence felt in the lodge body. In March 1965 attention was drawn to North Lodge when residents James Earle Cunning and Jonathon Riley, who shared a room on the second floor, left the Lodge abruptly complaining of visual apparitions of an 'older woman in a black cloak and a girl in a white dress'. Other reports of evil disturbances followed but they were dismissed as stories. The university of the Witwatersrand has never investigated the claims, dismissing them as superstition.

1904, 21 Rockridge Road designed by Herbert Baker

Northwards was designed by Baker as the residence of Sir John and the flamboyant Lady Josie Dale Lace. The house was taken over by George Albu when the Dale Laces fell on hard times. Northwards is an impeccable example of the aesthetics and characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement. The contrasts between Koppie stone quarried on site and plastered brickwork, the warm and comfortable wood panelled rooms and wooden floors and the very sensible usage of space exemplify this architectural style. In line with the movement, the house was built by special