Farm With A Wonderland For Little Girls

Dreams lay in ruins

Among the farms purchased by  Karoo National Park when it extended its area in 2000 was  Morceaux. Its stately homestead, high on a plateau of the Nuweveld mountains, once was the pride of Charles de Villiers.  To reasch this beautiful farmhouse one had to travel up a winding, handmade pass. “This pass was built specially for my grandfather by a Coloured man called Barend Jooste,”  said Murray de Villiers, who once farmed on  La-De-Da.  “It took him a year to complete it,  and when it was done Barend announced he’d like it to be called Charlie’s Pass in honour of my grandfather.  My grandfather was totally humbled by this gesture and the pass forever after bore his name.”    Before Barend  built the pass it was only possible to reach Morceaux by driving up along a rather dangerous road through a kloof.   Morceaux is a French word meaning  “morsels”.  Murray explaibned that his grandfather had chosen this rather unusual name for the farm because it was made up from bits and pieces of small farms, such as Brandkop, Kruisaar and Damfontein. Grandad felt that while his brothers were all getting ‘proper’ farms he was only getting morsels of ground.”   Despite charles’s cynicism Morceaux is a magnificent mountain farm.  It once had a splendid garden, and a beautiful summerhouse – its ruins remain intriguing.  The  flowerbeds wereall edged in Karoo stone and there also was a huge swimming pool.   In its day it was the envy of the district.   Also in the garden is a delightful dolls house.  Charles had it  built way back for the little girls of  the family.  Adults have to stoop to enter.  As they do  a world filled with children’s  laughter seems only a whisper away. This tot-sized cottage, complete with lounge, fireplace,  built-in cupboards and bookshelves, has four bedrooms with built-in box-type beds.  Long ago the little place probably transported many a little girl to her own private wonderland.

4 responses to “Farm With A Wonderland For Little Girls”

  1. Morceaux did indeed belong to Charles de Villiers, but it was his son Owen de Villiers who built the Dolls House for his 4 children. I was the eldest of the four and spent many happy hours in the Dolls House with its special playground in the back consisting of a Swing, Seesaw, Rings and Parallel Bars.

    After Owen died his son-in law, Mike Boyd farmed Morceaux for a few years. Many happy times were spent with friends and family visitors who always stayed over for a few days.

    Finally the National Parks Board expropriated us and the farm is now part of the Karoo National Park.

    • Dear Adrienne
      Thanks for this I have used a little story in my newsletter and will send you a copy – also pics later
      All the best,
      Kindest regards

  2. Hi Rose,
    My wife Adrienne De Villiers was the last owner of Morceaux and we were the last residents on the farm before nat Parks took over.
    Do you have any more photos of it in is present condition, we would really appreciate them if you do.

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