History of Languedoc

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates:33°53′56″S 18°57′57″E
Area:0.64 km2
Municipality: Stellenbosch

This area was one where Huguenot refugees were interspersed with Free Burgers (Vryburgers) as They were disallowed from teaching their own language it was largely lost in the valley.
Slaves were introduced at the Cape Colony soon after the arrival of the settlers in 1652. In the beginning, few farmers had slaves, but demand increased as the farms grew. Soon the Drakenstein area had a large proportion of slaves. These slaves were valuable to their owners as many were skilled artisans such as carpenters and wheelwrights.
Though slavery was abolished by the British empire in 1834, the slaves were required to stay on for 4 years as an apprenticeship. Slaves gravitated towards mission stations where they were taught trades and the three Rs
In 1842 two farmers Pieter Isaac de Villiers and Paul Retief donated land for recently freed slaves to build a self-sustaining mission station. The local farmers further assisted the community by donating land where slaves could have houses and grow fruit and vegetables.
This area is also closely connected with Cecil John Rhodes who after resigning from office as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony post the failed Jameson Raid he turned his hand to fruit farming. Rhodes bought up old wine farms where phylloxera had damaged vines and ruined and discouraged many farmers. Rhodes replaced vines with fruit trees and was the first to use refrigeration when shipping fruit to Britain.
In 1898 Rhodes realised a need to attract and retain labour in the Cape, while so many people flocked to the minefields of the Witwatersrand. He commissioned Herbert Baker (Renowned architect) to design an orderly village for farmworkers, each house was to have a garden with space for flowers and vegetables and enough space to keep some livestock (A horse, 2 cows and a couple of pigs). Baker was influenced both by Cape Dutch architecture and the contemporary Arts and Crafts movement. This was the village of Languedoc still standing alongside an avenue of oak trees.
Rhodes in the meantime suffered deteriorating health and commissioned a cottage to be built in Muizenberg. It is not known however if he spent any time there.

The postcode for Languedoc is 7680


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Useful Numbers

Main centre Stellenbosch

  • Police: 021 809 5000
  • Municipality;021 808 8111
  • Traffic department:021 021 808 8800
  • Fire: 021 021 808 8800/ Fire Brigade 021 887 1333
  • General enquiries:021 808 8215 / 021 808 8953 / 021 808 8343
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 021 886 7521
  • Library:021 808 8384 /
  • Closest hospital;Stellenbosch Provincial Hospital-021 808 6100
  • SPCA: Stellenbosch Animal Welfare-021 883 9129



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