THE PRYNNSBERG ESTATEAdd to Favourites
Kimberly diamond magnate Charles Newberry created The Prynnsberg Estate in 1881 in pursuit of his romantic dream
of a classic English style country estate in a far flung corner of Africa
‘This word “farmer” seems to have worn many meanings in my day. As a little one, dimly I remember people called “gentlemen farmers”. They lived in spacious houses among the appurtenances of culture, books, family silver, fine old furniture, wine cellars; they kept nice horses and hunted: they were on friendly terms with the lord of the manor, they fished and shot, entertained in a comfortable way… The mill of time, in an industrial over-populated Island, has ground the “gentlemen farmers” out of their accustomed life on the land: it did more than that. It scattered them far and wide over the world, to build new homes under wilder skies, to farm again, in company of their own kind’.
Marion Cran. The Gardens of Good Hope (London, 1926)
Prynnsberg Manor is the historical heart of the estate. Described in architectural circles as ‘the jewel of the Free State’, the elaborated 2000 square meter, 22 room, sandstone mansion is currently enjoying major renovations and reopens in May 2017.
Some of the highlights of the house are it’s billiard room, ‘glass staircase’, Victorian bathhouse, 8 gracious bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, elegant public rooms, antique furnishings, elaborate gardens, Victorian stable block, sandstone swimming pool and an outdoor movie house.
The Manor is taken in its entirety and comes with resident chef plus full compliment of support staff
Glamping at the Bushman Cave Deck & Bathhouse
Glamping means Glamorous Camping. Our Glamping experience consists of 14 classic colonial era Safari tents supported by the Bushman Cave deck and bathhouse.
The campsite is taken as a whole with a minimum booking of 8 tents.
The 14 tents are attractively lined and have fly sheets for insulation. They have wooden floors, Persian carpets and Melvill & Moon campaign furnishings. The side panels are rolled up to allow for a through breeze in hot weather. The overall design of the tents is based on a classic ‘white mischief’ era East African safari tent template. There is a quality linen throughout.
The bushmen always chose the best spots. The sandstone overhang that protects the Glamping site’s deck and bohemian lounge from the elements remains blackened by the home fires from many centuries of bushmen occupation.
The deck area is cool in summer and warm in winter and protected from wind and rain. We have gas mushroom heaters if necessary.
The eclectic furniture includes Melvill & Moon daybeds, Roorkee campaign chairs, a Melvill & Moon safari bar plus various other collectables
Lighting wise we have gas and oil lamps plus candles. For parties and quality sound and lighting we have a generator. For day to day usage we have a top end bluetooth sound system
The kitchen area of the deck is well supplied with gas cooking equipment plus fridge and all the relevant utensils. There is a large patio style gas braai plus boma fire place
As a space the deck is very flexible and can work as well for an intimate dinner or chilled evening around the fire as it does for a party with the likes of a DJ or band.
We also have a spit machine and an unusual (enormous) Boer war troop train cooking pot
Behind Free State versions of ‘Muizenburg’ change houses you will find black and white tiles, pictures on walls, flush loos and hot showers.
The showers and bathhouse are supplied by a high capacity ‘donkey boiler’ of very professional design. This in turn is fed by a borehole up on the mountain.
With the manor house bathhouse for inspiration the Bushman Cave also boasts four Victorian baths set high on a platform over a natural watercourse. The whole set up is open to the stars. Typically you’d want the Melvill & Moon safari bar up there – and time on your hands .
Anna and Gladys look after the servicing of the tents and the deck. Anna’s husband Motsie handles staging details plus Mike the nightwatch doubles up as CEO lamps and lighting plus the donkey boiler.
It’s more than just a wedding day, it’s a beautifully orchestrated two or three day festival. Our attitude as hosts is to present you with an empty canvas, let you own the space, and do everything we can to assist you to make it original , spectacular and unforgettable.
The building blocks of a Prynnsberg country wedding include St Saviors church, St Andrews venue, Prynnsberg Manor, Aran, the Bushman deck and Glamping site, the magnificent gardens, the sporting side of Prynnsberg plus 1200 hectares of estate land to play with.
Thanks to Liv and Lloyd Barcza and Mike and Candice Eilertson for the use of their stunning wedding photographs.
Conferences and events
During a conference Prynnsberg Manor is where the work happens. The billiard room – once described by Stephan Weltz of Sotheby’s as “the most beautiful room in South Africa” – is an inspirational meeting room. The other public rooms are perfect for break away sessions. The Manor house is then also ideal for executive and VIP accommodation (8 bedrooms).
The Glamping site is where the rest of the team is based. The deck itself is ideal for the team building and partying side of a conference. It overlooks the Bushman valley which is the springboard for the likes of cricket, bicycle polo, archery, clay pigeon shooting, abseiling , 4X4 driving and mountain biking.
The images featured are from Mike and Candice Eilertson’s event, the 10th Anniversary of Landrovers Defender Challenge, the introduction of the Melvill & Moon limited edition Defender, Wesbanks ‘returns from the field’ workshop, Unplugged Communications annual conference, Oliver Melvill’s 21st and the BSI Steel annual conference.
Estate at Large
Prynnsberg is a working farm. We run a herd of quality beef cattle, our Blesbuck herd have been in residence for over 120 years, we have a saw mill, we breed and school polo ponies and grow our own fodder. We like our guests to get involved in the business of the farm where possible , so stand by for an invitation to lend a hand in the cattle crush or to assist with the likes of the cattle count.
Clocolan, Free state, South Africa