It is our aim to provide as clear a picture as is possible of the rich and varied heritage of "the colony of Stellenbosch", and its subsequent development. Stellenbosch wash was founded by Governor Simon van der Stel in 1679, it is situated 50 km from Cape Town and about 215 km from Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa . For many years this region included all the land outside of the Cape Peninsula . By 1780 the boundaries were set at the Great Fish River in the East and the Buffelsrivier in the North. This area was steadily reduced in size until by about 1836 the district of Stellenbosch had been reduced to approximately its present size.
The town of Stellenbosch grew very slowly. By 1860 the town consisted of no more than 360 houses with a total population of just over 3000. The Dutch Reformed Theological Seminary and the University of Stellenbosch have contributed largely to the town's reputation as a seat of learning while the large numbers of buildings which have been preserved and restored in the old part of the town annually draw many thousands of visitors.
The Stellenbosch Village Museum was established in 1962 with the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting articles of local historical interest.
Upon completion the Museum complex will consist of six dwelling houses from different periods and cover an area of 700 square metres, at present the Stellenbosch Village Museum occupies 5000 square meters. The houses range in date from 1709 to 1929 and each will be restored and furnished in the style of its own particular period. Visitors to the Stellenbosch Village Museum can walk from one period house to the next, to experience how furniture, design, fashions and domestic tastes in general have changed over the years.
The gardens in all of the houses in the museum complex are planted with fruit trees, shrubs and herbs which would have been used for culinary and decorative purposes. Many medicinal plants which could have been used by the inhabitants are also planted in the gardens of the dwellings.
The Museum will be open from 10:00am till 16:00pm on Sundays for an unlimited period. The Museum will be closed on Sundays for lunch between 13:00 and 13:30.