Take a scenic drive 23 kms beyond Hermanus and you’ll discover the historic village of Stanford. Majestically watched over by the Klein River mountains and built along the reed-lined Klein River this quiet village in the Overberg is the perfect place to stay and explore all that Stanford and the surrounding area has to offer.
The heart of the village boasts an original market square, a village green and a miscellany of shops and places to eat. Quaint Victorian houses dot the tree-lined streets where villagers have time to stop for a friendly chat or a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of cake just freshly baked at one of the local eateries.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful romantic getaway, adventures with the family, or a place to relax and recharge, you’ll find it here in abundance.
Why live in Stanford?
Living in Stanford combines life of a bygone era (where cricket is played on the village green and children ride their bikes home from school), with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps a tribute to our founder, Sir Robert Stanford. But don’t let the whimsy fool you – Stanford is more than a place to unwind and sit back to watch the world go by. For many, it is the ideal place to start or raise a family – there is a pre-primary and primary school in the village, and Hermanus is just down the road for the teens and has its own share of schooling.
Read about the history of Stanford Village
history of stanford
The first mention of the area around the Klein River dates back to 1707 when Jan Hartog (head gardener of the VOC in the Cape) and his party grazed their cattle during a barter trip to the Overberg at the river then only known by its Hottentot name Gonuka Goggo – or in Dutch the kleijne rivier. No information exists about the first person being given the grazing rights to the Kleyne Riviers Valley (note the ij changing to y in the spelling), but we do know it was given to a Michiel Vlotman in 1758. The rights then passed to Jeremias Auret. In 1783 he abandoned the farm and the grazing rights were transferred to Christoffel Brand.
Brand was the first to build a house on the farm, which was the holiday home of the Brand family for nearly 30 years. In 1813 the farm was sold to Johannes Truter. In recognition of his service as Chief Justice, Truter was knighted in 1820 – the first South African by birth to receive this honour.
Take a historical walk around Stanford
Learn the tragic history of Sir Robert Stanford and the stories behind many of the original houses in this heritage village.
Find out where Lady Anne Barnard stayed on her trip to the inland and where the undertaker’s daughter liked to do her homework.
Our village history is rich and full of colourful characters. Visit one of the few remaining market Squares in South Africa and let your mind drift back centuries to a time of horses and oxcarts, and livestock and excited children running around on this very square.
You have the option of booking a guided tour or picking up a map from the tourism office and following the route on you own.