From Adriaan van der Stel to Lord Charles Somerset
In the Lourens River valley, the farm Vergelegen (“located far away”) was established by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, son of the first Governor of the Cape, in 1702.
A community developed nearby and following the building of a church in 1814 was named Somerset, after the first British Governor, Lord Charles Somerset. It became Somerset West to distinguish it from another town of the same name.
In 1868 the farm Welgelegen (“well located”), then part of Vergelegen, was bought by an Irishman, Edward Strangman. He renamed it Erinvale, Erin being the ancient name of Ireland.
It was bought by auction for an intended property development which failed, and then in 1989 by Dave Gant, the neighbouring farmer (on Lourensford Estate) and a prominent businessman.
The Realisation of a Vision
An important objective was to preserve the natural charm of the area, and the idea of a golf estate was suggested by conservationist Ian Player, brother of Gary Player.With the backing of Murray and Roberts’ residential arm, Condev, and sales by Steve Barnard and Associates, a vision became reality.