Northwards Mansion turned 100 this year,
with Rolls-Royce. In view of this it seemed fitting that we should
visit this magnificent property, so we arranged for a
private tour for Rolls-Royce and Bentley friends.
40-roomed Northwards mansion is the first large house
that Sir Herbert Baker designed in Johannesburg. The facade
is made of quartzite rock taken from the site, creating the
impression that the house rises out of the sheer cliff face.
The first occupants of the house were the Dale Laces,
who lived and entertained like royalty.
arrived in their magnificent 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom
(by coachbuilders Windovers), much to the delight of the curator,
Dr Neil Viljoen, who thought he looked rather distinguished in the
back seat. The tour of the mansion finally got under way once
we managed to get him out of the car!
It is interesting to note that
Charles Goodman was in fact born
at Northwards Mansion. His Grandfather, Sir George Albu,
owned the property from 1911 to 1959. Charles shared many
childhood memories of the house with us, making the tour
so much more fascinating.
Mansion makes a great backdrop for photographs,
and we took full advantage! Pictured here are a
1948 Bentley Mk VI (KC and Jeannette Saayman),
1975 Silver Shadow (Charles and Jose Trubshaw) and
1960 Bentley S2 (Simon Smith)
Dr. Neil Viljoen
is a very talented storyteller, and he had us
captivated for over three hours as we moved from room to
room, enjoying the detail and his vast knowledge of the
property, it’s history, it’s occupants and the
varied design features.
After the tour we
all settled in the garden to take in the view
and enjoy sundowners as the sun was setting.