Phillips Era : 1917 - 1941

After Willem Adriaan van der Stel was forced to return to the Netherlands, Vergelegen went through a succession of owners until 1917 when Sir Lionel Phillips purchased the property for his wife, Lady Florence Phillips, who transformed the dilapidated Estate into a floral and cultural treasure trove.

The Phillips' spent vast sums of money on the restoration and upgrade of the Estate. Sir Lionel Phillips was known as a ‘Randlord,’ making his millions on the diamond fields of Kimberley and the gold mines of the Witwatersrand. He also served as chairman of the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines for several years.

Dams were built, roads constructed and the old footbridge was replaced by a structure wide enough to accommodate motor traffic.

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