Architectural Heritage

John Deere celebrates 100 years in 2018 and one of the earliest examples of a John Deere tractor in South Africa is Sandstone’s 1924 Model N, Waterloo Boy. This has been loaned to John Deere for the duration of the largest agricultural show in South Africa and is on display at their stand at NAMPO 2018 in Bothaville in the Free State.

Sandstone is a major user of John Deere equipment and wishes John Deere another successful 100 years.

Sandstone’s Waterloo Boy at NAMPO 2018.

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Ancient sandstone blocks being recycled at Sandstone Estates.

As a result of crime across the border and the need to consolidate our domestic accommodation in our centralised complex, we have been left with an abundance of wonderful sandstone.  In almost every case everything else was removed and carried off to Lesotho – roofing, timbers, doors, windows, even bricks.  However, the big solid sandstone blocks are a bridge too far and as a result they tend to survive.

We have many different projects involving sandstone.  Our two trusty stonemasons, Johannes and Old Piet, plod along day after day doing magnificent work. 

Our first series of pictures show where the sandstone comes from.  This is an old livestock barn on the farm Keerom which was fully operational when we first purchased the farm in 1995. 

The second series of pictures show how this material is recycled, in this case for a wonderfully spacious 3-bedroomed cottage for one of our employees.

It is a little bit depressing seeing these old houses disappear but it is somewhat uplifting in the fact that when we reuse the sandstone we know that the new dwelling, wall, or livestock enclosure is good for a couple of hundred years.







Archaeological features.

We believe that this very traditional kraal and silo complex must date back to the latter part of the 1800’s. It is virtually untouched, seems to have escaped theft and vandalism, and is an absolutely superb example of the facilities that existed on farms in the Eastern Free State 150-years ago.

We are currently seeking advice from an archaeologist who might be in a better position to describe what these facilities were used for and possibly to date the complex.


The Waenhuis receives an upgrade

Our Steam Division took time off over the last few months to put in an Oregon Pine wooden floor in our Waenhuis. The Waenhuis was the old tractor shed at Sandstone Estates pre 1995 and has slowly evolved into a comfortable, rustic, and very original dining experience.



Well done to Stephan and his team for their assistance beyond the call of duty.

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 248 - The old fruit shed at Kommandonek Siding is due for upgrade and restoration shortly

14th September 2006


Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 24 - An old Mill discovery at Sandstone

The remains of an old mill have been discovered on Sandstone Estates. On the farm Lagerplaats a magnificent sandstone grinding wall is lying adjacent to a structure that was obviously an old mill. There are still signs of some of the mechanical equipment which was obviously installed some time in the late 1800's it is estimated.

Who knows perhaps events will conspire to restore this mill and get it back into operation.
Could this be an old grinding wheel?

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 165 - The magnificent Sandstone buildings of the Eastern Free State

5th December 2006

One of the great legacies that we have been left in the Eastern Free State are magnificent buildings. These can be smart or these can be extremely rustic but they are generally made of sandstone and they are always

The building below was the old store at Kommandonek. Kommandonek was the first farm we ever purchased and therefore retains a special place in our hearts. Unfortunately this building fell into disrepair as so many do in the Eastern Free State if they are not occupied, and it was eventually demolished and made place for a new residence for one of our staff. However its charm lives on in this photograph.

These pictures were taken within the last week.