Timour Hall Villa has been rescued from abandonment and is now open to the public.
The house in St Joans Road, Plumstead, was once the home of Sir James Percy FitzPatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld. Since 1989, it has been used as a hospitality house by the International Police Association (IPA) and was closed to the public.
Prior to Covid, it was bankrupt, according to Captain Keith Chandler, previously the spokesman for the Diep River police and now station commander at Camp’s Bay SAPS. He took over as chairman of the IPA Western Cape branch and also took on the task of renovating the building and grounds to their former glory.
Captain Chandler said he had roped in Diep River police reservists to trim trees, clear riverine vegetation and litter, plant an orchard at the rear of the property, build terraces, paint, patch and fix, all under the watchful eye of the City heritage authorities because the house is a Grade 2 listed building.
The villa had probably started as a typical Dutch building of the period, said Captain Chandler. “Each successive owner added bits here and there and made other alterations over the years. The result is an interesting museum of building fancies covering over 200 years.”
Wynberg Girls’ High School’s art department painted the IPA emblem in what was once the home’s ballroom, which has a fireplace and domed ceiling.
According to Captain Chandler, the IPA is a non-profit and non-governmental body made up of serving and retired officers from different police services worldwide. “So all work on the villa has been done by current, past and old members. Many have retired from the police and now have their own business and were able to help, such as delivering bricks and then someone else doing the paving.
“The villa is now open to everyone who would like to book self-catering accommodation.”
In the past, this was only done for police members.
They have already had weddings, stork parties, big birthdays and meetings. Guests have the use of a fully fitted kitchen.
The bar is open to the public every Wednesday and Friday from 4pm until late and on Saturdays from 11am till 2.30pm and the Earth Fair Market is held on the grounds on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10am to 3pm. The car boot sale is organised by Samantha Sperrin and opens every Saturday, from 7am to 2pm with gates opening at 7am for traders.