Our Market Street Story
There is a lovely little street with houses where artisans lived. It was called Market Street and ox wagons drove up and down en-route to the gold and diamond fields. Pavements were built to protect the ladies from getting their long skirts splattered by the oxen dung. It was a time when lions were captured on the farms nearby and sent by sailing ships to zoos in Europe. Kwaggas still exisited and the local doctor made house-calls, occasionally on a Kwagga.
Over the years cars and the railway replaced ox wagons and the skills of the owners of the houses were no longer needed, so money became tight and some of the houses fell into disrepair. Nearly 100 years later, in 1983, a lady by the name Sandra Antrobus, decided to rescue them from being destroyed. Sandra could not bear the thought of them being bulldozed and broken down for new builds, so she set about restoring them. This is the beginning of the street of stories, the rescuing of more than 30 in the same street – the cottages that comprise a unique hospitality project: Die Tuishuise.
‘It started off with my involvement in the restoration of Schreiner House which I thoroughly enjoyed,’ she says. “That was where it all began: I never dreamed of going into the hospitality business. One thing just led to another.”
Today Market Street consists of more than two dozen individually decorated houses, paying tribute to people who lived in the street as well as leading literary figures and heroes from Cradock. It is a much loved hotel visited by travellers far and wide who love warm hospitality and a good story with a happy ending!
Sandra’s daughters Cherie and Lisa and her husband Dave also work in the family business.
The collection of antiques and bric-a-brac at Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor is a passion project, an ongoing, evolving life time collection. Perhaps one of the largest collections in South Africa?
Even though when we bought the hotel and houses didn’t have any furniture, the bones of the existing buildings guided our restoration projects. We love to share our life-long collection and passion for antiques. Every nook and corner is filled with carefully curated pieces and pictures.