The earliest Title Deeds could not be found, but it is believed the Farm 'Dwarsvlei', was established in the middle of the 19th Century. The first Homestead, has original reed ceilings and still stands today, next to the new Homestead. There is an old wagon track believed to be the earliest road from Graaff Reinet passing through the Vlei where a rock, with names etched into the surface, marks the site of an outspan point.

Dwarsvlei Farm was bought by Henry Nourse, who was one of the few survivors of the very earliest pioneering days. He came of naval stock. His father was a naval officer and one of his uncles was at one-time commander of Simons Town, naval station. Henry Nourse was born on the 23rd April 1857 on the Farm 'Advice', in the Uitenhage. A District of the Eastern Cape. His father lived there after retiring from the navy. He is one of the World’s most noted horse breeders. Henry Nourse, was also a great sportsman, a fine soldier and a mining magnate. 'Nourse Mine' on the Witwatersrand still bares his name. He was chairman of the SA amateur athletic and cycling associate for 30 years, and chairman of the SA Olympic games council for more than 20 years.

Henry Nourse was also a thoroughbred breeder. At one time he is reputed to have had the largest thoroughbred stud in South Africa, and indeed in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest in the World. With 700 horse spread over his three Farms: Dwarsvlei; Kalkfontein and Rietfontein', on the Orange River.' Rietfontein' now belongs to South African golf veteran, Gary Player. On: 'Dwarsvlei; alone there was stable for 200 brood mares. Henry Nourse also had merino sheep and jersey cattle studs and apparently purebred chickens. There was an extensive vegetable garden and fruit orchard from which he supplied Middelburg.

During the South African War Henry Nourse was closely associated with Colonel Ignatius Ferreria and involved in the second Sekukuni campaign. On the outbreak of the first South African war he was engaged in the defence of Pretoria. He raised a temporary irregular force, Nourse’s Horse, to which a Memorial plate was erected later in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral London. Being a military man, Henry Nourse built the main Homestead on Dwarsvlei as a venue to entertain his officer friends from Grootfontein where 7 000 British troops were stationed during the South African war, hence the grand proportions of the rooms and the sprung dance floor of the sitting room. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long used for this purpose, because the house was completed in 1910, the year of the Union of South Africa.

In 1944, on Henry Nours’s death, Dwarsvlei was bought by Nourbet Erleigh, also a mining man. Nourbet Erleigh along with several others became notoriously known for salting a gold mine, (To make a mine appear profitable by filling it with ore containing the desired material.) This resulted in him spending 5 years in prison.

Alfred John van Lingen, bought Dwarsvlei Farm from Nourbet Erleigh, in 1963. He has farmed it ever since. As both Nourse and Erleigh lived in Johannesburg, with managers on Dwarsvlei, John van Lingen and his family were the first to live on the Homestead. Dwarsvlei was farmed for 50 years by John van Lingen. He ran race horses for Nourbet Erleigh for 15 years after purchasing the Farm and he also ran a very successful merino stud. John was an astute farmer always willing to consider new opportunities. These properties ( Dwarsvlei and Temple Farm) are now farmed by Andrew and Matthew van Lingen (son and grandson to John van Lingen). They use water for irrigation from the Orange River. Through careful farming, with timed controlled grazing, by the 3 van Lingen generations who have worked the Farm, the ecosystem has improved greatly.

In an exciting new development, Dwarsvlei has been transformed into a venue for cycling and running events amongst others. 

-31° 38' 1.0529", 24° 58' 48"