The library at Vergelegen Wine Estate situated in Somerset West, Western Cape used to be a winery that was built during 1816. It was converted to a library in 1920 by Sir Lionel and Lady Florence Phillips who took over the estate in 1917 from former Cape Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. The library had undergone several changes over the years but was restored by Anglo-American, a global mining company, in 1987. The book collection belonged to its former owner Sir Lionel Phillips.  

It is estimated that there are over 4500 books of which three of the oldest books were printed in the eleventh century. The collection consists mainly of ancient and modern history books as well as travel books. There are 444 books on art, music, and gardening. Books on architecture, furniture and design also feature. Sir Lionel Phillips was also interested in science, particularly the writing of Charles Darwin. Of course, he also kept a collection of books in his field of mining and farming. Only one cookbook features in the entire collection. There are also 168 French volumes amongst the collection. Many of the books are folio size and stored in cupboards to preserve them. Sir Lionel Phillips also used the library as a music room and installed an organ at the end of the room. 

The library does not only reflect Sir Lionel Phillips taste but also Lady Florence Phillips, whose handwritten notes are also on display. Currently, the library is styled in a classic country design to fit with the flare of the rest of the estate. 

0°, 0°

Heritage Portal (2018), Visit to the Vergelegen Library, Available online at:  Accessed [15 April 2020].

Netwerk24 (2016), Vergelegen Library- a National Treasure, Available online at: Accessed [15 April 2020].

Vergelegen Wine Estate (2019), Heritage Sites, Available online at: Accessed [15 April 2020].