Glen Craig has been declared a heritage site on the UNESCO world heritage site. The property looks down the hill towards the sea and the quaint village of Pringle Bay with its unspoilt natural beauty and peaceful pace. Over the years the village of Pringle Bay has attracted many resident talented artists, musicians and academics with their varied skills. “Arende”, the TV show, was filmed on this property.
The story of Glen Craig
During the 1930′s land in the Hangklip area between the Palmiet River and the Rooiels River was acquired by three business partners, Harold Porter, Arthur Youldon and Jack Clarence. They called it the Hangklip Beach Estates and divided the area into three townships, namely Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels and sold off plots to interested parties. Until the Second World War, when the coastal road from Gordon’s Bay (named Clarence Drive after Jack Clarence) was built to service the radar stations at Stony Point and at Hangklip, this area had first been accessed via Sir Lowry’s Pass and Kleinmond with a pontoon crossing the Palmiet River.
While the spectacular Clarence Drive was cut out of the cliff face to connect the many little hamlets that lie along this part of the coast, a jail was necessary to house the prisoners doing the hard work. At this time, the original structures of what is now Glen Craig was built by the prisoners in the form of a quadrangle, with a ‘parade ground’ in the middle for their exercise and ablutions. This parade ground is now the large thatch covered Lapa surrounded by old camphor trees. All the bedrooms en suite face into this large quadrangle today.
Glen Craig also housed Italian Prisoners of war. There is reference to this fact in the now out of print “Fynbos Coast” written by Peter Slingsby. There are lively rumours of the doings of previous inhabitants when it was a jail, with two sentry boxes still standing testament on the NW side and SE sides of the building.
What is a Biosphere?
In a biosphere reserve conservation and development co- exist in a sustainable way. The objective is to preserve Biodiversity, functioning ecosystems while meeting the material needs of an increasing number of people. The success of the initiative relies heavily on the commitment of the communities.
The area comprises of three zones:
The undisturbed core zone is rich in biodiversity and strictly protected. Low impact recreational and educational activities are allowed.
- 1.The buffer zone mainly comprises privately owned land where owners apply the principles of eco friendly farming and tourism.
- 2. The buffer zone protects the core zone from developmental impact (Glen Craig is in the buffer zone).
- 3. Transitional zones are areas with intense human activity but are respectful of ecological principles.
Written by: Amida Johns Botanist for the Kogelberg Environment
The Kogelberg Biosphere is truly a special environment, and has a healing influence with the locals living within it. Glen Craig tries to work in harmony with nature in the most eco friendly way possible, providing a facility which is excellent for meditation, and de-stressing.
At Glen Craig we enjoy the luxury of clean water from the dam in the mountains, as well as clean fresh air, both unpolluted by any industry in our area. For us, quality of life is a priority, and peace, tranquility, calm, and pure relaxation are what you can expect.
Glen Craig is aware of the importance of sustainable solutions and we are making every effort to lessen our carbon footprint. We apply the principals of sustainable living in the biosphere by using as many local suppliers as possible. We wish to protect and conserve the environment and hand it over to the next generation in the most pristine condition possible.
- Fish served in our dining room is only from the ‘green list’.
- Very few chemicals are used on the property, Glen Craig chooses to use more natural substances for the sake of the environment. The salt chlorinator used for the swimming pool was made locally by a retired professor.
- All light bulbs are low energy bulbs and timers are used wherever possible.
- Solar outside lights for functions.
- Garden benches are made of recycled plastic from a local business.
- Wooden pool loungers are from old wine vats that have been recycled by a local entrepreneur.
- Kleinmond Cabs is the preferred taxi service (owned and managed by previously disadvantaged people).
- A recycling system is in place for all plastic, tins, paper and glass. Worm factories take care of the kitchen waste, supplying Glen Craig’s gardens with natural fertilizer and wonderful compost.
- Waste paper baskets in the bedrooms were all made by the blind.
- The floor rugs are all pure wool.
- Wood used for our log fires is all from alien invasive trees cut down on the property.
- Snakes are captured and removed to a reserve.
Here at Glen Craig we feel very privileged to live in such a magnificent environment and are delighted to be able to offer the same privilege to our guests, if only for a short time.
We are dedicated to keeping our carbon footprint as small as we can and to this end maintain our property in the most eco friendly way possible. We have removed thousands of alien plants and trees (you originally couldn’t see the sea from our veranda!) It is an ongoing process and all the staff are constantly involved in removing the alien vegetation.
We have an organized recycling procedure where all paper, glass, tins, plastic is separated. Worm factories deal with most of the fresh kitchen waste. All light bulbs are low wattage and timers are used where possible to keep light pollution down (better star gazing). The gardens are all indigenous with mountain water used to maintain them and top up the swimming pool.
We support small self help projects where possible. The quilts on the beds were all made by a self-help project. The white table linen was by another local self help organization.