SEDGEFIELD – GARDEN ROUTE – SOUTHERN CAPE
Sedgefield is a coastal town on the Garden Route in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is situated on the N2 national road, between George and Knysna. The town offers beaches, adventure activities and bird-watching activities to the holiday revellers preferring its all-year mild weather.
The town was proclaimed in 1929 on the farm Sedgefield, which in turn was named in 1894 after the village of the same name in the UK where the father (Henry Barrington) of the then farm-owner was born.
The farm Ruigtevlei was granted to the widow Meeding by Lord Charles Somerset and upon her death in 1878, the farm was divided into 9 lots. Lots A and B were first bought by individual farmers, before eventually being purchased in 1894 by John Barrington, son of then-famous politician, farmer and industrialist Henry Barrington (referred to as ‘Henry Barrington of Portland’ in the novel ‘Circles in a forest’ by Dalene Matthee). John named the town in honour of his father’s birthplace Sedgefield in the United Kingdom. Incidentally, the original Afrikaans name Ruigtevlei translates loosely into Sedgefield, with ‘ruigte’ indicating sedge and ‘vlei’ relating to a field. Kate Maurice (nee Barrington) inherited the farm Sedgefield from her brother upon his death in 1901. Kate sold the farm in 1911 to Salmon Terblans. A part of the farm Sedgefield was subsequently sold as Middelplaas, but was reincorporated in 1926. Terblans and Thomas Moodie investigated the possibility of proclaiming a town on the farm. Eventually, Moodie invested a lot of work into developing a town plan after securing an option to buy the farm but due to an oversight by Moodie’s lawyer, Terblans was able to step back out of their agreement at the last moment and sell the ground to Thesen and Company. However, Charlie Thesen decided to compensate Moodie for his invested effort and allowed him to name the newly proclaimed town.