The History of Bucklands



The History of Bucklands

In 1865 Alfred Buckley purchased the farm Boschplaats from John Henry Dixon who had been granted the land in 1842. It was probably previously a loan place belonging to Dutch farmers, although there appears to be no record of this. In 1813 a proclamation issued by Governor Cradock had encouraged the conversion of existing loan places into permanent quitrent tenure and eventual ownership.

The farm, renamed Bucklands, remained in the Buckley family until 1920, when the two remaining daughters, who had been living there, sold Kentucky, Bucklands and Schrikwaters Poort on public auction. It was bought by Archibald Kent who had two sons, Keith and Basil.

In 1922, Keith Kent, having trained at Grootfontein Agricultural College, returned to farm Bucklands, Lower Bucklands and Schrikwaters Poort. He inherited the properties when his father, Arch Kent, passed away in 1940. He first married Kathleen Wallace who died in childbirth and then subsequently Stella Butt, producing five daughters. Keith lived at Bucklands until his death in 1964. As he had no sons, the property was sold to Alf Johnson, and farmed by Tony and Lynn (nee Johnson) Phillips until 2007, when it was bought by Emerald Sky Trading 663 Pty Ltd (Terry Stewart).

"Having grown up in the Eastern Cape with vivid memories of walking through thick valley bush, tasting the sour young speckboom leaves and the sweet honey from the tecoma flowers, hoping as a young boy to catch a glimpse of the wise kudu or shy bushbuck, it was no wonder that it was love at first sight when Michele and I first viewed the property.

When we purchased the property, it was obvious that there was something special about this land that gets to you and it was clear that Lynn was extremely passionate about the property as well and thus we asked her to put together this potted history for us."

By Terry Stewart (Owner)


The History Surrounding Bucklands (an extract from the full downloadable word document "click here" to download)

In the event that the document will not open in your chosen web browser, simply right click on the link and "save target as". Then select the location on your computer (Desktop or My Documents) and save the document to that location. Once the document has been saved you will then be able to open it with Microsoft Word.

"We came to love and cherish this unsung "mother of all vegetation types" (Prof Richard Cowling, pers.comm) with its tangle of evergreen shrubs, vines and succulents, not to mention the thorniness of things! Under that thorny green mantle lies much more for you and your family to discover, and I'm sure you will have a great time doing it. But some of its history is a secret one, and I hope you will appreciate it all so much more if you know about the story of the places that you will be walking and driving through.

What follows is a potted history that is largely in my head, from readings done so long ago that I'm afraid I've forgotten where I read it, which I have put together with some of my writings. Much of my written work has been done for my and other people's publicity purposes. I have tried to rewrite it in a less flowery form, put you will probably still recognize some of the more "PR" bits. It may also get a bit repetitive at times, because I have put this together from a number of sources and some of the information overlaps. Dates and numbers are not my forte, but hopefully I have got most of it right …

Acknowledgement of those sources that I have quoted here goes to two Frontier Country characters; Professor Richard Cowling of the Department of Botany at Nelson Mandela metropolitan University; and Professor Emeritus Colin Coetzee, a former professor of history at Fort Hare University and author of the book on the forts of the Eastern Cape. Also some of the information came from Pearl Scotney, daughter of Keith Kent and author of the book on the Kent Family."

By Lynn Philips