Finally, the next suburb installment in bite sized parts. There will be one odd post slotted in between the Jeppe/Belgravia volumes covering my house which turns 100 this month. I’ll be posting some of the original plans as well as a few features that still remain. Regular readers of this intermittent blog will know that it was the quest to find a photo of the original house that started this whole fascination with old Johannesburg and the story/comic/script that came out of that.
In 1888 the Ford & Jeppe Estate company leased a non-mineralised portion of farmland from FJ Bezhuidenhout’s Doornfontein farm. This land was laid out as Jeppestown township named after Julius G.E.C Jeppe, Sir Julius Jeppe’s father (the old man was the suburb manager until his death in 1893 and the first monument erected in Johannesburg in the Jeppe oval is in his honour).
Belgravia also has the dubious honour of being the first gated suburb in Johannesburg with its own short-lived toll road. The intention was to collect money for the upkeep of the roads but it proved to be unpopular and was eventually abandoned. The gates were across the road from where Salisbury House is now at the corner of Berg and Marshall Street. Belgravia was not allowed to have any businesses in the area. Stands were large and roads wide.