The Ambagswerf

Farming was the chief occupation in this region. Self-sufficiency was necessary to survive and the new settlers had to feed and clothe themselves and make their own furniture and household necessities.

In 1969 a decision was taken to expand the Drostdy Museum complex by adding an open air section where tools and equipment used by artisans of the past could be exhibited, as well as structures and equipment relating to the wheat industry. For this purpose, buildings were erected which would be sympathetic in design to the existing eighteenth and nineteenth century structures.

Ambagswerf means trade yard. The trades represented here were practiced in Swellendam in the early years of white settlement. It was here that provisions were purchased and repairs to wagons and other equipment were made.

The creation of an Ambagswerf is merely a convenient means to exhibit these trades and it is not the recreation of an historical site.