Hazeldean Valley is at the heart of what was once the home of South Africa’s biggest Ayrshire herd at the time: the herd that founded the Woolworths Ayrshire brand of delicious dairy products in 1988. The historic old farm buildings dating back to the 1940s provide the perfect setting for what promises to be a place where people can enjoy some time out of the city right on the doorstep of Pretoria. The farm is on the banks of the Pienaars River, East of Pretoria with bushveld scenery and farmyard atmosphere.
Hazeldean Valley is now home to the Cowhouse Market, situated in the barn that used to house 640 top producing, contented dairy cows. People of all shapes and sizes can enjoy a day out riding the exciting Mountain Bike trails or just walking the dogs and enjoying some time out with friends. Hazeldean Brewing Company will soon be set up in one of the old barns. More exciting ventures are planned for Hazeldean Valley so watch this space.
It all started in 1944 with a small herd of about 20 Ayrshire cows coming up on a train from the Cape. The old farm buildings were built with unskilled labour during the Second World War. These included the barn and cow shed where 100 cows could be milked by hand. This later became the calf barn and is now destined to become a micro brewery and wedding venue soon.
A dairy was built on the farm which pioneered the Ayrshire brand. At one stage the herd was the biggest Ayrshire herd in South Africa, peaking at about 950 cows in milk i.e. almost 2000 animals in the herd. The stud Ayrshire cows also won prizes at agricultural shows, the highlight being when Milkyway Loretta 4 won the supreme dairy champion at the Centenary Rand Easter Show in 1995.
The cow house was built in 1999 to house 640 of the top producing cows. The building was designed to keep the cows cool and dry. It is now the home of the Cowhouse Market.
In 2008 the cows were moved off Hazeldean to other farms. Although the farm is now within the urban edge of Pretoria, this area, known as Hazeldean Valley, which encompasses the farm buildings, is destined to be kept as a heritage and a destination where people can come and enjoy a farm-like atmosphere and outdoor life.