In 1714 Alphen was a property of about 11 acres, probably growing fruit and vegetables. There is a suggestion it was also a nursery for vines. This was the area where the Brommersvlei stream and the Burgersboschspruit joined the Diep River, the main source of water for the farm.
Various buildings were put up during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries around the Great Square, the oldest being the Jonkershuis. The 18th century Manor House is unusual in that it is double storeyed with a carved and marbled front door probably designed by Anton Anreith. The Alphen Estate is a National Monument.
We don’t know the exact dates of many of the buildings, the exception being the Mill on the banks of the Diep River where the following inscription was found on a beam: “Johannes Balthasar Breuning uit Hessen Darmstadt ampt Grimberg van de Colbe mole geboortig heft deze mole getimmert anno 1772”. This is the oldest Mill in the South Peninsula. The wheel has disintegrated, but archaeologists found a section of it during restoration work in 1997 and it has been measured and redrawn so it can be reconstructed one day. Part of the Burgersboschspruit was diverted through a leiwater into a koffieklip dam north of the cellars. The dam then fed water to the mill and powered the wheel. It also led water to a dam east of the Manor House. That dam has long since been filled in, but the family plan to restore it. The koffieklip feeder dam was unfortunately destroyed when the Council built Peter Cloete Ave.
Alphen had a number of owners and grew across the years. In 1850 Dirk Cloete and his wealthy wife, Katarina Reneira bought the property. Dirk increased the size of the property further until it spread northwards over Wynberg Hill and included what is now Glen Dirk farm, Monterey / Oosterzee Heights and the areas where the Constantia Village shopping centre and the sports grounds stand. It became the most successful wine farm in its time.