The accepted view is that the eighteenth-century colonial architecture of South Africa has Dutch origins. Jan van der Meulen has challenged this view in this journal. Previous research has looked for the origins of the mostly rural South African colonial architecture in urban Dutch architecture, but, as van der Meulen has noted, with meager results. This note suggests that rural Dutch architecture may be a better field in which to look. Much of the argument presented here is based on a comparison between South African colonial gable design and that in the Zaanstreek, a rural-industrial area north of Amsterdam.

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