The mill was erected in 1840 and continued to function as such until after the turn of the 20th century when its mechanism and top portion were removed and the remaining structure was converted to a horse mill. It is one of only two tower mills erected in the Malmesburg district and since its restoration in the 1970s, it has become a focal point for a new housing scheme known as Onze Molen. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 17 August 1984.
At the beginning of the 19th Century, Durbanville in Cape Town was an outpost known as Pampoenkraal. In 1801, the great-grandson of the first Uys to land in the Cape in about 1700, Jacobus Uys, and his mother-in-law the widow Roeland, were granted two morgen of land. However, Johannesfontein, as the property was named, was too small for farming and keeping stock was forbidden.
In 1809, Uys was Field-Cornet of the Tigerberg district responsible for collecting taxes and in 1811, he met William Burchell when he outspanned at Pampoenkraal on his journey to Tulbagh. Burchell recorded in his journal that he bought wine and bread from 'the Veldcornet'. Uys was granted a further 36 morgen in 1812. In 1837, not long before he died, the entire property was sold to Mezst van der Spuy Meyburgh, who probably built the mill sometime before 1848.
In the early years, the Cape windmills were situated along the Liesbeek and Black Rivers, but with the rising demand for wheat, these mills could not cope. This is almost certainly the reason why Onze Molen was built in what was then an outlying area, on Uys's original two morgen. The mill was named when Mr B Brinkworth bought the farm in 1963 and his wife named it Onze Molen. Tentative plans for restoration proved impractical and 20 years later, in 1983, Brinkworth sold the property to the Natal Building Society. In the interim, Onze Molen had been reduced to a four metre high trunk with a corrugated iron roof that provided shelter for labourers on the farm. The NBS researched possible restoration with the help of the National Monuments Council and although no plan of Onze Molen was found, its restoration was based on Mostert's Mill, which is of a slightly earlier period. The architect for the restoration was JORDAAN & HARTWIG, Cape Town.
Paul Woolley of Daljosaphat Restorations, although not a millwright, did a great deal of research and undertook the restoration. The wooden mechanism of the cap was made in the company's workshop, dismantled, transported to Durbanville and reconstructed on site. The cap was thatched on the ground and the entire structure was hoisted into place by crane. The restored mill was officially opened in 1986. It is now the proud centrepiece of the Onze Molen Village development. Because it is sited on land designated as public open space, the Durbanville municipality has assumed responsibility for it.
-33° 49' 55.2", 18° 38' 20.4"