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In 1889, Anders Ohlsson formed Ohlssons Cape Breweries Limited, which would be pivotal as a forerunner of our current brewers’ competition for market share. All of the above is integral to the history and development of Foresters Arms, as it stands today. Between 1889 and 1891, Ohlssons Cape Breweries demolished the original Foresters Arms cottage and built a larger zinc and brick building. In 1895, Castle Breweries (to eventually become South African Breweries (SAB)) was founded and hit the market with their flagship beer, Castle Lager. Between 1899 and 1902, there was a lot of fierce competition between Ohlssons and Castle Breweries.
In 1902, the Boer Wars broke out and Ohlssons hired guards to protect its storage facilities and prominent canteens in the Newlands area, the main one being Forries. By 1920, the Meyerowitz family had taken over stewardship of Foresters Arms from Ohlssons Cape Breweries. In 1948, the National Party won the post war election and 45 years of statutory race segregation – Apartheid – was ushered in. Between 1952 and 1983 substantial changes and alterations were made to Foresters Arms, both inside and out. There are accounts from various locals that this new Forries became an instant success with the students of nearby UCT and was soon seen as a popular gathering area. SAB retained the ownership of the land and the buildings till 1994 when Mrs Lorraine Epstein was able to buy the whole property. Foresters Arms has become one of the prime establishments of Newlands, and has grown into a cherished venue amongst the people of Cape Town. If you, as our readers, have anymore facts, figures or anecdotes that you would like to contribute to our ‘History page’, we would be delighted to hear from you. The Foresters Cabin was originally erected at the 1996 Country Living Fair in the forecourt of the Business Design Centre in Islington, it then moved to Devon and spent time at our framing yard where it was much admired before moving to its current home in a woodland clearing.
I would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone who is interested in this type of building.
The design makes it truly portable being able to be broken down into component parts, moved and then set up again. We have built a number of variations of this very popular design - explore our other Amazing Small Spaces. These small spaces have a variety of uses whether it be additional guest accommodation, an office or garden studio. In some cases these buildings can be built using Permitted Development so therefore no planning consent is required. Do you need an architect?We enjoy working with any architect of your choice, we can also recommend a range of trusted award-winning practices to suit you.
Find out moreSee where we've worked near youView our fantastic new interactive map that showcases our work around the country. Overall build costs for a complete new build oak house typically vary from ?1,500 to ?2,000+ per square metre (referring to the useable area of the lower and upper floors added together) i.e. For extensions we would suggest budgeting from ?2,000 per square metre - don't forget to add VAT (for UK customers). It is worth noting that guide price is for a complete build based on a contractor doing the work with the timber frame is usually a 20-30% proportion.
If you intend to self build then expect to budget toward the lower end of the scale (although of course it may take longer!). Access:- Difficult access effects the whole build not just the timber frame aspect, but don't panic if your site is tricky as there is usually a solution for the most extreme cases.
Good information and knowledge from the architect, builder, timber framer and the rest of the team you employ. At every stage your decisions will affect the overall costs, from the complexity of the design to the level of finish.
A timber frame can be a simple primary structure or a partial one in a certain area of your house. The timber frame is just one element of your overall build cost and can typically range from 15% - 30% of the overall figure.
As soon as you have architects drawings, we can offer you an estimate for the manufacture and raising of the frame. When should I approach you?We are happy to discuss your ideas with you at an early stage and can offer you advice along the way. You can meet with one of our frame designers and an architect if required (Roderick James Architects offer a free initial consultation). It would be understandable to assume that being a sizeable company we are therefore more expensive but this would be a mistake - we put a great deal of effort into ensuring we are competitive without compromise! Crucially by choosing Carpenter Oak Ltd, you are choosing a whole team – a client manager to facilitate the initial stages of your enquiry and and ensure your requirements are fully understood, the Frame Designer who works intensively with you and your architect to interpret your brief and develop a detailed design which fits into your overall building, the Project Management team who oversee the making and raising of your frame and a team of skilled Timber Framers who undertake the workshop carpentry and raising. You get what you pay for and if price is the only factor which drives you then you will always find someone who is willing to cut corners and do things cheaper. We are different and instead pursue excellence – we look to be the best at what we do whilst maintaining affordability, accurate and realistic pricing – we seek the trust and loyalty of our clients as this is the basis of positive working relationships which last beyond the raising of the frame.
We highly value our reputation and this can only be built on getting things right with you, our client.
We could save thousands of ?'s by compromising on the quality of our materials but we never would. We only use handheld tools and power tools (such as chain morticers, circular saws and drill) to cut and shape the timber. We are adaptable – we design and build bespoke frames (not repeat designs), often incorporate large beautiful curves within them and utilise a huge variety of structural framing techniques. We can offer a number of routes for you and your project depending on how involved you want to get.

For others we can put together a team to offer a package of frame, SIPS, oak frame glazing and joinery which essentially leaves you a watertight structure on site to be finished off by you or your builder. On smaller projects like cabins and outbuildings, or on local projects, we are happy to explore taking on the management of a whole build and can arrange for Planning permission and Building Regulations approval. Making sense of the multitude of legislation concerning planning can seem incredibly complex but there are some simple points that are worth bearing in mind when planning any changes to your timber frame building. Timber Framed PorchesPorches, which are no greater than three square metres in area, three metres in height or within two metres of any boundary with a highway, do not require permission. Dartmoor Specific Permitted Development & Planning Policy Statement 7Timber Framed ExtensionsSingle-storey extensions are permitted in summary if they are less than half the area covered by the original house (as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948), are not forward facing or side facing where there is a highway, if extended to the rear are less than 3 metres & upwards less than 4 metres, sideways are less than half the width of the original house.
There have been additions to legislation governing the construction of housing on rural areas which need to be read in additon to and not instead of exisiting legislation. There have now been several builds approved which have been timber framed, and with it's history of innovative design Carpenter Oak are well placed to advise and work with you if you plan to build something extraordinary. BR is concerned with the quality and safety of the building and build method and covers many areas.
The inspections can be made by a private firm like JHAI or the local authority building control officer. You can still start a build without BR but cannot start prior to gaining planning permission.Do you need an architect?We enjoy working with any architect of your choice, we can also recommend a range of trusted award-winning practices to suit you. We all have that idyllic image in our minds of the perfect spot for our timber frame house, and what a feeling when you find it!
We’re happy to discuss your plans at any stage of your project, contact us to discuss any queries with your potential plot of land.How long does it take to build a timber frame house or extension? Once you have found a site it can take around a year to draw up a design, obtain planning permission, then work up a detailed design and get through Building Regulation approval. If you keep in close communication with us and give us the go ahead promptly our design process can continue alongside the architects work on the design.
Our construction time is around 10-12 weeks from having signed off drawings to being on site. Read more about planning and building regulations or contact us to arrange to meet with an architect at one of our show houses.Can you put up your frames anywhere?We have raised frames in Russia, Cyprus, remote Scottish islands, City Centres, flat sites, in flood plains, by rivers  and sloping sites.
Tubular steel foresters bowsaws give equally good cutting performance on dry timbers as well as green wood and are suitable for gardeners, builders, farmers and DIY etc.Sharp taper enables ease of access amongst branches and undergrowth. Mariendahl Brewery and Josephine’s Mill were leased to Ohlsson (with rights to purchase) and Ohlsson received the rights to access the water from Newlands Spring. This was a formidable challenge to Ohlsson’s, because Castle Lager’s aggressive marketing strategy and bold advertising was a threat to the well-established Ohlssons Lion Lager. By 1912 they began a tumultuous relationship wherein both companies struggled to survive the depression, shortages of labour, shortage of supplies, and attempted a joint venture in hops production.
The guards would sleep in the stables and would travel the main routes, guarding the beer from ‘Boer guerrilla attacks’. Along with this was the upgrading of the Newlands area and Newlands Village and was the beginning of the forced removals of the ‘non-white’ inhabitants of the area.
These included the granting of a Restaurant Keepers Licence, extensions to the bar and toilets, new stores, gas installations and walls.
We now have a show barn where the Foresters Cabin once stood – contact us to arrange a visit. The cabin measuring 24? x 12? has sides which drop down when in use or fold up when empty so it looks like a shed when closed up. A building like this could be used as a granny annexe or an escape for a teenager needing their own space.
A house designed with a timber frame in mind from the outset will be more efficient to build. It can incorporate fully raftered vaulted roof spaces, mezzanine floors, balconies and fully joisted areas, all of which will affect the price of the frame. We do show a variety of designs in our pack however with corresponding frame prices and overall build prices which will help you to get a good sense of the cost. It is helpful for you to build a scrapbook (you could use Pinterest) of your ideas and wishes – this makes your brief to us and your architect much clearer.
We can offer you an estimate for your budget costings at that stage based on a timber frame sketch scheme. We are confident in our competitiveness and can say with some experience that there will be a reason for a substantially lower price even if it is not obvious to you. Skilled carpenters adept in all the techniques and who can use their judgement in the selection of every timber and the cutting of every joint are therefore critical. This means you just have one company to deal with making the whole experience much more enjoyable. Two-storey extensions are permitted in summary if they are not closer than 7 metres to rear boundary, without balconies, verandas, and with obscure glass in sideways facing windows. Notable exceptions include any outbuildings on the site of a listed property which will need planning permission, as will any development with sleeping accommodation.
The legislation is of particular interest to those who wish to self-build in remote areas of the countryside as it explains what sort of build should be permitted in areas which have a high level of protection. For example Carpenter Oak Ltd need to have the green oak timber frame engineered by an independent engineer whose certificate signs off the structural integrity of the structural skeleton.
Firstly to submit detailed drawings for sign off and then key site inspections at key stages of the build, foundations being the first.
Access is important, although Carpenter Oak Ltd have the experience and technology to negotiate the quirkiest of sites. In the case of extensions it will still take 4 to 8 months to get the stage of being able to start construction.

However, one of the major advantages of timber frame is that the carpentry can be taking place in our workshops while your builder is starting on site and getting the groundworks done. We have transported the timber by boat, sited cranes on river beds and carried entire house frames onto site by hand. Ohlsson also purchased Newlands Brewery from Daniel Cloete who had passed away, and also purchased Foresters Arms, by then a well established Inn, from David Mausen. This was a valuable commodity for Ohlssons Cape Breweries as it was their closest off-sales and was necessary because beer made in those days would turn sour after approximately 8 days.
To expand their market-share, Castle had also purchased the Martiensen Brewery in Cape Town. His son, Julius took over in the early 1940’s and managed Forries until the late 1950’s when the first removals of ‘non-whites’ in Newlands started. This is the Forries that we now know, although it has gone through some alterations over the years. The fathers would therefore gather inside for a beer while the mothers and children would sit outside in the little garden to the side of the off-sales and drink tea.
Getting advice from us on the timber frame concept prior to going in for planning will minimise the risk of sending your architect 'back to the drawing board'. Areas such as the roof structure can be done in revealed oak frame or can be entirely hidden and done by your builder in softwood.
Once you have a plot in mind we would encourage you to come and see us in the show barn at our yard to discuss your ideas in more depth and help you establish a concept design and rough costs. You will then be in a position to draw up a planning application, knowing that you will be able to achieve what you want with the frame. We are experts in timber framing and can offer you the assurance of a fully insured highly skilled team, with the economies offered by our size. This can mean that things have been left out of the price (a common tactic) or it can mean that the service you would receive in terms of project management and design support and guidance is not as complete which can simply increase your costs elsewhere. The same carpentry team carries their understanding of the frame right through to seeing it raised on site. Although the situation will gradually change, it means that currently continental Oak is the best option for our framing. The council can carry out both elements but latterly private firms have the power to ‘sign off’ key stages of a build project. The engineer will consider snow loading, the roofing material, the timber sections and the type of jointing in order to satisfy themselves that the frame we have designed is fit for purpose. We use a range of cranes (some are small and nimble enough to get through doorways) as well as hand winch cranes for access to more challenging ground. Do bare in mind that there is always a compromise with whichever plot you find.
It can then take from 3 months to construct on site (dependant on size of the project and building team). We have lifted frames over houses, squeezed down Cornwall lanes and build frames on site rather than in the workshop. In 1889, Mr Ohlsson received the leases of all canteens and public houses from Dr Michael Hiddingh, who had decided to shut down Cannon Breweries. He became disillusioned with the current government policies and was arrested numerous times for selling beer to ‘coloured folk’ which at the time became illegal even though they had been Forries’ original clientele from Newlands Village.
Newlands was now open for urban settlement of a more affluent nature and the Foresters Arms clientele would change. This will affect your overall cost to some extent but will vary the value of our work significantly. We can offer you an accurate estimate based on a timber frame sketch scheme once you have architects drawings. It can mean a lesser grade of materials, less time spent on the craftsmanship or cheaper less skilled labour.
The mills have access to a plentiful supply of exceptionally well managed and very high quality timber. For many people that means us working as a contractor alongside your architect and builder to design and build a timber oak frame. The other is to obtain building notice - you or the builder issues the building control department of your intention to build and they will then come at key stages to inspect the work being carried out.
This only takes a week or less, allowing you to push straight on with wrapping the structure with SIPs, straw-bale, or brick and block, and getting the roof on – you will be watertight very soon afterwards.Is it more difficult to obtain planning permission for a timber framed house?A timber frame house is able to be finished in any material and blend in to any environment to suit your local planning requirements.
By adopting these questionable values, (by today’s standards), OCB traded successfully in making Forries the home of the ‘freshest beer in the Cape’.
Once your planning application has been approved we can get going on a detailed frame design for you.When can I talk to you about my ideas?We encourage you to talk to us at an early stage. This works well if the building team are up to date and experienced and suit small projects. Timber frame is therefore favoured by planners and the thoughtful design and high quality of build is often a winner. Ohlssons also built storehouses and stables for the transportation of beer thoughout the Cape Colony. The system we use employs the oak frame as the internal skeleton with the skin after the insulation being render, stone, brick, cladding, glass or a combination. Obviously we hope to be able to build you an oak frame when your new build or extension comes to fruition and if you include us in discussions about design and site particulars at an early stage it will enable your architect to understand the requirements of the timber frame and incorporate them into the overall design early on. This is likely to save you money, time and hassle in the long run.How affordable is a Carpenter Oak timber frame?We are proud of our product, service and materials, and provide great value for money.

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