George and Fanny Parkes arrived in this small Wood Mecca in 1891. Also from a timber and steelworks background, George Parkes stumbled upon Knysna quite unintentionally and was so impressed with what he saw that the Parkes family never left. In fact, they opened up a sawmill and became the first people to export manufactured wooden items from Knysna. The Geo Parkes & Sons Log Yard remained operational in the town’s centre, where Woodmill Lane now stands, until as recently as 1984. It was then moved to the industrial area, where it remains to this day.
The family initially stayed on a farm outside of Knysna called Hoogekraal until 1927, they then decided to build the Parkes Manor, which was completed in 1929. Although George Parkes first bought the land and started building the home, he was never privileged enough to live in it.
The manor house was owned by the Parkes Family until it was sold in 1997 where after it was converted into a guest house. Under new ownership since 2013 it has been carefully restored to detail. It is now a timeless classic reviving the charme and elegance of a long gone era but with all the mods and cons of our time.