Alexander Gifford, his wife and nine children came to Natal in 1851 on the “John Line” from the Isle of Man. He emigrated independently and thus did not receive a land grant, but soon after his arrival, purchased two allotments totalling 180 acres.
Over the years he acquired more land including Flagstaff (in earlier years the property of Edward Coward). He resided on the farm “The Grange”, and also owned the farm “Ellersile”.
Although the Giffords emigrated from the Isle of Man, they were originally from Scotland. Of the nine children, three are of particular interest namely Alexander, William and Patrick who inherited the farm “Ellersile” and Flagstaff respectively.
Gertrude Gifford, the only daughter of Patrick Gifford married Frank Lowe from Rochester Kent, and who on the death of Patrick in 1923 inherited Flagstaff and bought Ellersile from the children of William.
Frank and Gertrude Lowe commenced their married life in Darnall where Frank was a field manager for the Hulett family.
They had seven children. In 1932/33, the present house was completed, and they moved in with their children.
During the war years, many navy sailors were hosted at Flagstaff. A great deal of friendships were made, and one sailor, who carried one of Frank Lowe’s grandsons on his shoulders, is still in touch with that grandchild
The Lowe family was a supportive legacy family (TINA: maybe replace ‘close-knit’ with and the current generation, now in their fifties and sixties, have fond memories of horse riding, boar hunting and even learning to drive on a tractor. Many parties and wedding receptions were held for family members over the years. A church was built on the farm, with the stone being unveiled by Mrs Gertrude Lowe in 1961, shortly before her death.
In 1973, the farm was sold to the de Charmoy family.