A century back when this was built on a farm near Velddrif, a loft above the rooms in the house served as storage, insulation, and occasionally additional living space. Walls were of local stone rubble (or sometimes of lime-and-mud bricks) in a lime-and-mud mortar - the lime came from kilns where sea shells were burned. It was an effective, affordable and comfortable environment.
Unfortunately with newer materials becoming available the old buildings were abandoned, newer and showier ones built, and most of the old buildings are now too costly to restore.
It's so easy to destroy our architectural heritage this way.