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The Groote Schuur Estate

The Groote Schuur Estate

Named after part the Granary that was built on the estate in 1667 by the Dutch East India Company, De Groote Schuur (The Big Barn) was to become far more important to South Africa than the Trading Company that had it built. In 1870, over 200 years after it was built Cecil John Rhodes arrived in Natal - South Africa. He was sent from England to School, hoping the climate would improve his health. Well the move certainly improved his wealth, he became a businessman, mining magnate (founder of De Beers diamonds), and the politician who founded the state of Rhodesia. A man of much influence CJ Rhodes took out a lease on the property in 1891. In 1893 he purchased the property and had the "Big Barn" in Rondebosch, on the slopes of Devil's Peak, converted by architect, Sir Herbert Baker, into the Cape Dutch building we would recognize today. He spent as much time on the surrounding estate as he did on his home, in 1897 he had cages built on the upper slopes to house lions, but soon the slopes of Devils Peak were filled with antelopes, zebra, eland, wildebeest and ostriches. The house itself was surrounded by bright luscious gardens filled with roses, hydrangeas, cannas, bougainvilleas and fuchsias. CJ Rhodes died on the 26 March 1902 and his final will left a large area of land on the slopes of Table Mountain to the South African Nation.

The land was divided, the upper campus of the University of Cape Town took part, another became the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, while much became part of the important conservation area the Cape Peninsula National Park under the care of The South African National Parks.
Part of the estate also became home for The Groote Schuur Hospital in 1938, this was the home to the first human heart transplant conducted by South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard

The Groote Schuur Residence however was the Cape Residence for the Prime Ministers of South Africa from 1910 to 1984 and then continued as the presidential residence up until FW de Klerk and the formation of the "Government of National Unity" (President Nelson Mandela never used The Groote Schuur as a cape residence, but opted for the Westbrooke, now known as The Genadendal building.)

One of the ironies of The Groote Schuur was a party thrown in May 1956 for South Africa's Nationalist Prime Minister Johannes Strydom in which speeches were made encouraging the continuance of "White Supremacy" in a country where they were clearly the minority. On 4 May 1990 The Groote Schuur made world wide headlines again, but this time it was the signing of the "Groote Schuur Minute" between Nelson Mandela of the ANC and F.W. De Klerk, the then President of South Africa.

Today The Groote Schuur stands as a monument of the past struggles of the South African people, and to the historical reformation that those struggles led to.

No Longer a presidential residence, the building and its grounds are open as a museum to the public but only by appointment.
For more information and bookings contact +27-21-6869100

Nearby Listings

Koornhoop Manor House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Observatory

0.9km East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

We're an owner-run guest house in the suburb of Observatory, Cape Town - below the towering Devil's Peak as it runs down to the Liesbeek River. We have 8 en-suite double and single rooms.

Direct Enquiry Call Direct
Sleeps: 4
From R 800,00
Per unit, per night.

Rondebosch Place

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Rondebosch

2.7km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Rondebosch Place is a two bed-roomed, one bathroom self catering flat situated on the 5th floor in a secure apartment block in central Rondebosch with wonderful views, it is a spacious and light and bright flat.

Direct Enquiry Call Direct
Sleeps: 4 in 2 units/rooms

Belvedere on Barkley

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Rondebosch

2.8km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

WELCOME to BELVEDERE ON BARKLEY, a lovely Victorian house in the exclusive Silwood area of Rondebosch. It has two upmarket self-catering units with mountain views and is centrally located with easy access to the N2, M3, N1 and M5. Ideal for...

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Graded:
Sleeps: 12 in 4 units/rooms

Sandown Lodge

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Rondebosch

3.0km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Sandown Lodge is a charming 19th Century Georgian House, centrally situated in picturesque surroundings directly opposite Rondebosch Park.

Instant Booking Direct Enquiry Call Direct
Sleeps: 11 in 4 units/rooms
From R 400,00
Per unit, per night.

Blyplek @ Central Avenue, Pinelands

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Pinelands

3.2km East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Blyplek @ Central Avenue was built in 1928 as part of the original Pinelands Garden Village, finished with lavish amounts of teak - panelling, doors and window frames. Over time, different families with different needs, have developed it .

Direct Enquiry Call Direct
Sleeps: 4 in 2 units/rooms
From R 750,00
Per unit, per night.

Mulberry House

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Rondebosch

3.5km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Mulberry House is situated in the heart of Rondebosch with easy access to Cape Town Airport and the City centre freeway. It is walking distance to Newlands rugby and cricket grounds. Claremont shopping centre, Hospitals, the University and Kirsten...

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Graded:
Sleeps: 2
From R 450,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Thatchwood Cottage

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Pinelands

3.5km East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Thatchwood Cottage is situated in Pinelands which offers a self contained cottage with its own entrance and secure off street parking. There is a swimming pool and tranquil garden where guests can relax.

Direct Enquiry Call Direct
Sleeps: 7

Acorn Tree Family Accommodation

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Newlands

3.7km South of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Acorn Tree, family accommodation sleeps 7. All double bedrooms open onto the sunny, quiet private walled garden with wonderful mountain views. Gas and electric cooking facilities, dishwasher, microwave, tumble dryer, washing machine. Auto garage...

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Squirrel's Way Cottage

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Newlands

3.8km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

Squirrels Way offers three self catering cottages offering fully equipped family accommodation in the leafy suburb of Newlands in Cape Town. Each cottage has its own private entrance, security, mountain view and secure on site parking. Each fully ...

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Sleeps: 4 in 2 units/rooms
From R 650,00
Per unit, per night.

Mayfield Cottages

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Rondebosch

4.0km South East of center of The Groote Schuur Estate

MAYFIELD COTTAGE is a spacious and sunny north facing self-catering unit which is situated in the leafy and historic suburb of Rondebosch. It is a flatlet which adjoins the main house in a tranquil, lush garden.

Direct Enquiry Call Direct