Residents are proud of their easily accessible, yet secluded precinct. Nestled in the hills surrounding Pretoria Nieuw Muckleneuk is a suburb with strong Scottish ties. When the Pretoria pioneer, George Walker, acquired a portion of the farm Elandspoort, he named it after his family estate in Scotland - Muckleneuk.
Muckleneuk is colloquial Scots for a large corner or nook. Over a century after the first residents recognised the charm of this hamlet, Muckleneuk is still one of the most sought-after suburbs in Pretoria. It is bounded by a hill and a nature reserve to the south and a railway line to the north. The area has a panoramic view of the city, the Union Buildings, Memoes Kop, the University of Pretoria and further east. Residents consider it as an easily accessible, yet secluded suburb. New Muckleneuk was laid to the east by Walker on a portion of the farm.
With the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886 and the consequent boost to the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republieks economy, the suburbs Sunnyside, Muckleneuk and Arcadia were laid out before the turn of the century. It is said that wealthy Pretoria residents saw the charm of the natural hills in Muckleneuk and established their estates there. In 1895, President Paul Kruger inaugurated the famous Delagoa Bay railway line-that linked Pretoria to that port. The line runs to the north of Muckleneuk.
After the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902, another period of growth began in the history of Muckleneuk with the building of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Hospital with funding acquired in Holland by the Boer generals Louis Botha, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. In 1911, Muckleneuk was declared a township and in 1920 Berea Street was tarred.
A striking feature of Muckleneuk is the abundance of historical dwellings. Among these are homes built by renowned architects such as Gerhard Moerdyk, Lockwood Hall, De Zwaan and Burg and Herbert Baker. Homes such as the Kirkness House and Bourke House reflect the classic style of a bygone era. Bourke House is the residence of Unisa principals and Kirkness House was built with the famous red bricks which Kirkness himself boasted were rejects from his brick factory. `It is now the residence of the Korean ambassador. Between them the three Muckleneuks have the beautiful Magnolia Dell with its art markets, the Trim Park and the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary.
Because of its secluded nature and its accessibility to shopping malls, centres of learning and the highway, Muckleneuk has attracted a rich mix of people. Among others academics, researchers, professional persons and diplomats as well as several embassies such as those of Belgium, Finland and Egypt call the area home. There is a special quality to this neighbourhood that you will seldom find anywhere else.