Jan van Riebeeck marked out a spot for a barn to be built near 'De
Ronde Doorn Bosjen' in 1657. Construction of De Schuur started in the same year. This
stately home changed ownership several times before it was bequeathed by Cecil John
Rhodes to the prime ministers of the 'federated states' of South Africa. Groote Schuur
has been used as the official residence of the leaders of South Africa since 1911.
Groote Schuur viewed from the South.
- The Dutch East India Company sold De Schuur to Hendrik Christiaan Herholdt.
- Sold to Nicholas Gulde, whom transferred the property to Johannes Pieter
Baumgradt on the day of purchase.
- Sold to Willem Stephanus van Rijneveld.
- David Anosi bought De Schuur (changed the name to De Groote Schuur).
- Anosi sold to Abraham de Smidt (officially transferred only in 1832)
- Groote Schuur inherited by De Smidt's nephew, Abraham de Smidt, the younger.
- Groote Schuur bought by Hester van der Byl and renamed 'The Grange'.
- Cecil John Rhodes leased The Grange from Mrs van der Byl.
- Herbert Baker engaged by Rhodes to redesign the house.
- Rhodes concluded the purchase of The Grange and restored the name 'Groote
Schuur'. Judge Sir William Westbrooke Burton bought the small south-east portion
called 'Onder Schuur' in 1828 and renamed it Westbrooke, later renamed Genadendal.
5 May 1990, then State President F W de Klerk and ANC Deputy President Nelson Mandela
after the first round of talks between the government and the ANC. Both groups agreed
to commitment to work towards a peaceful process of negotiation. This agreement is
referred to as the Groote Schuur Minute.
Cecil John Rhodes died in his cottage at Muizenberg on 26 March
1902. His body lay in state in Groote Schuur's inner hall. He was burried in the
Matoppo Hills in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
The following state leaders lived in the house:
1911 - Louise Botha
1919 - Jan Smuts
1924 - JBM Hertzog
1939 - Jan Smuts
1948 - DF Malan
1954 - JG Strydom
1958 - HF Verwoerd
1966 - BJ Vorster
1979 - Marais Viljoen
1984 - PW Botha
1991 - FW de Klerk
Currently in use as residence by Deputy President Zuma.
Seaside Cottage Museum in Muizenberg is open to the public every day from 10h00 to
18h00. Conducted Tours of this stately home can be arranged by contacting the curator,
Alta Kriel at +27 (0)21 873 6789.