Rhodes Memorial and Groote Schuur Estate

Rhodes Memorial statue

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker and built in 1912 on the slopes of Devil's Peak , this memorial to Cecil John Rhodes resembles a Grecian temple. Eight bronze lions flank an imposing staircase and an equestrian statue. At the top, a bronze bust of Rhodes is inscribed with the word of his friend, Rudyard Kipling: "Living he was the land, and dead his soul shall be her soul".

The memorial has a temple like form and was designed with out a specific function, except to inspire heroic thought and patriotic emotion from those who visit the memorial. On a mountainside above the seaside city of Cape Town, South Africa, stands a grandiose monument to Cecil John Rhodes, a controversial character in the development of Africa and the founder of the Rhodes Scholarships. The memorial is a stage set in beautiful scenery and reflects the beliefs and aspirations of greatness of Cecil Rhodes. Eight bronze lions, the king of beasts, line the steps leading to the temple symbolizing Rhodes. The steps have no regard for human needs but are designed on a monumental scale. The memorial temple was built in Cape granite quarried from Table Mountain. There is an identical statue, also in London in Kensington Palace Gardens.

Today the memorial is part of the Table Mountain National Park. Probably the most well known heritage site in the Park is Rhodes Estate. Cecil John Rhodes was a powerful and controversial character who could be called the father of conservation on the Cape Peninsula having acquired land spanning the eastern slopes of Table Mountain from Devils Peak to Constantia Nek. On his death this land was bequeathed to the people of Cape Town and protected from development. This land, with the exception of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, is now managed by the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). there is a fairly easy three hour walk from Rhodes Memorial that follows a contour path along the slopes of the mountain all the way to Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Rhodes Memorial and the cottage where a tea garden is housed, were built between 1910 and 1912 by Sir Herbert Baker (designer and architect) and are densely enclosed by Stone Pine trees. Baker built the Memorial after Rhodes’ death, modeling it after the Greek Temple at Segesta. It is a popular viewpoint, picnicking spot and starting point for walking and hiking on Devil's Peak. The access trail turns off the M3 behind the university (sign-posted). Around the memorial are groves of oaks and stone pines, and alien fallow deer used to live in the area, although they are now being eliminated. Below the memorial is a game enclosure where eland, zebra and wildebeest are kept. The memorial above the University of Cape Town (UCT) offers a splendid view of the city.

The Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, situated just above Rhodes Memorial in the beautiful Table Mountain National Park, offers breakfasts, teas, lunches and great views. In an elevated position, the restaurant has stunning views over the northern and eastern Cape Town suburbs and the Hottentots Holland mountain range. The Memorial marked Rhodes’ favourable spot where he would sit for hours. He declared the view to be unsurpassed anywhere in the world.


The official residence of the country's leader is Groote Schuur, the famous home that Sir Herbert Baker designed for Cecil John Rhodes on the slopes of Devil's Peak. When this was burned down in 1896 Rhodes commissioned the celebrated architect Sir Herbert Baker to build a new house in Cape Dutch style.

Sitting at the south-western tip of Africa, in the Northern section of the Cape Peninsula National Park (CPNP), on the eastern slopes of Devil’s Peak and Mowbray Ridge. The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) encompasses the incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain that stretches from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south - a distance of some 60km. This narrow finger of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is bound by the cold waters of the Atlantic ocean in the west and the warm waters of False Bay in the east.

The Lower estates (Mostert’s Mill, Welgelegen and Groote Schuur residence), although part of the original Estate, are not managed by the CPNP. A hundred years ago Cecil John Rhodes started a far-sighted programme of land consolidation and protection on the mountain slopes. Today, a rich legacy is being protected and developed for the enjoyment of all South Africans and visitors, hopefully for generations to come.

At the mention of Groote Schuur, most people immediately think of the hospital. Yet Groote Schuur is also the house that Cecil John Rhodes had built for himself around a hundred years ago. He bequeathed it to the nation - along with vast tracts of mountainside that stretched all the way to Constantia Nek, Kirstenbosch included.

The Estate serves as a gateway to Table Mountain, The Back Table, Newlands forest, Kirstenbosch and Cecilia Forest. The Estate is a reminder of the power, purpose and the vision of Cecil John Rhodes. His goal was to prevent the encroachment of suburban development up these mountain slopes and to secure the land as a national asset for future generations. the footpaths and jeep tracks, up to the upper slopes of the mountain (King’s Blockhouse), are used as interpretative trails for school children and
other visitors.

From Cape Peninsula the Main Road passes the Presidents' homes, Groote Schuur and Westbrook, both built on Cecil John Rhodes' estate. If one turns right up Klipper Road and drives towards the mountain and under the bridge, there is an entrance to Rhodes Memorial.

Groote Schuur Estate Entry Points

Contact Table Mountain National Park Rhodes Memorial Mount Pleasant Area North Operational Office

Visiting Address: Rhodes Memorial, Mount Pleasant 7700
Postal Address: P O Box 181, Rondebosch 7701
Tel: +27 (0)21 689 4441
Fax: +27 (0)21 689 4461
Full details contact of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP)

Contact Rhodes Memorial Restaurant

Visiting Address:
Situated just above Rhodes Memorial
Groote Schuur Estate, Cape Town, South Africa
Postal Address: PO Box 2043, Clareinch 7740
Phone: +27 21 689 9151
Fax: +27 21 689 9152
E-Mail: r...@rhodesmemorial.co.za
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant on the web: http://www.rhodesmemorial.co.za/

More info about Groote Schuur Estate:
Rhodes Memorial  splendid view of the city, picnicking spot and starting point for walking and hiking on Devil's Peak