Click to view map
Groote Post is a declared National Monument (1979), now devolved to a Provincial Heritage Resource (1999).
From the SAHRIS database of the SAHRA
No. 1707 10 August 1979
The historic buildings comprise a fort, now adaptively reused as a wine cellar, the Old Farm House called Groote Post, another out-house and various associated buildings and structures such as stables and a slave-bell.
The area lying sixty-four kilometres to the north of Cape Town, near the Kapokberg (Sleet Mountain), then known as Groene Kloof (now Mamre) served the VOC as a place for growing vegetables and grazing herds of sheep and cattle, a practice that attracted local Khoekhoen raiders to the area. This in turn necessitated the erection of a fort.
The fort is in the idiom of a stronghold with loopholes and windows raised above the floor level, in all probability served with a gangway, much as is the case with Lombard's Post, which once too served the VOC before its appropriation by the British.
When, in 1803, the Cape was returned to Dutch rule under the Batavian Republic, Commissioner General de Mist granted the area of Groote Post to the Board of Commission for Agriculture which he had established so as to continue research for farming by scientific method introduced by the British. William Duckit, of Esher in England, chose to remain and was appointed as Agricultural Superintendent there..A small flock of merino sheep were imported from the Netherlands and a stud bull and cows from England, with some horses. With these developments accommodation was increased by the addition of the homestead. Britain had once more taken the Cape but left arrangements as they stood.
Things changed with the arrival of the imperious Lord Charles Somerset the Board, of which he accepted the title of Patron, was dissolved and he took direct control of the experimental farm, using it for his own purposes as his private hunting lodge. He added the stables for his team of horses. When he left in 1827 the farm was subdivided into seven parts and all leased for seventeen years.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.