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In 1908 General Smuts built this house known as the Big House. The wood-and-iron building is of historical interest as it was originally a campaign building in India, demounted and re-erected as an officers' mess at Lord Kitchener's headquarters at Middelburg (Mpumalanga). Over the years, rooms were added and verandahs enclosed. It is a large house with 11 bedrooms. As Field Marshall, the Right Honourable Jan Christiaan Smuts, second Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa and a prominent figure in world affairs, lived in this house for a considerable part of his adult life. It was the only permanent home he knew after he left his father's farm.
(Richardson, 2001: 206)
There is a magnolia tree in the garden with a plaque which reads:
THE SEED FROM WHICH
The house also contains Smuts' extensive personal library.
See also Jan Smuts' birthplace, Bovenplaats, in Riebeek West, Western Cape.
This site was selected as one of the ten most endangered cultural heritage sites in South Africa in 2017. The campaign is an initiative of the Heritage Monitoring Project (HMP) to identify and raise awareness of cultural heritage sites that are at significant risk from natural or human made forces. The HMP and the judges made their selection from more than 35 heritage sites nominated by the public.
See: The Heritage Portal
These notes were last edited on 2021 07 13
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