Fort Schanskop

The fort was also built by the German firm Krupp, was completed on 6 April 1897 and cost £47 500. Christiaan Kuntz was in charge of construction and Celso Giri the building contractor. Black labourers carried out the actual construction work, while Italian and Dutch experts presided over the technical aspects. All three German designed forts, namely Wonderboompoort, Schanskop and Klapperkop, were the pentagonal reinforced type, with revolving artillery. The walls were also crenellated for improved defence, enforced by trenches and barbed wire entanglements. The rooms of these forts were reinforced with an embankment, and called casemates. The fort had a double entrance gateway, and was commanded by Lieutenant A. Carlblom. The fort had electricity and searchlights powered by paraffin. Lightining conductors, a heliograph, an underground telegraph connection and a telephone were also installed. Fort Schanskop shared a pumping station with Fort Klapperkop, and running water came from the Apies River in the Fountains Valley. The garrison was initially armed with one officer, 30 men and armaments. However, both the garrison and armaments were gradually reduced during the course of the Second Anglo-Boer War. On the premises one can find a scale model replica of the Trek Monument that was inaugurated in Tanzania in 1954. . Fort Schanskop was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 29 June 1938 and is a Gauteng Provincial Heritage Site.

Last updated : 12-Dec-2011

This article was produced for South African History Online on 14-Jul-2011