Similar to the lesser ZAR Public Works Department’s Republican buildings of that era, this building was completed in 1896. The famous artist Pierneef attended the school before the Anglo-Boer War. During the war the structure was used as a prison for captured British officers, from which Winston Churchill escaped at the age of 25. The school was the forerunner of both Pretoria Boys High School and Clapham High School. The sandstone and redbrick materials are composed in an Eclectic Wilhelmina style. Sytze Wierda was born in the Netherlands and was renowned as the first Government Architect and Engineer for the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR). Over the fourteen years of working for the Government, he and his team developed the Republican Style (also known as Eclectic Wilhelmina), designing numerous Significant Buildings. His exact Town of birth, is disputed and even his Architectural Education is unclear, though it is known that he was originally Schooled to be a Carpenter. The suburb of Wierdapark, in Centurion, is named after him. This Building was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 8 April 1960.
Sir Winston Churchill escaped from this Building when, for a time, it was used to House Prisoners-of-War, during the Anglo-Boer War. Single-storied red brick with ochre dressings, it was very typical, of the lesser Republican Buildings produced in the drawing offices of the PWD. With the Facade divided into the customary five sections, there are all the stock embellishments, such as the oversized stone finials topping the gables, and a positive forest of air vents.
-25° 45', 28° 11' 27.6"