Melrose House is named after the famous Melrose Abbey in Scotland. It was built in 1886 by Pretoria businessman George Jesse Heys.
Today this elegant house museum stands as a superb example of the transition of Victorian to Edwardian architectural styles and interiors. Inside, the museum is characterised by colourful stained glass windows, paintings by English artists, carpets in rich colours, ornate ceilings and fireplaces, as well as valuable porcelain ornaments, which mostly belonged to the Heys family.
Lord Roberts requisitioned Melrose House as headquarters of the British forces, after the invasion of Pretoria in June 1900. Instructions were issued from here for more than 18 months, determining the strategy of the British forces in the field. The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging which ended the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) was signed in Melrose House on 31 May 1902.
This historic house built in 1886, was modeled after Melrose Abbey in Scotland. Its greatest claim to fame comes from it use as the British headquarters during the Anglo-Boer War of the early 1900's. In fact, on May 31, 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging which ended that war, was signed by the warring parties in the dining room. Today it serves as a insight to a long ago time, for its interior is meticulously preserved to look as it did in ealy 1900's. The stained glass, the rich carpets, the ornate ceilings and fireplaces, the beautiful woodwork, the art and porcelain objects create the feel of an era long gone.
The Melrose house, is designed in 1886, is one of the best surviving examples of Victorian architecture in South Africa, and is well worth a visit. In this house on May 31, 1902 was signed the Peace Treaty, between the Republican forces and the British High Command, which ended the Second War of Independence.