Salisbury, 1896

The top picture shows the building of the new capital of Rhodesia. It was named Salisbury in honour of the Prime Minister of Britain at the time - Lord Salisbury. By honouring him, they were hoping that he would bless the venture and perhaps be willing to help the colony if it got into trouble. The building marked is actually shows the construction of the Cecil Building (after Cecil Rhodes).

The bottom picture shows a completed close up of the building in 1902. Originally it was designed to be a Hotel, although taken over by the BSAP during the rebellion in 1897 and served as a HQ. After the rebellion, it returned to its Hotel function but found it difficult to stay in business as the longed for gold fields failed to materialise and the settlement was stretched financially to breaking point by the rebellions of the 1890s. As a consequence, Rhodes and the BSAC funded the acquisition of this substantial building with a view of making it the centre of administration for Southern Rhodesia.

These images were kindly donated by Chris Whitehead.


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by Stephen Luscombe