At the end of the Dutch period at the Cape the Castle with its armament and moat still presented such a display of power and solid impregnability that no attempt had ever been made against it.Today the Castle, separated from the shore by a large expanse of reclaimed land, still serves the country as the headquarters of Western Cape Province Command.
In 1666 the foundation stone of a more permanent building, the Castle was laid and some twelve years later the whole garrison moved to their new quarters.
By the late 1650s the settlement around the Fort De Goede Hoop had expanded, and also included free burgher farms along the Liesbeeck River to the east of the fort and Table Mountain, cutting off the local Khoi from their traditional grazing areas.
The rough and ready building materials consisting of sods, sand, boulders and clay, were found in the vicinity. However, the walls and ramparts collapsed periodically in the heavy winter rains.
The work was conducted by employing the local garrison and Company slaves*, as well as soldiers and sailors from passing ships, the local Khoi were unwilling to labour under the foreign intruders.
Its location near the beach and a freshwater stream seemed ideal.
The remains of this first fort are a couple of centimeters below the tarmac at the western end of the Grand Parade in central Cape Town (Fig. The Fort De Goede Hoop was basically an enclosed square, surrounded by earthen ramparts with some clay walling, and on each corner a rectangular bastion, the basic star-shape of the Old Dutch fortifications system.
This battery was destroyed when the railway line was extended into central Cape Town.
In addition, during the following years several small batteries were erected between the Castle and the Lion's rump to the west and a line of small defense works, connected by breastworks of earth and masonry, ran along the shore above the high water line to the east (Fig. The "Sea Lines" ended at Fort Knokke, a substantial star-shaped fort, demolished only in 1952 to make way for a railway line.
During the early 1650s the dominant Goringhaiqua people claimed grazing rights over the whole Cape Peninsula, but shared it with the Gorachoqua and the stockless Goringhaicona (Bottaro, J. It came therefore as a shock when in 1652 the Dutch established a foothold in Table Bay, erected a basic four-square fort with four hornworks, and some years later proceeded to grant freehold farms to freeburghers along the Liesbeeck River valley.
Two days after van Riebeeck arrived in Table Bay to establish a provisioning station for the VOC ships a gathering of the first ' Council of Policy' decided to begin immediately with the erection of a fort, to be known as Fort De Goede Hoop to house the garrison and government offices.
The Castle was built in blue-stone and it was said that, viewed from the bay, it loomed huge above the shore like "a stone wall out of the earth that thundering cannon cannot destroy" (Hall, M. The whole was surrounded by a moat, watered by the Plattekloof stream, which discharged itself into the bay at this spot.