Rhodes House was built as a memorial to Cecil Rhodes. It provides a headquarters for the Rhodes Trust and facilities for educational and other purposes.
The Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 by the Oxford-based Rhodes Trust on the basis of academic qualities, as well as those of character. They provide the successful candidate with two years of study at the University of Oxford in England, possibly extended for a third year.
When Rhodes died in 1902, his will stipulated that the greater part of his fortune was to go toward the establishment of a scholarship fund to reward applicants who exhibited worthy qualities of intellect, character, and physical ability.
One of the most notable Rhodes Scholar was of course Bill Clinton, US President from 1993-2001.
The House was completed in 1928. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who designed major public buildings in South Africa and collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens on the design of New Delhi.
Rhodes House is therefore built in a rather grand colonial style, reminiscent of the residences of Governors or administrative centres. It is a most elegant building with echoes of Cecil Rhodes’ mansion in South Africa. The detailing is superb. There is a large Hall with a capacity for 200 people, as well as other rooms.
Rhodes House and its garden are open to the public.