After the Jameson Raid in 1896, Pres Paul Kruger of the “Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek” decided to protect Pretoria by constructing forts in strategic places. Eight forts were to be built initially, but due to a shortage of funds, only four were completed.
Fort Schanskop was completed in 1897 and was built in such a way to avert possible attacks on Pretoria from the Johannesburg and Lourenco Marques railway line, as well as from the Johannesburg road. By mounting revolving artillery on the embankment of the fort, attacks from all directions could be warded off.
The Historical Monument Commission declared Schanskop a historical monument in 1938. It was decided to establish a military museum in Pretoria in 1962. Fort Klapperkop was selected for this purpose, but this museum was later expanded to include Schanskop.