The original church - built in 1678 - was replaced by the present building in 1841 with the original tower being retained. The pulpit is the work of Anton Anreith and the carpenter Jacob Graaff, and was inaugurated in 1789. The Groote Kerk also lays claim to housing South Africa's largest organ, which was installed in 1954 and has 5917 pipes.
After settlers landed, provision was made in the complex of buildings opposite the entrance of the Fort for a hall in which religious services were held. The hall soon became too small as the population expanded, so, when work on the Castle was begun in 1666, one of the timber sheds in the inner court yard was converted into a church by giving it a stone floor and a front gable.
In 1677 land was set aside in the Company’s garden as a burial ground. This was the land on which the Groote Kerk now stands, but almost a quarter of a century was to pass before the “proper church” was built. The style of the building was a peculiar combination of Greek and Gothic traditions. The builder's greatest achievement is the fine stucco ceiling with its impressive vault. The inauguration of the building took place on 31st January 1841.