The village of Cullinan was founded around the Premier Diamond Mine.
The mine itself was started in November 1902 when Thomas Major Cullinan bought the northern part of the farm Elandsfontien from the Prinsloo Family. In the early days the workers lived in tents and small corrugated houses. These were eventually replaced by houses built by the Premier Transvaal Diamond Mining Company. The first house built in the village was built for the first General Manager in 1903 and survives. In these early days churches, banks shops etc. were also constructed and many of these also survive.
In 1916 the mine closed and re-opened in 1918. The influenza epidemic in 1918 also had a serious effect on the residents of the village and the surrounding districts and the many burials in the cemetery bear testament to this. The black migrant workers who were housed in closed compounds also were badly affected by the epidemic. Some of these compounds also survive.
In 1932 the mine closed again due to the depression. When South Africa joined the Second World War on the Allies side in 1939, the army occupied the village.
Nearby Sonderwater, now Zonderwater, was also turned into a POW camp for the Italians caught in North Africa. These prisoners would also leave a legacy in the village and the Zonderwater camp. The buildings listed below do not include any of these buildings within the camp; this would be a separate exercise.
In 1995, Premier, now Cullinan Diamond Mine, de-proclaimed the village from mining ground and the village was formed as a municipality and the houses were sold to the residents. A small portion of the village has remained as mining ground and on this ground are some of these buildings.
Cullinan Diamond Mine is now part of the Petra group.