Middelburg Road was a Cape Government Railway station and was formally established on about 2 April 1883, when the Railway Line from Cradock was inaugurated. Due to its location at the junction of the Western, Midland and Eastern Railway Systems, the village played an important role in the Military and Economic affairs of the Region. In 1898 it was renamed Rosmead in honour of Sir Hercules Robinson, Governor of the Cape from 1881 to 1897, who was appointed Lord Rosmead in 1896.
The Village was probably occupied by Boer forces when they over-ran the district in October 1899 during the Second Anglo Boer War. During the battle of Modder River, on 28 November 1899, it occupied a central position in the Boer line of defense. After being subjected to a heavy barrage from British artillery throughout the morning, the Boers retreated from the village and by 14:00 British troops had taken this position. By the next morning the Boer army had abandoned the Field to the British.