Historical Attractions

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The DonkinDevastated by his wife’s death, Sir Rufane Donkin took Elizabeth’s embalmed heart with him to London and it was buried with him in the family tomb at old St Pancras Churchyard. Rufane’s knighthood was conferred upon him after his wife’s death, so she cannot rightly be called, “Lady “ Donkin.

In August 1820, Donkin selected a prominent site on top of the hill overlooking the harbour for a memorial to his beloved wife, Elizabeth Donkin. He had soldiers from Fort Frederick build a stone pyramid in her memory.

The lighthouse adjacent to the pyramid on the Donkin Reserve was brought into use in 1861.

Today the lighthouse has become the offices of the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Bureau and it is open to tourists to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. They can find a wealth of information regarding beachfront accommodation, travel assistance along the Garden Route between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and a variety of guided tours to game parks to see the Big Five and much much more.

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Fort FrederickThe British forces under Maj-Gen Francis Dundas built this stone fort at the end of 1799 to provide a permanent military presence in the Eastern Cape. It was named after Frederick, Duke of York, Commander-In-Chief of the British army.

The fort was built by British troops who had been sent to Algoa Bay to prevent possible landing of French soldiers. It was armed with two 8-pounders. Yet, ironically, no shot was ever fired in anger from the Fort. It is open to students and interested visitors to the Eastern Cape of South Africa

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No 7 Castle HillNo 7 Castle Hill Museum is the second oldest surviving Settler cottage in Port Elizabeth. This picturesque family dwelling dates back to 1827 and the first rector of St.Mary’s Church, the Rev. Francis McCleland, lived there during his term of office.

The cottage has been restored to reflect the history and the elegant lifestyle which was enjoyed by any English middle class family between 1840 and 1870 in Port Elizabeth.

Following renovations, the building was opened to the public as a museum in 1965. Today the museum stands as a monument to a particular period in time in the history of Port Elizabeth and its doors are open to students, holiday makers and interested visitors to the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

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The Camponile 1920'sTHE CAMPANILE

The Campanile was built to commemorate the advent of the 1820 Settlers to the Eastern Cape. This huge tall tower was built by the 1820 Settlers' Memorial Association a hundred years later. It stands at the entrance to the harbour and is overshadowed by the freeway which was constructed in the 1970’s. The Association raised the funds necessary to build the Campanile in 1920 and the foundation stone was laid on April 9th 1920 by Prince Arthur of Connaught. There was a great commemorative gathering on the Donkin Reserve at which a pavilion was designed reminiscent of "old Cape Dutch gazebos or garden houses."

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The Horse Memorial was unveiled in 1905 on the corner of Rink Street and Park Drive. Port Elizabeth had been a major port of entry for British troops during the South African War (1899-1902) and thousands of horses had been shipped from England to the city. People had been particularly aware of the horses, of their bravery and uncomplaining suffering. The memorial was moved to the bottom of Cape Road in 1957. It was declared a national monument in 1983 and restored by Anton Momberg in 1993.

Because of repeated vandalism, iron railing was put around it in 1994.


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South End Museum

The Museum situated on the beachfront, reflects a bygone era of the suburb of South End in Port Elizabeth from as early as 1920 until the implementation of the Group Areas Act in the 1960’s,in South Africa, which led to the destruction of the ‘old’ South End. In the past, it was a bustling suburb, brimming with activity, and populated by a very cosmopolitan community.

It is situated on the beachfront on the corner of Humewood Road and Walmer Boulevard, South End. Close to a variety of hotels and B & B’s and self-catering places, it is very popular with tourists and visitors to the Eastern Cape.

Tel: 041 582 3325. E-mail: admin@semuseum.co.za www.southendmuseum.co.za Open Mon. to Fri. 09h00 to 16h00, Sat. from 10h00 to 15h00

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At the end of the South African War, in 1902, Port Elizabeth was hit by an outbreak of Bubonic Plague. For health reasons the Cape Government decided to demolish all the Black villages in Port Elizabeth. Farmland was purchased in the Deal Party area and a model village just outside the city was planned in order to provide homes to the Black people whose homes were demolished. Because the iron was painted with red paint, the new village became known as the “Red Location”

On Friday, 1o November 2006, the doors of Nelson Mandela Bay’s Red Location Museum of struggle were officially opened to the public and the world.

The hundreds of quests attending this historic event were held spellbound whilst wandering through the enchanting and magnificent building and its fifteen massive columns (“pillars”) dedicated to struggle heroes, memory boxes, posters, the Langa Massacre exhibition, Siyaya Children’s art and many other interesting exhibitions.

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Did You Know?

The Public Library was built in 1835.

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Last updated:
3 October 2012 7:51