Sightseeing

ID #2609

Historic Village of Bathurst, Settler Country, Eastern Cape.

English in atmosphere and appearance, the village nestles between gentle hills and unspoilt indigenous forest. Its quiet lanes, tranquil vistas and 1820 Settler architecture will charm you.

o    SAAF Association Garden of Remembrance and Impala Memorial: The only existing memorial to those who died while training at SAAF RAF training stations during WWII. Wall of remembrance with name plaques and an Impala Mark 1 on a 3-m high column. Travelling north on the R67 to Grahamstown, turn west 5-km from Port Alfred. Now a private flying school – i.e. #43 Air School
o    Toposcope:  NM Marks surveyed the spot where the 1820 Settlers settled.  57 bronze plaques record details of the settlements.  On a clear day, you can see from the Great Fish River to Kwaaihoek.  Stones in the wall were taken from ruins of the original Settler homes. 2.7-km from the Pig and Whistle on the Grahamstown road.
o    Bathurst Agricultural Museum: Unique collection of 1300 agricultural items saved by a group of enthusiasts. Open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 09h00 to 16h00. +27 (46) 625 0853
o    Powder Magazine: Stone structure with a domed ceiling thought to be the oldest building in Bathurst (1821). Once part of a large military post.
o    St John’s Anglican Church: Built by Charles Mitchell between 1832-1839. Oldest unaltered Anglican Church in South Africa. A sanctuary during the frontier wars of 1834, 1846 and 1851 for hundreds of Settlers.  The first service was held on January 1 1838.  In the vestibule is a piece of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation carpet from Westminster Abbey.  Look for the little “church mouse” on the west wall. Opened by arrangement +27 (46) 625 0860
o    Wesleyan Chapel: Built by Samuel and Richard Bradshaw and opened in 1832. Besieged during the Frontier Wars. See Jeremiah Goldswain’s family bible. Obtain the key from the “Pig and Whistle”.
o    Bradshaw’s Mill: This national monument is home of the wool industry in South Africa.  Built by Samuel Bradshaw in 1821, this water-driven wool mill contains a working reconstructed water wheel.  Wool from the Settler’s sheep was used to make coarse cloth by 1825.  The third storey was added in 1835 and corn milling began in. It was not used after 1970. The custodian will turn on the water wheel for visitors.
o    Horseshoe Bend:  Lookout from a hilltop 5-km from the Pig and Whistle. An outstanding view of the bush-covered valley where the Kowie River loops into a horseshoe. A further 3-km down a steep winding road is the Waters Meeting Reserve. Picnic under the trees at the water’s edge or walk upriver to the Sarel Hayward Dam and climb the dam wall.  Remember to take binoculars to see the fish eagles.
o    Pig and Whistle Hotel: A national monument built in 1831 by Thomas Hartley, a blacksmith who came from Nottinghamshire with the 1820 Settlers.  It was looted during the Frontier Wars. Jeremiah Goldswain bought it in 1852 and added accommodation on the corner where Hartley’s forge had stood. Known previously as the Bathurst Inn, legend has it that it was renamed the Pig and Whistle by men from the nearby 43 Air School during WWII.  Possibly the oldest inn in South Africa. +27 (46) 625 0673
o    Morley House: Built in 1828 by Thomas Hartley. One of the stone houses that survived looting during the sixth Frontier War in 1834.  Jeremiah Goldswain lived in it as did Henry Hartley, the big-game hunter who founded Hartley in Zimbabwe. It was restored in 1981.
o    Summerhill – Home of the Big Pineapple: Biggest pineapple in the world! Videos of pineapple growing and Xhosa customs.  Trailer tours of pineapple lands and a Xhosa village. Part of an 1820 Settler farm, its barn now houses a rustic pub and a charming restaurant.  Mini-farm, pony rides and a play area. Conferences and bed and breakfast accommodation +27 (46) 625 0833

The Bathurst Show is a three-day annual event held in the showgrounds in early April. At the end of December thousands of young people gather at the showgrounds for a round-the-clock party known as the Bathurst Ox-braai.  Tours by Merwynne start at the Big Pineapple on Summerhill Farm +27 (46) 624 1235 telephone +27 (46) 624 4139 fax

Bathurst is on the R67 north of Port Alfred, which is on the R72 west of East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N6. BHHist

Contct:            Port Alfred Tourism
Box 63 Port Alfred 6170
+27 (46) 624 1235 telephone
+27 (46) 624 4139 fax
e-mail: patourism@intekom.co.za


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Last update: 2011-01-03 17:38
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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