Information and history

ID #1834

Some Facts about Bathurst, Settler Country, Eastern Cape.

The 1820 Settler Village of Bathurst survived turbulent times in its infancy. It was established by British Settlers in May 1820 and was named after the British Colonial Secretary, Lord Bathurst. It was for a brief period the magistracy of the district of Albany with Captain Charles Trappe of the Seaforth Highlanders (after whom a valley north of the town is named) installed as the first magistrate.  However, the administrative headquarters of Albany were transferred to Grahamstown because of its superior military position.

The Settlers were left to cope with drought, floods, wheat rust and stock raids by neighbouring tribes.  A series of frontier wars further decimated their families, their homes and livestock. The Wesleyan Chapel and St John’s Church both served as sanctuaries and forts during attacks.  But they survived and descendants of that sturdy Settler stock now populate Bathurst.

It is run by a municipality with a mayor and five town councillors.  Adjoining the village is a 3031-Ha commonage belonging to the town. It consists of forest and grasslands, all of which has been fenced into camps, all with water.  Residents may run horses and cattle. During the hunting season, days are set aside when they may hunt bushpig, duiker and bushbuck.   Domestic water is obtained from boreholes or rainwater tanks.  Electricity is obtained from Escom, while drainage and sewerage is on the septic tank and French drain system.  A research station deals with agronomy, pastures and animal husbandry.  There are four general dealers, a butcher, a feed wholesaler, a bottlestore, two hardware and farmer’s supply stores, a hotel, estate agent, antique gift shop, nursery, showgrounds, police station, forestry station, primary school, caravan park, chalets, Anglican and Methodist churches and a library. Features:

• Summerhill farm
• Bathurst Agricultual Show is held in early April each year.
• Bathhurst Oxbraai – An annual spitbraai for about 20000 people each year, usually at the end of December
• Pig and Whistle Hotel – a must for all travellers
• Bathurst Caravan Park
• Hillside Holiday Chalets
• Cosy Corner Cottage
• Findon Guest Farm

The primary school is reputed to be the oldest school in South Africa.

There is an amusing tale about one of the local farmers. An ageing bachelor, he decided to get married. Not satisfied with the local maidens, he placed an advertisement in the Farmers Weekly, a periodical that is widely read in farming circles.  In the advertisement he noted that candidates who possessed a tractor would have the greatest chance of success!

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.  BDSome


Tags: -

Related entries:

Last update: 2014-05-11 23:29
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

Digg it! Print this record Send to a friend Show this as PDF file
Propose a translation for Propose a translation for
Please rate this entry:

Average rating: 0 out of 5 (0 Votes )

completely useless 1 2 3 4 5 most valuable

You cannot comment on this entry