Heritage Sites

FORT BEAUFORT

Things to do and see:

  • The Town - Once British fortification were built as the centre of the most fighting that took place between the British and the Xhosa during 8th war of land dispossession 1850 to 1853.Reverend Joseph Williams of the London Missionary Society is the one established mission station in 1816.Lord Charles Somerset Governor of the Cape Colony used this site to meet Chief Ngqika, Maqoma’s father to work the strategy on how to stop the on-going theft of cattle from white farmers by the Xhosa.
  • The Officers’ Quarters- it was built in 1849, there is an old U-shaped Military hospital. All that was designed by Captain J.E Walpole of the Royal Engineers. The separated side of the building was converted into a magistrate residence until 1950. Current state of the building serves as a store and lecture rooms for the provincial hospital complex.
  • The Museum- Back to 1830, the officer’s mess is one of the oldest buildings in Fort Beaufort. After the Wars of Land Dispossession, the building was converted to Fort Beaufort Secondary School, and then in 1938 it was handed over to the Municipality by the commission for the Preservation of Natural and Historical Monuments, Relics and Antiques. Fort Beaufort Museum offers an overview of local culture, ranging from the area’s military history to Xhosa arts and craft.
  • Infantry Barracks- Back to mid-1800s, the original infantry barracks were eventually incorporated in the Tower Psychiatric Hospital. The guardhouse, ordinance store, office, and the magazine store are still clearly distinguished by their frontier military characteristics, such as the slits in the walls through which rifles could be fired.
  • Emgwenyeni- The building now called Emgwenyeni Flats used to house a general store owned by Charles Holiday. In 1864 a Xhosa leader named Tsili, stole an axe from the store, he was arrested and sent under escort, with three other prisoners to Grahamstown. Tsili was handcuffed to a Khoi-San prisoner. The escort was ambushed by Xhosa warriors and the Khoi-San’s hand was cut off, enabling Tsili to escape. The tension between Xhosa and British grow in an extent that set off the 7th War of Land Dispossesion, known as the War of the Axe.
  • The Military Hospital- is the U-shaped building that was built shortly before the 7th War of Land Dispossession (1846 to 1847). This separate building was converted into a residence for the magistrate and used until 1950. Currently, part of the building serves as a store and lecture rooms for the provincial hospital complex.
  • The Martello Tower- was completed within six years after 1837; it can be seen from Bell Street. It is the second Martello Tower in the world. The tower was serving as elevated gun or watchman placements.

 Healdtown- was chosen in honour of Sir James Heald, a British merchant who gave generously to the Methodist Church for general missionary purposes and specifically for the founding of the mission station in Fort Beaufort. Healdtown is an extraordinary example of the healing process of reconciliation. The history of the area is closely linked with the Fingo people. Where in 1820’s and 1830’s various groups migrated from parts of Kwazulu-Natal, Southwards reaching the Eastern Cape at the time of King Hintsa of the amaGcaleka. The identity and origins of the migrants remain an area of disagreement among historians and other scholars, it is generally accepted that they included the amaHlubi, amaMpondo, amaZizi, amaNgwane, among other clans. The Xhosa referred to them as amaMfengu. In 1848 when Methodist minister Rev.John Ayliff united the black people in Fort Beaufort area that had been scattered by the wars to live together in one place. With the Lovedale Missionary Institution, it became one of the largest and influential schools in Southern Africa, By 1934 studentds from 36 different areas such as Kenya, Zaire, Botswana, Zimbambwe, Lesotho ect, representing 28 different cultures, were being housed and educated in the 35 buildings that made up the school. The Healdtown has produced political and academic giants, to name but a few: John Jabavu, Dr Seetsile Modiri Molema, Dr Zola Skweyiya, Dr Nelson Mandela, Silas Kununu, Goven Mbeki, Professor M. Sobukhwe and Reverend Seth Mokilimi.

  • The Victoria Bridge – in 1837, the construction of the road that would connect Grahamstown with Fort Beaufort and Post Retief began. It required a bridge to be built across the Kat River.
  • The Dutch Reformed Mission Church – It was completed in 1845 under the direction of William Thomson. Since then, it has often been at the centre of racial and theological controversy, unlike other churches in the Fort Beaufort area and served an exclusively white congregation.
  • The Fossil – Andrew Geddes Bain discovered a fossilized reptile during the construction of the road near Blinkwater, which they promptly named the “Blinwater Monster”. The original fossil was sent to Englade and a copy is on display at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown.
  • Adventure Tourism
  • The Church of St John the Baptist – This church was the first in South Africa in which a “Kaffir” received Holy Communion in the company of white belivers.
  • Fort Fordyce – it is the site of one of the greatest Xhosa victories in their battle for dignity and recognition of nationhood and therefore occupies a special place in South Africas Heritage. The site was initially known among whites as Waterkloof and among the Xhosa as Mthontsi, a name derived from the Xhosa word for a drop of water.
  • Fort Fordyce Nature Reserve – is nestled between the picturesque towns of 13 kilometres from Fort Beaufort and Adelaide Perched on the edge of the Amathole escapement, the reserve enjoys magnificent views of the Hogsback and the Katberg mountains.
  • Crafters Association – The region is rich with talented artists and crafters creating a unique variety of products which are exhibited and sold in Alice Curio Shop and the other towns in the area.

BALFOUR/ SEYMOUR

Things to do or see

Maqoma’s Great Place- Maqoma was born in 1798, his royal loneage is traced back to the origins of the Xhosa people. Maqoma’s father was Ngqika and that made Maqoma to became chief of the Jingqi, a sub- group of the Nqika Chiefdom. In 1816 Maqoma was given a praise name Jongumsobomvu

Hertzog Church – Balfour was given land rights after the passing of Ordinance 50 by the Cape Government in 1828. Coloured communities began to congregate in the area of Balfour and the Kat River. They created the religious institutions.

  • Dutch Reformed Church- NG Kerk – This church was to be the predecessor of the NG Kerk that still stands today at the centre of Balfour.

 

Olive Schreiners’s House – The ninth child of German father, Gottlob Schreiner and English mother, Rebecca Lyndall. Olive was born in wittebergen in the Eastern Cape in 1855.

  • Eland’s Post – One of the entry and exit points for the Xhosa into the Kat River Valley was the tiny Elands stream found in the north-east corner of the amphitheatre formed by Katberg Mountains.

Ntsikana’s Grave- In 1760- 1821 Ntsikana was the first Xhosa to convert to Christianity. More importantly in the context of the Maqoma Rote, he blended his African religious traditions with those of Christianity.

  • Post Retief – It was built to protect Winterberg farmers from the Xhosa on a farm previously owned by one of the leaders of the Great Trek, Piet Retief.
  • Fort Armstrong- in February 1835 the 6th War of Land Dispossession camp was duly set. In 1836, Governor Benjamin D’Urban ordered the camp to be converted into a permanent military station named Fort Armstrong, the construction on the fort was completed in 1837.
  • Mpofu Game Reserve- is the reserve straddles the peaks and valleys of the Katberg Mountains, situated about 25km north-west of Fort Beaufort. The terrain and varied rainfall ensure a rich, diverse local ecosystem and an amazing variety of plant and animal life,

ALICE

The town of Alice has been home to people like Z.K. Matthews and his children, DDT Jabavu, King Sobhuza, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Anton Lembede, Robert Sobukwe, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Quett Masire, Kaiser Matanzima, Thabo Mbeki, the assassinated Secretary General of SACP, Chris Hani and many others. Most of those mentioned were taught by Prof Z.K. Mattews at Fort Hare and people like Thabo Mbeki and Chris Hani were influenced and shaped by his thinking whilst they were students at Lovedale College.

Things to do and see

University of Fort Hare - the history of the University alma mater of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe and Mangosuthu Buthelezi is home to the ANC Liberation Archives and the De Beers Centenary Art Gallery.

  • Steward Memorial – Dr James Stewart, affectionately known by African people as Somgxada (father), is honoured for providing a restorative and uplifting focus on education for black people in the aftermath of the Frontier Wars.
  • Lovedale College – was built between 1876 and 1883 by stone masons from Scotland, additional work was undertaken by the Lovedale Industrial Department Students.the building has come to symbolise the progress made in African education when comparing the earliest building with the existing structure.
  • Cecelia Makiwane – was born in 1880 at the MacFarlane Mission in the Victoria district of Alice. She obtained a teachers certificate from Lovedale Girls School. In 1898, an experimental nurse’s training school was opened for black nurses at the Lovedale Mission Hospital. In 1903, in her completing her training, was sent to Butterworth Hospital for further training, to prepare for the Colonial Medical Council examination. Makiwane was registered as the first black professional nurse on the 7th January 1908
  • John Knox Bokwe – is honoured as one of the most celebrated Xhosa hymn writers. He was a member of the Ngqika Mbamba clan and was born as Ntselamanzi, near Lovedale, on the 15th March 1855.
  • Nkonkobe Garden of Remembrance – situated in Alice, this is a memorial to those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom in the area.
  • Crafts - garments and hand crafted items made by local artists and crafters are on display and may be purchased as the tourist information office in Alice.

HOGSBACK

Maybe this quaint little village was named after Captain Hogg, the commander of Fort Michel near Tordoone, or perhaps after the shape of the mountain peaks nearby. Whatever the reason, it only adds to the mystical feeling surrounding this beautiful, ethereal place of mountains, forests and waterfalls.

Things to do and see

  • Madonna and Child Falls –

People visit Hogsback to be closer to Mother Nature and a great many who arrive as visitors would surely want to stay. There is something about a waterfall that captivates the human spirit and draws you near. Set against such spectacular scenery, it makes for an unforgettable experience. Hogsback is blessed with many of these cascading natural wonders.

  • Ecology Shrine
  • Xmas in July – is one of many annual festivals in Hogsback, this one really warms the heart. Watch the town transform into a winter wonderland that brings people back year after year.
  • Gardens and Fairies- Hogsback Garden Tours offer a feast for the eyes and any green fingered enthusiast would fall in love with what has been achieved by the owners. Beautiful Azalea displays abound in spring when the gardens are accessible.
  • Birds and Critters – the bird’s life in Hogsback is interesting and diverse. It is a birders paradise for novices and seasoned spotters alike. The varied ecosystems result in forest, grassland and montane birds and raptors. Some Hogsback gardens boast over 100 different species.
  • Hiking and Biking – the perfect destination for those that love the outdoors, Head for the trails on foot, bring your mountain bike or hire one while you are here.
  • Horse Trails- Choose an easy or more challenging trail through the beautiful countryside, forests, mountains or the quaint village of Hogsback. Ride during the day, at sunrise, sunset or under the full moon with friendly well-trained, easy to ride horses.
  • The Big Tree- Walk from main road to the Big Tree, an 800-year-old Yellowwood in the lush indigenous forest. The Narina Trogan, Orange Thrush, Bush Cap and other bird species have been spotted in the area.
  • Labyrinth- Experience the power of walking the Chartres design, eleven circuit, 700 metre labyrinth, one of the largest in the world.
  • Hobbiton- started in 1950, the Hobbiton association provides outdoor education opportunities for all. It promotes environmental and social awareness, cross cultural appreciation and the development of life skills. Hobbiton offers abseiling, zip lines, hikes, game viewing walks, water based activities, orienteering and more..

MIDDLEDRIFT

Things to do and see

  • Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu – was born in1885, a year after his father formed the Izimvo Zabantsundu as the first Xhosa publication. DDT studied at Lovedale College in Alice. In 1916 he was a teacher at the University of Fort Hare, were he established a number of community development orientated organisations including the Farmers Association which gained much influence with the establishment of Fort Cox Agricultural College and Debe Post Office. Between 1944 and 1966 he taught many students who became prolific politicians. One of his students was Robert Mugabe. He wrote a series of books: The Black Problem, Izidungulwane, Life and times of John Tengo Jabavu. The Segregation Fallacy and Other Papers and what Methodism has done for the Natives. His home may be visited by appointment.
  • The Prophet Nkwenkwe Nontetha- was one of the remarkable figures to have emerged directly from the conflict between the contemporary and tradition in South African history. She founded the church of the Prophetess. Her sphere of activity was Christianity. She wished to Africanize Christianity in the hope of transforming it into a historical bridge through which the African people could make a transition from tradition into modern day life.
  • Chief Kama’s Grave-
  • Horse Trails- every year during Easter rugby Tournament local horse race occurs, alternating between Alice and Middledrift in Ngqele location. Sponsored by local businesses, these races are run over distances of 10, 15 kilometres. During the year the horses are used at local functions and weddings.

ADELAIDE

Things to do and see:

  • Andrew de Wet Safaris- a true African hunting experience and well stocked dams for the fisherman. 048 886 0668, website: www.asafaris.co.za
  • East Cape Plain Safaris – for a hunting experience you will never forget. Choice of 27 different species of game. 046 684 0801 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. website: www.ecsafari.co.za.
  • Molweni Private Game Reserve – 5km from Adelaide and covering 8500 hectares of pristine bushveld and yellowwood forest. 046 684 0261, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Mankazana Safaris – there are over thirty species of entelope and pig, this region offers the discerning sportsman and woman an unparalleled safari destination. 046 684 0802, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website: www.mankazana.co.za
  • Swallokrantz Safaris – specialises with trophy hunting, ladies outdoor adventures, summer camps, tours. 045 848 0104, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Adelaide Museum

 

BEDFORD

Things to do and see:

  • Avondale- the dramatic terrain at the onset of the Baviaans River Valley.
  • One of Bedford’s best loved landmarks, this iced-cake building on Donkin St started life as a statement of business prosperity. First it was general dealers and latterly a gun merchant’s premises; it is now a private home with a lovely secret garden.
  • Between 1868 stone farmhouse was built and in 1903 it was converted to a pharmacy.
  • Commercial Hotel- traces of the old foundations of this grand Victorian edifice remain on the plot at the corner of van Riebeeck and Andrew Turpin Streets. The bedroom annex and stables were spared demolition. Since 2012 it’s a house of our Charity Shop.
  • Bedford Hotel & Belgrove Building face each other on opposite of Hope & Donkin Streets. Recommissioning of the hotel commenced in 2012 with close attention to the original appearance of the street frontage.
  • No 1 Tavistock Square- the original house came down in 1969 to make way for the present house. Illustrating the change from the colonial to the republican, this is an example of how fashions in architecture are influenced by broader political and economic circumstances.
  • Bedford Town Hall- the original building was gutted by fire and rebuilt with handsome gables. These were an expression of status and influence but also represent the early stages of a new hybrid South African aesthetic. Now is Raymond Mhlaba Municipality.
  • Two gables are always better than one, across the social spectrum. The compact house at 3 Hope St has twin gables, as does the spacious farmhouse at Eildon in the Baviaans River Valley. Many gables in the district date back to the wool boom of the 1950s.
  • Village farm stall- Trimmings with re-sale value were traded in or plundered in lean times. Luckily much wooden fretwork remains. The cottage and forget me not guesthouse both have fine examples. An Arts Craft style use of wood decoration features on a house at cnr Graham & Hart sts.
  • Bedford Country School- was built as the Presbyterian manse with the school hall. The Convent was demolished in the mid-1990s. the retirement village now occupies this block, bounded by Adderley, Hope, Hart & Maitland Street
  • Templeton School- the school has a continuous record since 1865. The present site (Newcasle St) has a centre building designed in the style of Herbert Baker and completed in 1913. Quaggaskirk farmhouse was also designed in a Herbert Baker Studio.
  • Two grand old ladies enjoying new popularity as guest-houses: Edwardian Forget-me-not Graham St, and the 1940s manor-house Camelot, Stockholm ST. Camelot was built by doyenne of Bedford society, Rosie van Niekerk, to house her fabulous collection of antiques.
  • Respite- is the only remaining balconied double-story private house. Find it on van Riebeeck before you get to the churches. Veranda living is perfect climate and this Edwardian gem has a deep stoep on the three sides.
  • The village’s first Dutch Reformed Church was built on Van Riebeeck St in 1894 and now serves as a splendidly decorative church hall. Diagonally opposite, this old church building now serves the Seventh Day Adventist congregation.
  • Agglicans were active in the area from the early 1900s but St Andrews was built 9on what is now van Riebeeck St) until 1882. The church hall was dedicated in 1912. Stained glass windows were donated by parishioners between the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Generations of youth scholars at the Bedford Convent trudged over to St Johns Roman Catholic Church for services. The convent is no more, but the church still works in the community. The War Memorial with its sad reminders of war is our central navigation point.
  • In 1820 numbers of Scottish people were moved in to the area. Their descendent still farm here, stoically weathering the realities of life on the edge of the Karoo. Their first church still stands in the Baviaans River Valley. The new Presbyterian Church is now a rallying point.

 

 

 

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