Around us

 

 
       

1820 Settlers National Monument


If you’re in Grahamstown and head towards Rhodes University you will find a huge square structure at the top of the hill which is the 1820 Settlers National Monument.
 
The original monument was opened in 1974, but it burnt down in 1994 and was then rebuilt. Although it was built with some improvements for example the Fountain Court Statue, it did remain similar to the original structure.
 
The memorial was built to commemorate the English settlers who arrived on our continent so many years ago and as a venue that would contribute to the surrounding community. The Fountain Court Statue is built out of yellowwood and the scaffolding design is representative of the British flag. The monument is also a key player in the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, it is used every year as the anchor of the event and is one of the largest venues used.
 
Grahamstown Farmers Market
 
Take a stroll down Somerset Street in Grahamstown and peruse the tremendous farmers market.
 
There is a wide choice of newly picked vegetables, homemade jams and preserves and baked breads, rolls and tasty treats.
 
Choose your shrubs and flowers here or grab a potted herb as a nice pressie for someone or for your home. There is always a great choice of handcrafts, art and knickknacks to have a nosey through. Live entertainment creates a fun and lively atmosphere making your walk around the market that much more enjoyable.
 
Gung-ho Paintball
 
Gung-ho Paintball takes groups on an action-packed 3 hours of paintball fun. With a speedball field and a 1.4 hectare bush field complete with trenches, tree house, bridges and rivers, Gung-ho Paintball covers all formats of paintball and encourages safe and fun paintballing for all participants.
 
Haricots Deli & Bistro


Located 2 minutes from the centre of Grahamstown, Gung-ho is the ultimate way to spend your morning or afternoon.
 
The emphasis is on food at Haricots is simple, delicious and of very high quality and the wine list is one of the most comprehensive and discerning in Grahamstown.
 
Situated at The French Quarter in New Street Haricot's offers freshly baked breads and cakes which are available daily in the deli, lunches and dinners in the bistro and loads of wonderful goodies in the shoppe.
 
International Library of African Music


The International Library of African Music, fondly known as ILAM, was established in 1964 and is a researching, publishing and teaching centre for African traditional music. It is not strictly a museum but it does house a collection of more than two hundred traditional African musical instruments, many of which are still able to be played.
 
Founded by Hugh Tracey established ILAM as an independent research centre, library and archive and from its inception his vision was for the project to respect Africa music and uphold the traditional styles by recording, documenting and preserving this history. This is done through research, publication, education and community outreach.
 
Observatory Museum

If you only have time to visit one museum on your visit to Grahamstown then the Observatory Museum as it is a unique museum which celebrates the beginning of the diamond industry in South Africa.
 
The Observatory Museum was opened on 2 February 1982 and the building used was originally a 19 century jewellers shop and family home and it is connected with the identification of the Eureka (the first authenticated diamond in the country way back in 1867). The ground floor of the museum tells this story.
 
The building is multi-storied and houses a number of exhibits one of which focuses on Dr William G. Atherstone and the other main participants who identified the first diamond in South Africa. The owner and designer of the building, Henry Carter Galpin, a jeweller and watchmaker lived in the town until his death in 1886. He was a very successful businessman who also managed to find time to explore some of his interests (natural history, music, practical mechanics, astronomy and options). You will find many of these features and interests in the Observatory.
 
Some of the more unusual features are the Meridian Room where astronomical time, GMT (Grahamstown’s mean time) could be calculated, a Camera Obscura which is the only one built is the country.
 
The Grahamstown Cathedral


The Cathedral of St Michael and St George now known as the Grahamstown Cathedral was built in the 1800’s and first opened its doors in 1830. This is not the original tower and spire the church had as the first was deemed to be a danger and the new one was completed in 1879 (designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott).
 
When visiting the church you may find a number of memorial plaques that are covered. These are covered because many of the plaques are in commemoration of the fallen soldiers during the conflict between the original Xhosa residents and the European settlers. Some of the plaques do not reflect the diversity of the Anglican Church of South Africa today and are covered in acknowledgement of this.
 
Many memorial tablets telling the history of Grahamstown as a frontier post can be found at the lectern, pulpit, road screen and organ. You may also find the belfry of interest because this holds a part of African history. This was the first to house the heaviest and first full ring of 8 bells on the continent. These bells were cast in London in 1878 and are made up of metal from the 3 bells that hung in the original tower.
 
Visit the Makana Botanical Gardens
 
Head off to the Makana Botanical gardens on a week-day morning when few people are around.
 
You can enter after passing through the Rhodes University's Eden Grove. You can hope to see Cape weavers, greater double-collared sunbirds, red-winged starlings, yellow-fronted canaries, bronze mannikins, rock kestrels, grey sunbirds, olive woodpeckers and southern black flycatchers, as well as the African harrier hawk, lesser honeyguide and Klaas's cuckoo.

The Provost Prison

This was built in 1838 as a military prison in the Drostdy grounds when Sir Benjamin d’Urban, who was Governor of the Cape Colony, instructed the royal engineers to plan a “fortified barrack establishment”.
 
The prison was designed on Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison system of the 18th century. This design allowed constant surveillance of the prisoners from the guards through the windows of the tower.

 

The outer circle of the building housed the cells and exercise yard and this surrounded the two-storey guard house.
 
The old prison was deemed a national monument in 1937 and has since been restored and is now under the watch of the Albany Museum Complex.
 
If you are feeling brave during the National Arts Festival you are able to rent out the cells as your grahamstown accommodation for the festival.
 

 

 

 

 
Copyright: 2017
TIPUANA BED & BREAKFAST, GRAHAMSTOWN

 

 

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