Capt Francis Evatt’s gravestone

On a walk along Route 67 the other day I popped into St Mary's Cathedral and was reminded that the original gravestone of Captain Francis Evatt was located in the entrance area of the church.  Something a lot of people probably didn't know.  Captain Evatt was commander of Fort Frederick from 1817 until his death in 1850 and is often called the Father of Port Elizabeth because of the role he played in the early years of the town's development.  Among the…

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Captain Francis Evatt’s grave at Fort Frederick

Captain Francis Evatt was born in Ireland in 1770 and arrived in the Cape Colony in 1806 with the 21st Dragoon Guards and served together with his brother for a number of years on the frontier.  In 1817 he was appointed as Commandant of Fort Frederick at a salary of 90 pounds a year (only half the pay he should have been receiving as Captain), a post he occupied until his death.Captain Evatt played a huge role in the landing…

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Inside Fort Frederick

Fort Frederick sits above the Baakens Valley overlooking the Port Elizabeth Harbour and was built in 1799 by the British Forces to defend the mouth of the Baakens River to prevent a possible landing of French troops to assist the Graaff-Reinet rebels.  The fort was named after Frederick, Duke of York who was the Colonial Secretary at the time.  Ironically the fort never fired a shot in anger although it was defended by eight 12-powder guns.

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Enjoying the view from Fort Frederick

Today's photo is just proof that I don't always gallivant around town on my own but sometimes take the family along to explore with me.  It's also proof that you can take your family to historic spots like Fort Frederick without having to fear for your life, like so many want others to believe.

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Fort Cannon

Fort Frederick, built in 1799, was originally defended by two 8-pounder guns and one 5.5 inch Howitzer.  These guns, that never fired a shot in anger, was removed when the fort was decommissioned.  But what is a fort, even a historic one that has been declared a national monument, without guns?  So a selection of muzzle-loaders dating from the later part of the eighteenth century was placed on the fort to simbolise the original guns. 


Fort Frederick and Central

Standing in Fort Frederick looking towards Central the Donkin Lighthouse and Great Flag can be seen on the Donkin Reserve.  The building obscuring the lower part of the lighthouse is the Prince Alfred Guard Drill Hall.

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Guarding the harbour

When last have you been to Fort Frederick?  Most of us get to visit the fort as kids while on a school tour of the city, but I bet a big number of Port Elizabethans have never been back there as adults. 

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Then and Now – Fort Frederick

Fort Frederick is the oldest building in Port Elizabeth and said to be the first permanent stone structure built by the British in Africa south of the Equator. The fort was built in August 1799 near the mouth of the Baakens River in Algoa Bay to safeguard the fresh water supply and to keep watch for a possible landing of French troops send to assist the Graaff-Reinet rebels during the Napoleonic wars.  The fort was named after Frederick, Duke of York and…


Aiming at Queen Mary 2

I was in Cape Town a week or so ago when the Queen Mary 2 visited the Port Elizabeth Harbour.  Man, I would have loved to see her and to take a picture to share with you.  Cue Gerhard Burger.  Gerhard dropped me a mail last night to say that he always enjoy the pictures on PE Daily Photo and to show me this one he took of the Queen Mary from Fort Frederick.  I am posting it for your pleasure with…

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