Who is the Settler Family of the Grahamstown Settlers Monument?

I posted this picture of the Settlers Family statue in Makhanda / Grahamstown on my Encounter the Eastern Cape page on Facebook recently and Dave Bowker told me something I never knew. Firstly what I did know. The monument was designed by the sculptor Ivan Mitford-Barberton and erected in 1969, but this is what I didn't know. The three figures are Miles, Anne Maria and Elizabeth Bowker. Elizabeth married a Barber and was Ivan's grandmother. Although there was no photograph…


Grahamstown’s Bible Monument

Depicting an open bible, the monument faces the direction the Voortrekkers departed in Grahamstown has some very well known monuments and historic buildings. The 1820 Settlers Monument on the hill, the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, the Angel Statue, Observatory Museum with it's camera obscura and many more. One I didn't know about was the Bible Monument on the outskirts of town and I would never have known of it if it wasn't that I went in search…

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The Settlers Family in Grahamstown

Grahamstown has two monuments to the 1820 British Settlers on top of Gun Fire Hill overlooking the town.  The most prominent is the Settlers Monument building, heart of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, with its huge auditorium.  I prefer the second one a few hundred meters away from the building a lot more.  It depicts a British Settler family as they arrived on our shores.  When I look at it I can actually hear the little girl ask her mother…

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Carlisle Bridge and the Fish River

Road tripping means discovering new places, often places you will never see otherwise.  This was once again the case when I had to drive to Bedford for a meeting and decided to take the scenic route via Grahamstown.  About halfway between the two towns I passed over the mighty Fish River and pulled over to have a closer look.This spot really is in the middle of nowhere with not much to see yet beautiful in it's own way.The original bridge was built…


27 miles to Cradock

Back in the old days distance stones were used to indicate to travellers how far they had to go to the next town.  These days there aren't a lot of them around and often they are found on old and back roads.  But trust Geocaching to take me to one of them on the N10 on a trip to Cradock.  This stone indicates 27 miles to Cradock and 80 miles to Grahamstown.   

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Observatory Museum

Every now and then I find a couple of photos on the archives that I haven't posted and today is no different.  The Observatory museum in Grahamstown is a fascinating place and contains the only Victorian Camera Obscura in the Southern Hemisphere.  The building was bought by Henry Galpin in 1859 and extensive changes were made to it, including the addition of the camera obscura.  Galpin operated his watchmaker and jeweller's shop from the building and usually used to camera…


Grahamstown views

The town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape is more than a town, its actually the smallest city in the country. It is seen as a city as it has a cathedral. Grahamstown is home to Rhodes University, but also has quite a few other iconic buildings. The photo above was taken looking south towards the Settlers Monument on top of Gunfire Hill. The spire in the middle of the photo is that of the Cathedral of St Michael and…


Rhodes University Clocktower

Rhodes University in Grahamstown was founded in 1904. Rhodes has over 7,000 students, about 3,000 whom live on campus in the various residences while the remaining students (known as oppidans) take residence in diggs or in their own homes in town. When the holidays start the average age of the population of Grahamstown inceases drastically and a hush decends on the town. But without the university the town's economy would also be just about non-existant. One of the main entrance…


1820 Settlers Monuments

The town of Grahamstown (well, its actually a city as it has a cathedral) in the Eastern Cape is situated right in the middle of Settlers country. It is in this area that the 1820 British Settlers (see here, here and here for the Settler story) settled down and it was inevetable that the town would put a monuments to them. On the hill overlooking the town the Settlers Monument was built as a living monument. Opened in 1974, the…


Commemoration Methodist Church

The Commemorative Methodist Church, or as the locals call it The Commem, stands at the bottom of church square in the beautiful Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown. The church was completed in 1850 and was built along the Gothic Revival lines which was very "in" at that stage. In front of the church stands the statue of the Winged Angel of Peace supporting a dying soldier,which commemorates those who have fallen in the Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902). This…