Monday, February 9, 2009

Fort Frederick

The oldest building in Port Elizabeth, and the Eastern Cape is Fort Frederick. Situated on the hill next to the Baakens River, it was built in 1799 by the British to protect Algoa Bay from invasion.

The fort was the first permanent stone structure built by the British in Africa, south of the equator. It fort contained a guardhouse, a powder magazine and was armed with two 8 pounder land guns. It was manned by a garrison of 380 men.

Looking at the picture it could be difficult to understand why the fort was built so far from the sea. In the background is the Port Elizabeth Harbour which wasn't obviously there in those days. The Baakens Valley below was also the location of a big lagoon in the days which meant that the fort was directly over the water. The guns on the fort today aren't the original guns, but smaller ships' cannons. The interesting thing about the fort is that it never fired a shot in anger.

Today there aren't much left of the old fort other than the stone structures. This picture was taken inside the old guardhouse.


  1. Love the stonework on these beautiful old buildings, an amazing amount of hard work in the construction of such a building. Lovely shots and so interesting to read the history. That liitle gaurdhouse shot with all the detail is excellent :0)

  2. I also love old stone building, such lovely textures and colours to photograph! I have to agree with Ann, the last shot is beautiful.

  3. Interesting!! .. and all the best to the happy couple in the wedding photos!
    Lots to catch up on!! Household stuff included !!! Thanks so much for B/day wishes!! and happy B/day to Damesfly too and hope you gave her coffee in bed!!

  4. LOve the enhancement you used on these photo's as the brick work stands out.
    Very interesting post...
    Have a good day there in P.E - we had some snow this morning...

  5. I tried to get into Fort Frederick for about 10 years. Every time we went there it was closed. The only problem is that after we did get in I absent-mindedly wiped out all my pictures. That is an excuse to go back

  6. I haven't been to Fort Frederick in years but used to be fascinated by it at school. Great pics and a lovely reminder of its history.