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.