Monday, February 2, 2009

St Peter's Church ruins

The St Peter's Anglican Church in South End, Port Elizabeth was completed in 1877. Situated on the hill overlooking Algoa Bay, it was one of the important places of worship in early Port Elizabeth.
Before the height of the Apartheid era the area of South End was a vibrant area inhabited by people from all races. When the Group Areas Act came into being in 1962, non-white people all over South Africa was removed from what was termed white only areas and relocated to the black townships and coloured areas. The people of South End's time was up in 1965 and they were forcibly removed.
Although now living on the other side of the city, the congregation of St Peter's Church still came back to worship in the church to the dismay of the Apartheid government. To stop them from doing so it was decided to demolish the church. Today the ruins stand just above the St Mary's cemetery in between modern townhouses. The site has been earmarked for an upmarket development with the ruins being enclosed in a glass dome to preserve it.

I've been wanting to visit the ruins for a while now but have just never gotten around to it. Today at lunchtime I popped down camera in hand and wasn't disappointed with what I found. A great photographic setting, not just for ruin scenes, but also for wedding, fashion and other photos.


  1. Great minds and all that! As I was reading and looking at the photographs I had "wedding" in my mind and was planning my comment. You took the words right out of my mouth!
    Stunning setting - I love it.

  2. Me too!! My thought - "Jeanette would love this!!"
    Beautiful photos - looking through the doorways is my best! I love ruins - took hundreds of photos of ruins of castles in England - had never seen castles before (my first trip) and found them fascinating - imagining the lives of the people etc ..
    Pleased that they will preserve what's left of this once-beautiful church - albeit in a glass dome! - Avril

  3. Fantastic shots number 2 is absolutely stunning, the perspective is brilliant, and the sky....sigh! we have had the most dreadful weather, low visability and snow everywhere ( I wish I could send it to you ...its bloomin' cold here)...your photographs are a really beautiful bringing a sunshine into my dreary morning :0)

  4. The 2nd shot is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well done - you sure have an eye to capture things...
    its a beautiful setting for weddings, I wonder if many photographers use it for that..
    You had another beautiful day in P.E I see from the color of the sky.
    Here its a very grey and miserable day...and 0 degrees!!

  5. I've seen lots of photos taken by a friend using this as a backdrop for fashion shoots - it's just beautiful. I *love* your second shot! Hope that when they hermetically seal it in a glass dome, the public will still have access to it??