Port Elizabeth – Donkin Reserve and Elizabeth Donkin Memorial

Donkin Reserve
Donkin Reserve Credits:

The Donkin Reserve and the Elizabeth Donkin Memorial was established by Sir Rufane Donkin. Donkin was a famous soldier and politician and for a short time Governor of the Cape Colony around the time of the 1820 Settlers arrival in the Eastern Cape. His wife, Elizabeth (after whom Sir Rufane named the windy city), had died in 1818 in India.

Sir Rufane declared a piece of land on a hilltop overlooking what is today the harbour of Port Elizabeth, a gift to the citizens of the city, to be used as an open and freely accessible area, in perpetuity.

He also had built, on the site, The Elizabeth Donkin Memorial, a pyramid,

as a tribute to his wife. The Donkin Memorial was built out of stone from the area and blended in with the surrounding flora, which in those days was the fynbos vegetation of the area.

In 1861 a lighthouse (The Hill Lighthouse) was erected alongside the Donkin Memorial and operated for over 100 years. It was decommissioned in 1973 and replaced with the Deal lighthouse at Deal Party further up the Eastern Cape Coast near Papenkuils River.

Today the lighthouse is managed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and visitors have access to the light dome and a stunning view across Port Elizabeth.

Directions to Donkin Reserve, Elizabeth Donkin Memorial and Donkin Hill Lighthouse

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