Brief History

Grahamstown has a rich history spanning over 200 years. Originally, Grahamstown was a small military outpost established by Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham in 1812 as part of the on-going effort to secure and stabilise the eastern frontier of the British Empire in, what was then known as, the Cape Colony.This effort saw a great deal of conflicts arise between the British and the Xhosas, who had land further east.

The height of the frontier conflicts occurred on the 22nd of April 1819 where Xhosa warriors numbering in the thousands lead by the charismatic Nxele (Makana) launched a full scale attack on the Colonial forces.  The rampant Xhosa force’s confidence was spurred by their overwhelming numbers, outnumbering the colonial forces by 28 to 1. Despite the Xhosa’s significant numerical advantage, it was the firepower of the British that was to be the order of the day. The battle lasted mere hours and ended in the surrender of Nxele and his subsequent imprisonment on Robben Island.

From the battlefield, several anecdotal tales have emerged, the most famous of them being the story of Elizabeth Salt. According to folklore, Elizabeth Salt, wife to one of the Colonial Soldiers, disguised much needed weapons and gunpowder as an infant she was cradling. She carried them into battle and delivered them to the troops in the garrison. It was the Xhosa’s honourable reluctance to harm women that allowed Elizabeth to deliver the ammunition that allowed the Colonial troops to fend off the Xhosa’s vast forces.

A year after the brutal battle of Grahamstown, the 1820 settlers landed in Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth). The Settlers were sent from their home country, in a double billed effort to ease rising unemployment in Britain after the Napoleonic wars and to consolidate the presence of the British Empire in the somewhat turbulent region of, what is now known as, the Eastern Cape. The influx of the settlers and businessmen looking for new frontier opportunities, helped Grahamstown become a bustling centre of trade.


Grahamstown is ideal for visitors wanting a wide variety of attractions, historical and educational including Rhodes University, Kingswood College, St Andrews College and The Diocesan School for Girls.Other well-known schools in Grahamstown include Graeme College, Victoria Girls’ High School, and P.J. Olivier Hoerskool.Grahamstown is also host to a campus of the East Cape Midlands College.


Grahamstown is also known as the “City of Saints”. Many believe that this is due to the fact that there are a lot of churches in Grahamstown. However, locals believe that the origin of this name dates back to garrison days when a requisition for a vital piece of carpentry equipment met with the courteous reply: “We regret we have no vice in Grahamstown”. Back bounced the obvious rejoinder: “Then you must all be saints”.The Anglican Cathedral of St Michael and St George is a diocesan seat of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Grahamstown also has Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Ethiopian Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Pinkster Protestant, Dutch Reformed (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk), Charismatic, Apostolic and Pentecostal churches.

There are also meeting places for Hindus, Scientologists, Quakers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslims. In fact it is said that there is a church in Grahamstown for every week of the year.

General Information

    Arrival and Departure

    Check in is from 14:00 on the day of arrival. The unit must be vacated by 10:00 on the morning of departure, unless otherwise arranged. On departure, if we are not at home, please leave the key in the post box, once you are on the outside of the gate

    Complaints or Comments

    We take the enjoyment of your stay very seriously. Any complaints or comments regarding your stay should be made in the first instance to us, so that we can attempt to resolve it immediately. Our door is always open, but if we are not home, you can contact Belinda on 083 410 7246.

    Main Gate

    When utilising the gate, please ensure that it has closed properly. Please note that the gate does not have a sensor and therefore needs to be pressed again to close.

    Our Animals

    There are gates upstairs which limits our dogs, Hunter (Golden Retriever), Peanut (Maltese), to the backyard. Please do not open it. On the odd occasion, when they do manage to get through they might come out and say hello. The dogs are very friendly, but please rather alert us to the fact that they are visiting and we will come and fetch them.


    Due to the current water crisis throughout South Africa, we urge you to save water wherever possible. Currently a water restriction of 60 litres of water per person per day applies. Also, because of the poor quality of the Grahamstown water it is strongly advised to boil the tap water before drinking. Please also use the water in the 5 litre container on the basin. Should you need to refill, please use the water tank under the carport.

    A water tank with pump is available if there are problems with the municipal water. It will automatically switch over when municipal water is cut, therefore you can continue with normal use of water in case of general water outage. Please use water sparingly.


    Please do not overload the electricity box by using too many high power appliances at the same time. Eg. Stove, kettle & heater. If the power does trip, the electricity box is in the bedroom on the wall next to the window.

    Please note that load shedding is intermittent. There is a schedule on the counter in the bedroom, together with a rechargeable LED light, candles and lighter. Please make use of this, when there is load shedding.


    Although measures have been taken to ensure your wellbeing and safety, we cannot be held responsible for any damage / loss to yourselves or your property.


    One off street parking allocation under the carport is for your use. Should you require more parking area, (more vehicles) please note that you are welcome to park outside


    Please note that the flat is a non-smoking unit. You are welcome to smoke outside in the garden, but please throw your ‘stompies’ (cigarette butts) in the bin and not in the flower beds.

    Temperature Control

    Winters can be viciously cold in Grahamstown. An electric blanket has been provided for your comfort, as well as an additional blanket on the bed. We also provide a small heater to warm up the flat. Please ensure that it is switched off when you go to bed or leave the flat.
    The reverse is true in Summer, when the heat can be stifling at times. A floor fan is provided.

    Refuse Removal

    Please note that refuse removal days are Mondays. If you are staying over on a Monday, please kindly put the black refuse bag next to the remote gate, in the dedicated area. Thank you!