What to do in and around East London
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Art & Culture | What's On in and around
East London | Eastern Cape
EAST LONDON MUSEUM Established in 1921 and considered to be one of the most interesting natural and cultural history museums in the country, the East London Museum features a number of fine exhibits, including the type specimen of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago, together with an extensive collection of beadwork relating to the Xhosa-speaking people. Collection highlights include the excavation of a large fossil reptile skull and skeleton, Kannemeyria simocephalus, near Tarkastad in 1934; the discovery of the coelacanth in 1938, which resulted in national acclaim for the Museum; an informative display of maritime history of the area; work on trace human and animal trace fossil footprints found in coastal sandstone rockface, dated at 124 000 years old; and the recent dating of the Hofmeyr skull at 36 000 years.
Contact 043 743 0686
ANN BRYANT ART GALLERY The Ann Bryant Art Gallery seeks through its collections of fine and decorative arts to increase aesthetic awareness of cultural diversity and to afford our whole community means of enjoyment and enrichment from the visual arts. It also seeks to promote the work of worthy contemporary Eastern Cape artists. The Ann Bryant has a strong collection of South African art, especially from the 1960’s but also earlier works. At one time the East London Fine Art Society took over the running of the gallery and had major exhibitions, for example by Thinus de Jongh and Hugo Naude. The gallery sometimes bought from these exhibitions. It holds works by Norman Catherine, Judith Mason, Walter Battiss, Sydney Carter, George Pemba, John Maufangejo, Cyprian Shilakoe, Willie Bester and many others.
Contact 043 722 4044
Fine collection of restored horse drawn vehicles and a gypsy caravan, situated just 3km from East London on Stutterheim Road. Open daily from 9am - 4pm.
Contact 043 730 7244
AMATHOLE MUSEUM The Amathole Museum, formerly the Kaffrarian Museum, was established in 1884 and is one of the oldest museums in South Africa. It is a natural and cultural history museum located in King William's Town. The museum houses the second largest collection of mammals in South Africa and includes the taxidermied body of Huberta, the hippopotamus.
Contact 043 604 4506
HOOD POINT LIGHTHOUSE
The Hood Point Lighthouse is situated next to the golf course on the West Bank within the boundaries of the City of East London.
The lighthouse was first lit on 4 June 1895. Before the commissioning of this lighthouse, Castle Rock Light was the 1st aid to navigation that was erected in the vicinity and, comprised of a fixed white light located on a wooden structure with a 4-metre high square rubble masonry foundation.
This is probably the most popular lighthouse with resident staff as it is situated within the city boundaries, overlooking a very fine golf course, although a cemetery is located on the eastern side of the lighthouse!
The origin of the name is a mystery, although maps dating back to 1849 refers to it as Point Hood. The most likely is that it may have been named after a Lt. Hood who was a member of the team that surveyed the area on instruction from the British Admiralty in 1823.
A commemorative plaque in memory of 18 vessels that ran aground in the vicinity has been erected on site.
Contact 043 700 3056
GERMAN SETTLER MONUMENT This monument commemorates the arrival of the British German Legionaries of 1857 and the German (civilian) Settlers of 1858/9. The pillar feature represents the Brandenburg Gate, a feature of the once-walled city of Berlin. The pond represents the sea and the names of the ships which transported the immigrants out, are inscribed around it. On the west wall behind the Brandenburg gate are listed the settlements to which the immigrants were sent. The central feature of the monument is a drift stone on a plinth of local granite, a gift from the German government who shipped the stone out to King William’s Town.