Port Elizabeth City Hall. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
  • Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 and named for the wife of a Cape Colony governor.
  • This is how it has changed over the years.


Known as both the friendly and windy city, Port Elizabeth has a rich history.

After European settlement in 1820, named for the wife of a Cape Colony governor, it started to change dramatically from the initial San settlement.

With the help of the Historical Society of Port Elizabeth, Jenny Bennie, and the book "Port Elizabeth: a social chronicle to the end of 1945" by Margaret Harradine, this is how it has changed over the years.

Donkin Lighthouse and Pyramid.

The Stone Pyramid monument has an inscription erected by Sir Rufane Donkin in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.

Photo: Jenny Bennie


South End

Note the municipal houses being built on the left.

Photo: Jenny Bennie


North End to South End.

This drawing by WA Harries shows North End from South End while looking towards the direction of the pyramid.

Photo: Jenny Bennie


Market Square and Main Street.

In 1853.

Photo: Jenny Bennie

And today.

Market Square, now known as Vusile Mini Square with Main Street, now known as Govan Mbeki Avenue, in the background.


Humewood Road.

In 1910.

Photo: Jenny Bennie

Humewood Road in 2018.

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