Grahamstown : Settlers Women’s Monument

At about 16:30 we drove to the Cathedral of St Michael and St George in Grahamstown to attend the Evening carol Service.  When we arrived at the cathedral everything was still closed and we used the time to walk around and take photos.
We parked in High street and next to the parking was a monument.  It is called the Elizabeth Salt Monument or the Settlers Women’s Monument.  The monument was built in memory of the pioneer woman in the Battle of Grahamstown.  The battle took place in 1819 when Xhosa’s attacked the settlement with about 6 000 men. Many of the warriors died during the battle but only two British.

According to legend Elizabeth salt carried a keg of gunpowder through the Xhosa warriors to the men by wrapping it in a baby blanket.  This story is shown on the plaque on the monument.

The monument also marks the spot where, under a tree, Lieutenant Colonel Graham and Captian Stockenstrom decided on the site for Grahamstown.  They camped on the land where the cathedral stands today.  The town was proclaimed in August 1811 and was named after Colonel John Graham.


  1. What amazing history and a fabulous post. South African history is so interesting. My grandmother used to live in Grahamstown but I fear that it is unlikely I will ever return. Sad.

  2. Very nice photos. I live in Pretoria and have written a book about my grandfather who was an 1820 settler May i use some of your photos?
    Kind regards
    Johan Campbell.

    1. Hallo Johan, Yes you can use some of my photos. Do you need the orginal photos or will you copy the photos from the website?


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