23 October 2012

Fort Brown

The next stop on our Eastern Cape trip was Graaff-Reinet.  We took a longer route with a few interesting places along the way.  We left Grahamstown and drove 30 kilometer on the R67 to Fort Brown. 

Fort Brown is not really a town, but only a police station and farms.  The Fort Brown Gun Tower has been incorporated into the SA Police Station.  It is next to the road and easy to find.  We had to sign in at the police station and could then walk around and take some photos.  There was not much else to do and it was only a quick stop.

Lt. Col. G. Lewis, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers at the Cape, drew plans for fortified barracks at Hermanus Kraal.  AA young officer, William Jervois, was appointed to in 1841 to carry out the work.  Hermanus Kraal was later renamed to Fort Brown after Lt Brown of the 75th Regiment who was in command during the war of 1835.
Fort Brown consisted of a group of buildings surrounded by a high stone wall.  At the corner was a tower of about 3.5 meters for mounting a gun.  Under the floor there was a power magazine and on the roof a cannon that could be swiveled round.  After years of neglect this gun tower and a few walls are all that remained.  It was declared a National Heritage Site in 1938.

Jervois also constructed the rail way bridge over the Fish River near Fort Brown.  The original stone pillars are now incorporated into the newer, longer bridge. (We did not stop at the bridge and this was the best photo I could manage while we were driving)
 

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