The Historic Pig and Whistle Inn

In the area

Whether you are interested in finding out more about your own heritage, or are curious about the rich history of our rainbow nation, the frontier town of Bathurst is a fascinating place.

Bathurst is full of interesting things to see and do

The area around the Historic Pig and Whistle Inn is full of interesting things to see and do. Some of the nearby attractions are:

Bathurst is home to the oldest continuously licensed pub in the country, the oldest unaltered Anglican Church in the country, the oldest primary school in the country and many other original 1820 settler buildings. Thanks to careful preservation of national heritage and respect for history, the town still looks much like it would have in the 1820s.

The surrounding natural landscape is almost completely untainted, and is very similar to the land that the brave and desperate 1820 settlers would have arrived in and just a few minutes' drive will take you to Blue Flag beaches at Kenton on Sea and Port Alfred. As the Inn is only 40 km from the thriving university town of Grahamstown, Bathurst boasts a rich intellectual and artistic community. Rather quirkily, Bathurst is also home to the biggest model pineapple in the world.

The Wesleyan Church

Historical places of interest

The Wesleyan Church, built in 1832 by settler Samuel Bradshaw, is one of the many National Monuments in Bathurst. This church is an archetypical example of the type of Wesleyan churches that would have been present throughout rural areas in the early 1800's. The church houses 1820 settler Jeremiah Goldswain's Family Bible, it survived being besieged in the Frontier Wars and services are still held in the church every Sunday.

Another National Monument near the Inn is St John's Church. Built in 1834, this is the oldest unaltered Anglican Church in South Africa and provided sanctuary for the settlers through the Frontier Wars of 1834, 1846 and 1851.

Bleak House, built in 1825, now a coffee shop and private residence, also enjoys status as a National Monument.

The Toposcope, built in 1859, marks the place where the 1820 settlers surveyed their surrounding settlements. The monument is built with rocks from original settler dwellings and details about the various settlements are recorded on bronze plaques around the monument. The view from the Toposcope is spectacular, and it is possible to see for miles around, from the Great Fish River to Kwaaihoek.

The Toposcope

Bathurst is home to Bradshaw's Mill. This building, built in 1821, was originally used by the settlers as a wool mill, so that wool from their sheep could be used to make cloth. A third storey was added to the Mill in 1835 for corn milling. Today the restored Mill still houses a working water wheel.

Morley House, built in 1828 by Thomas Hartley, is preserved as a National Monument because of its historical value. It is one of the few 1820 settler dwellings to have survived looting during the Frontier War of 1834. It was home to settlers Jeremiah Goldswain and Henry Hartley, the notable big game hunter and founder of Hartley in Zimbabwe. As it is a private residence, Morely House is not open to the public.

The Bathurst Agricultural Museum was started in honour of the tenacity and ingenuity of the farmers that settled in the area and boasts a collection of over 1400 rare and interesting agricultural artefacts and implements.

Arts and crafts

Walking distance from the Pig and Whistle is the Jane Wiles Art Gallery. The beauty of Bathurst and the surrounding areas have inspired the oil paintings of artist Jane Wiles. The Historic Pig and Whistle Inn is privileged to have Jane Wiles art gracing the dining room.

The Richard Pullen Ceramics open studio showcases the work of one Bathurst's talented artists. Pullen creates hand-made functional ceramics, such as jugs and bowls, as well as collaborating with his wife to create decorative pieces.

A trip with the family to the Sunday Farmers Market held every Sunday at Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Nursery from 9:30 to 12:20 makes for a fun day out, and you can purchase crafts as well as fresh produce and homemade jams, cheeses and other food products.

There are also several interesting shops in Bathurst. The Corner Shop sells a variety of hand crafted and beautiful products such as linen, belts, and exquisite charcoal drawings. Relix and Things is a second hand shop that deals in interesting, unique objects and antiques.

The Historic Pig and Whistle Inn also has its own Antiques Shop.

Things to do

Waters Meeting Nature Reserve

Bathurst is only a 10 minute drive from the Sunshine Coast and sprawling beaches. Nearby popular beaches include the blue flag beaches; Kelly Beach of Port Alfred and Kariega Beach at Kenton on Sea. Surfing is a popular pastime among locals and there are places for visitors to try out water-sports as well.

At the Waters Meeting Nature Reserve, explorers can enjoy hikes in beautiful scenery and canoeing adventures take place on the river. For the less active, a viewing deck providing stunning views over the Horseshoe Bend is set up near the entrance to the park.

Pineapples are farmed extensively throughout the region around Bathurst, and in honour of the pineapples' contribution to the community, the world's largest model pineapple was erected. The Big Pineapple is three storeys (16.7m) high, and houses a gift shop, informative presentations about the farming of pineapples, and an observation deck at the top of the Big Pineapple provides views of the surrounding farmlands.