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 South Africa, 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 include:

Historical places of interest

Thanks to careful preservation of national heritage and respect for history, the town of Bathurst still looks much like it would have in the 1820s. 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.

The Wesleyan Church

The Wesleyan Church
Built in 1832 by settler Samuel Bradshaw, The Wesleyan church 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 1800s. 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.

St John's Church
The oldest unaltered Anglican Church in South Africa, St John’s Church was built in 1834 and provided sanctuary for the settlers through the Frontier Wars of 1834, 1846 and 1851. St John’s church is also a National Monument

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

The Toposcope
Built in 1859 with stones from original settler dwellings, the Toposcope marks the place from where the 1820 would survey the surrounding settlements. 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

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 Bradshaw's Mill is home to one of the few working water wheels in southern Africa.

Morley House
Built in 1828 by Thomas Hartley, Morley House 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
Founded in honour of the tenacity and ingenuity of the farmers that settled in the area The Bathurst Agricultural Museum boasts a collection of over 1400 rare and interesting agricultural artefacts and implements.

Arts and crafts

Possibly because it is only 40 km from the thriving university town of Grahamstown, Bathurst boasts a rich intellectual and artistic community.

The Wiles Art Gallery
Home to art from generations of the Wiles family of artists, the Wiles Gallery is not to be missed if you have an eye for fine arts. Visitors can admire or purchase pieces by Walter Wiles, Lucy Wiles, Brian Wiles and Jane Wiles.

Richard Pullen Ceramics
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.

The Sunday Farmers' Market
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 for the whole family, and you can purchase local arts and crafts as well as fresh produce and homemade jams, cheeses and other food products.

The Penny Whistle Antiques Shop
Once housed inside the inn, The Pig and Whistle’s own antiques shop outgrew its confines and is now the Penny Whistle Antiques Shop. A wander around the little shop will reveal collectables, silver cutlery, antique crockery, jewellery and other interesting and unique pieces sourced from around the country. You will also find beautiful hand-crafted items such as lamb's wool shawls and oil paintings by local artists, and a range of Historic Pig and Whistle Inn memorabilia.

Other curio and antiques shops
There are also several interesting shops in Bathurst. The Corner Shop sells a variety of hand-crafted 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.

Things to do

Waters Meeting Nature Reserve

The surrounding natural landscape is almost completely untainted, and is very similar to the land in which the brave and desperate 1820 settlers would have found themselves 200 years ago. Therefore, many of the activities enjoyed by locals and visitors involve appreciation of nature. 

Waters Meeting Nature Reserve
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.

Lushington Valley Nature Reserve
In the frequently drought-stricken Eastern Cape, the area surrounding the perennial Lushington River is a perfect habitat for game, and a picturesque place for visitors to experience nature. Lushington Valley Reserve is home to a variety of game, and visitors can enjoy walks, self-drive safaris, picnics, trail runs and mountain-biking routes. Reservations can be made through the Pig and Whistle.

The Big Pineapple
Rather quirkily, Bathurst is also home to the biggest model pineapple in the world. Pineapples are farmed extensively throughout the region around Bathurst, and in honour of the pineapple’s contribution to the community, the Big Pineapple was erected. Standing 16.7m high, the three storey pineapple houses a gift shop, informative presentations about the farming of pineapples, and an observation deck which provides views of the surrounding farmlands.

Blue Flag Beaches
Bathurst is only about a 15-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast and sprawling beaches. Nearby popular beaches include Kelly Beach of Port Alfred and Kariega Beach at Kenton on Sea, both of which boast Blue Flag status. Surfing is a popular pastime among locals and there are places for visitors to try out water-sports as well.