A Pictorial History of the Campanile in Port Elizabeth

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The Campanile was erected to commemorate the landing of the 1820 Settlers and is situated at the entrance to the railway station and docks in Strand Street, the spot where it is said the settlers landed in Port Elizabeth. The architects were Jones & McWilliams with construction starting in 1920 and it was completed in 1922.

The Campanile Memorial has a climb of 204 steps that takes one to the Observation Room, offering a magnificent view of the harbour and surroundings, more than 52m above the city.  The Campanile contains the largest carillon of bells in the country in addition to its chiming clock. When it’s song time, the tower tops ring out with a carillon of 23 bells, conjuring nostalgic cries of history.

For the purposes of this blog, I have divided the this history into three arbitrary periods viz The Beginning: 1922 to 1932, the Charl Malan Quay 1933 to 1999 and the Modern Period 2000 to 2016.

The Beginning: 1922 to 1932

View of the Campanile from the seafront, towering over the Customs House

View of the Campanile from the seafront, towering over the Customs House

The Campanile under construction

The Campanile under construction

The Campanile 1820 Settlers Memorial

The year 1923 and the Campanile is getting christened with a Royal Audience. H R H Prince Arthur of Connaught returned to Port Elizabeth on this day to open the tower officially. The tower had been erected at a final cost of £5 940, but there was as yet no clock and no bells for the proposed carillon, and efforts were set afoot to raise funds for that purpose. Eventually, a clock specially manufactured by Joyce of Whitechurch, England, was installed by a local firm of clock and watchmakers, J Joseph and Sons, and was set going at 12 noon on 28 April 1925. This clock, which strikes the Westminister chimes, has four large dials and the movement is driven by means of a pendulum and drive-weight which is wound every Friday. The strike mechanism, manufactured by that fine old English firm of clockmakers and bellfounders, Gillett and Johnston Limited of Croydon, Surrey, was installed during 1936 when the bells were hung.

Campanile getting christened with a Royal Audience, H R H Prince Arthur of Connaught

 

The unveiling of the Campanile

The unveiling of the Campanile.

 

The Entrance Door of the Campanile

The Entrance Door of the Campanile

A sketch dated 6th November 1923 of the Campanile

A sketch dated 6th November 1923 of the Campanile

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Bell being hoisted up the Campanile

Bell being hoisted up the Campanile

Campanile#37 Bell or clock mechanism

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Campanile#36 Bell or clock mechanism

Bell or clock mechanism of the Campanile

Campanile#34 Bells in position

Bells in position in the Campanile

Campanile#32 Bells in position

Bells in position in the Campanile

 

The Campanile as seen from North Jetty circa 1925

Campanile in 1924

Campanile in 1924

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The Campanile from North Jetty

Campanile#30 One of the bells being hoisted up to the top

One of the bells being hoisted up to the top of the Campanile

 

Bells in position in the tower of the Campanile

Bells in position in the tower of the Campanile

 

The Charl Malan Quay: 1933 to 1999

The Campanile in 1940

The Campanile in 1940

The Campanile in 1959

The Campanile in 1959

The Campanile in 1960

The Campanile in 1960

Campanile in the 1960s

Campanile in the 1960s

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The top of the Tower

The top of the Tower

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Viewing the Campanile from Main Street PE

Viewing the Campanile from Main Street PE

 

The Modern Period: 2000 to 2016

Some of the 204 steps

Some of the 204 steps

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The plaque on the Campanile

The plaque on the Campanile

The Plaque on the Campanile

The Plaque on the Campanile

The Campanile-Modern view from highway

The Campanile-Modern view from highway

The observation deck at the top of the Campanile allows one magnificent views towards all directions

The observation deck at the top of the Campanile allows one magnificent views towards all directions

The view south from the top of the Campanile

The view south from the top of the Campanile

Sources:

Wikipedia: History of the Campanile

Recent Photos: www.PEBlogSpot


1 Comments

  1. I remember doing the lettering on the sign over the entrance door of the Campanile reading “adults 1 Shilling / children 6d” or words to that effect! I think Kin Bentley had some connection with this.

    Reply

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