This blog is based upon an article in the Port Elizabeth Historical Society’s Journal, “Looking Back”, June 1978.
Main picture: North End of Yore
* After Walter Clement Adcock, City Councillor from 1928 and Mayor, 1936/7
* The name of the settlement before it became Port Elizabeth in 1820. It still retained this name in shipping circles until quite recently,
and for most of the 19th century it was referred to by local people simply as “The Bay”.
Per page 27 of the Dictionary of Southern African Place Names, Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg, 1987, Algoa Bay
is a large inlet on the Indian Ocean, between Cape Padrone and Cape Recife, on which Port Elizabeth is situated. Named Angra da Roca by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, subsequently renamed Bahia da Lagoa, which was corrupted to Algoa Bay. The Portuguese word ‘Lagoa’ means ‘lagoon or small lake’.
* From Algoa Bay. Formerly known as “Northdowns” and used as a military camp in World War 2. It was developed to provide housing for returned servicemen
* After the Dutch man-of-war “Amsterdam” which was wrecked just north of the Swartkops River mouth in 1817
* Arcadia South and Arcadia North are Extensions 12 and 13 of Bethelsdorp. A popular name for suburbs in South Africa, deriving from the traditionally peaceful region of ancient Greece.
* A portmanteau word from Bendor Properties Ltd., the developers, and Kragga Kamma where the township is situated
* Founded by Dr. Johannes Theodorus van der Kemp as a London Missionary Society station on land granted to him in 1803. BETHEL the house of God, DORP, a village.
* Named by Bendor Properties Ltd. Beverley is a town in Yorkshire.
* Named after the farm on which the Coloured township is being developed.
* The name was chosen by Mr. H. Weinronk, the developer. Overlooks the Bay
* After Charles Trevor Boast, a former Bantu Administration Manager.
* The name of the farm on which the township was developed.
* The name of Charlo Extension No. 7. Chosen merely as an attractive name.
* After William Charles Cadle (1892-1943) who owned a butcher shop and property in the area.
* After Charles Lovemore. The Lovemore family owned most of the ground on which this township was laid out.
* After the Chatty River. The origin of the river’s name is uncertain.
* (Bethelsdorp Ext. No. 10). Named after Mr. D.J. Cleary, Director of Housing in Port Elizabeth.
* After the picturesque hill region in England. Named by Surveyor H.B. Smith.
DAN JOOSTE PARK
* After Rev. Dan Jooste, minister, teacher and member of the Coloured Vigilance Committee
* Name of a farm. Dassie – rock rabbit; kraal – cattle pen.
DEAL PARTY ESTATE
* After a party of 1820 settlers from Deal, Kent, who established a fishery there.
* After the Rev. William J. Dower (1837- 1919) who served the Coloured Community.
* A belt of driftsands once threatened the southern part of the city and the harbour but was stopped by the work of Joseph Storr Lister.
* An area between Walmer boundary and the sea. Old Dutch name for “dunes”.
* Named by the developer Mr. A.W. Pudney who lived in Eastbourne Road.
* From a Xhosa word meaning “looming on the horizon” signifying a new beginning.
* From a farm granted to John O’Neal, an Irishman, in 1815, who named it in honour of the “Emerald Isle”.
* From the fact that there was a good view from this higher area of the region. Developed by the Fairview Suburban Estate Co. Formerly included in Newton Park.
* Named from a kloof behind Parkin’s farmhouse on the site of the estate.
* After Dr. Duncan Ferguson former Medical Officer of Health for Port Elizabeth.
* Perhaps named from its proximity to the government forestry reserve.
* From the maiden name of the wife of Mrs. A.W. Pudney, property developer.
* The Suburb of Framesby was named after William Brooksby Frames as well. The adjacent suburb, Theescombe, was named by Frames after his ancestral home in Gloucester.
FRANCIS EVATT PARK
* After Captain Francis Evatt, (1817-1847) Commandant at Fort Frederick, who was largely responsible for the town’s early development.
* After Mrs. C.M.S. Gelvan who has been a City Councillor since 1947.
* Extension No. 11 of Gelvandale
* Extension No. 9 of Gelvandale
* Lorraine Ext. No. 28. Named by Mr. Strydom of Strydom, Basson & Tait after the name of a house of a friend in Natal, a Mr. Blaikie. Perhaps from the Scottish word meaning a woody glen.
* After Mrs. C.F. Gipson, a City Councillor elected in 1929.
* After Herbert Hurd, property developer, Town Councillor of Walmer and its Mayor 1922-1925.
* After Mr. John James Glendinning, a City Councillor for many years and Mayor in 1944/5
* Chosen by a member of a firm of attorneys who developed this township and who was an admirer of the unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency of the U.S.A. in 1964.
* After Mr. William Greenshields Paterson, Mayor of Walmer 1950/51.
* After George Thomas Hart, City Councillor, harbour official and a Captain in the Town Guard 1900-1902.
* A man named Hill once owned grazing land here about 1910.
* Mr. F.J. Holland a prominent public figure and businessman.
* After Thomas Hoy, a Walmer Councillor in 1922.
* After William Hume, M.L.A., who was Chairman of the Harbour Board at the time the land was transferred from the Harbour · Board for development as a seaside resort.
* Named by Mr. C. Carter Jones who bought the land and named it after a residence owned by his wife’s uncle on Lake Ontario.
* After Wally Jarman, former Housing Manager in the City Health Department in the 1950s and 1960s
* It is believed the township was thus named because of the shape of the property, jutting out like a promontory into the Baakens valley.
* Kabega is the name of one of the two streams which unite to form the Baakens. Possibly from the Hottentot KA – abundance, and BEGA – red clay
* Named after Cupido Kakkerlak, a Bethelsdorp missionary who later went to Klaarwater (later Griquatown). Not from Afrikaans “Kakkerlak” – a cockroach.
* After Mr. John Chambers Kemsley, M.B.E., Mayor , 1901-4 and 1916-18.
* After the London district of that name.
* A small school building was established here.
* After Frederick Korsten, owner of Cradock Place estate and founder of a large commercial empire in this area, arriving here in 1810.
* A Hottentot name meaning “pebbly water“.
* Named after the South West African river.
* Xhosa for “Ford Place”, from the fact that an emergency housing scheme was started, using wood from packing cases in which motor parts were imported
* Xhosa for “place you build yourself ‘. This was started as a “site and service” scheme.
* After Mr. J.W. Lea, a Town Councillor from 1865 who helped the Coloured community.
* Now named Woodlands. There was a tea garden here named after an old music-hall song.
* Adjoins the P.E. Golf Course.
* After Archibald Linton, M.P.C., City Councillor and Mayor in 1923/4.
* Named in memory of Joseph Storr Lister. who arrested the drift sands.
* Said to have been suggested by Mrs. Kyle, wife of a surveyor. The streets in this area are named after French towns and famous French persons.
* Once part of the property of the Lovemore family.
* Previously called Woolhope. An Indian township named after the Malabar coast in India.
* A Coloured housing scheme named after S. Malatsky, a grocer and draper in Durban Road.
* Named after James Mangold, a director of the Fairview Suburban Estate Co
* Named after Mr. Albertus B.G. Marais, Regional Representative of the National Housing and Planning Commission
* After Marchant Starr Davies, City Councillor, property developer and well-known sportsman.
* After Alfred Markman, City Councillor and Mayor, 1958-60. An industrial township.
* After James McLean , M.P., City Councillor from 1917 and Mayor 1938/9.
* After J.P. McNamee , father of A.P. McNamee , Municipal Director of Bantu Affairs .
* So called because a Mr. T.W. Gubb owned a mill there. It was formerly a native location known as Gubb’s location.
* After Henry John Millard, Mayor of Port Elizabeth in 1931.
* Commemorates Lord Alfred Milner, British High Commissioner and Governor of the Cape Colony.
* From the Italian for “sea view”.
* A township in which streets are named after missionaries.
* A name given by Mr. W. Sprowson to his part of Willowby Farm. Previously Mount Road Township.
* There is a good view of St.Croix Island in the bay from here.
* A popular name for areas and residences. This property was the first developed by I.W. Schlesinger in Port Elizabeth. A farm of this name stood on the site.
NEAVE INDUSTRIAL TOWNSHIP
* After Mr. John S. Neave, M.B.E. J.P., Mayor of Walmer 1914-19 and of Port Elizabeth 1939 and 1946/7.
* In 1877 the then Town Clerk of Port Elizabeth named it to honour the Mayor of Brighton in England.
* First named Fairview but on objections from the Post Office it was changed to Newton Park. The most likely explanation is that the Chairman of The Fairview Suburban Estate Co., owner of the the land was a Mr. George Newton..
Two possibilities have been mooted – one, that it was a “new town” and, two, after the Newton brothers who had a large general dealer’s business in Walmer Road and were noted for their charitable work’ but both of these alternatives can be discounted.
* Obviously because it was the northern part of the town.
* “Across the Baakens (River)”. The new name for the former Coloured area of Fairview.
* Named by the manager of the developing company , Mr . A. Augoustatos, after his pet name for his wife.
* Gelvandale Ext. No. 10. Situated alongside a park.
* After Mr. M.G. Parson, Municipal Land Surveyor, 1932-1950.
* Originally a glebe farm for the Anglican Church, hence its name. Initially it was granted to the Rev Francis McCleland in order that he could generate additional income. Instead he forever bemoaned the fact that the land was useless for agricultural purposes due to it being too damp
* After Major Frank Perridge, City Councillor from 1938 and Adjutant to Prince Alfred’s Guard. Developed 1945/6 as an ex soldiers’ housing scheme.
PRINCE NIKIWE TOWNSHIP
* Named after Philip Nikiwe, leading educationalist, member of the Bantu Advisory Board and a lay preacher.
* In the early days a Fisherman named Cook had a reed and mud cottage painted with red ochre. It was intended to call the village Henley Reach but the popular name prevailed.
* Now part of New Brighton. Probably so called because some of the Xhosa people wore red blankets as clothing.
* Named by the National Housing Board in honour of Piet Retief.
* Named by Mr. Marchant Davies, probably after Lord Rowallan who was Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth from 1945 to 1959.
* Named after Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin who named Port Elizabeth.
* The name given by Mr. Rupert G. Darlow to his part of Kabega Farm.
* Named in honour of Lord Salisbury, Victorian Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister.
* Bethelsdorp Ext. No. 15. Named after a Roman Catholic priest, Father Maxwell Salsone.
* Bethelsdorp Ext. No. 8. So called from its proximity to the salt pan.
* Bethelsdorp Ext. No. 14. Probably a corruption of “sanctuary” from its proximity to a wild bird Sanctuary formerly called Varsvlei.
* A health centre for the Coloured community. Derives its name from the S.A. Tuberculosis Association.
* Also known as SCHAUDERVILLE. Named after Adolph Schauder, City Councillor for 43 years, Mayor in 1940-41 and famous promoter of housing schemes for the underprivileged.
* According to Harold Baydon Smith this was named after a vagrant who lived in a cave in this region.
* Named after James Scott, Mayor of Port Elizabeth 1929/30.
* Named after Sidney Wells, an eminent property dealer. He left much of his property to the municipality after his death.
* Obviously because this was the south end of the town. It was commonly referred to as “over the river”.
* Part of the Driftsands area, site of 42 Air School during World War II, and a sub-economic housing scheme after the war. “Dene”** in English placenames implies “dune”.
** My Penguin Concise English Dictionary (1965) defines ‘dene’ as a ‘deep wooded valley of a small stream near the sea’. I think this needs to be checked. The English word ‘dune’ is translated as ‘duin’ in Afrikaans. RT
* Gelvandale Ext. No. 5. There was a natural spring in this area.
* Township developed by a company on Bog Farm which belonged to Mr. Adam Guthrie, Mayor of P.E. 1912/15. Probably the name refers to the good supply of water on the farm.
* Named by Mr. Sidney Wells, property developer.
* From the maiden name of Winifred Adcock the wife of W.C. Adcock, City Councillor from 1928 and Mayor 1936/7
* After Mr. I.E. Struan Robertson, City Councillor from 1948 and Meyer 1956/7
* After Mr. A.F. Stuart, a City Councillor from 1936.
* Named by Mr. H.B. Smith, Surveyor. It had the reputation of being the calmest spot in the Bay.
* Named by Mr. W.E. Londt, owner of the property, after a place in Croydon, England.
* Named by Mr. Sidney Wells after the village in Kent from which he came. It is, however, misspelt. The English village is Sutton Valence.
* After a district in London. It was already known by this name in 1860 and may have been inspired by the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace at Sydenham in 1851.
* Village taking its name from the river. No satisfactory explanation of the origin of Swartkops has yet been found.
[Per page 523 of the Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg, 1987), Swartkops is a village on the Swartkops River, 11 km north of Port Elizabeth and 1.6 km from the Indian Ocean. Afrikaans for ‘black hills’, the name is said to refer to surrounding hillocks crested with dark shadows. DM]
* From the name of the farm on which the township was laid out.
* The farm “Nooitgedacht” was officially granted to Gerrit Holtshausen, who appears in the 1813 census. In 1840, William Brooksby Frames purchased half of the farm and named it “Theescombe” after his family’s home in Gloucestershire. A “combe” is a moorland valley, a name used chiefly in south-west England. By 1849, the other half belonged to J.S. Reed. Frame’s Drift is on this property.
* A Xhosa word meaning “our hope” and is the name of a housing scheme in New Brighton.
* Named by Mr. Louis John Poulter, owner of the land, after his three sons Leonard, Vernon and Trevor. [Info supplied by Dale Poulter]
VAN DER STEL TOWNSHIP
* Named after two Governors of the Cape, Simon and Willem Adriaan van der Stel.
* Cattle farm. Possibly owned by Frederick Korsten.
* Named by Karl Olsson who owned and developed the land. He came from Sweden.
* Named by D. Macdonald, Government Surveyor, when the town ship was laid out on the farm Welgedacht in 1853. After Walmer Castle, seat of the Duke of Wellington as Warden of the Cinque Ports, who had recently died.
* Part of the land left to the municipality by Mr. Sidney Wells.
* Extension No. 11 of Bethelsdorp.
* Named by Mr. Altman, Surveyor, because of its position in relation to the city,
* When the area was developed it had a clear unbroken view towards the west.
* Named after the farm on which it was laid out. Weybridge is a town in Surrey, England.
* Now part of New Brighton. So called from the fact that the houses were painted white.
* Named from the Port Jackson willows which grew there, combined with the old English word for dune.
* An extension of Summerstrand. The name is little used.
* Refers to its sylvan setting. Formerly LINGA-LONGA.
* Now Malabar. The land was once owned by Carl Schady who had a woolwashery there. In old English place-names “hope” signifies a small enclosed valley.
* Named after John S. Young, longest-serving councillor, five times Mayor and Freeman of the city.
* Named after Fairbridge Hansen Manchinger Zwide, former Principal of Bethelsdorp Coloured Primary School, where he taught for 41 years.
Additional comments on Richmond Hill by Catherine James
In the book Port Elizabeth in Bygone Days by J.J. Redgrave, on page 109 he writes “On the site of the present Richmond Hill ….” indicating that the suburb of Richmond Hill is at least 55 years old as the book was published in 1947.
The Historical Society of Port Elizabeth, compiled a booklet and put together two walking trails in the Historical central area, namely The Donkin Heritage Trail and the Richmond Hill Trail. The section on Richmond Hill is based on the article ‘A Richmond Hill Trail’ by Margaret Harradine, which was published in November 2001 in Volume 40 of ‘Looking back’, the journal of the Historical Society of Port Elizabeth.
During the middle of the 19th century the addresses of the houses on the hill were simply given as “Hospital Hill”, “Richmond Hill” or “St Paul’s Hill”, street names came much later and according to Harradine, Richmond Hill was only officially named in 1991. But, on page 130 J.J. Redgrave writes “… when the hospital moved into its own premises on Richmond Hill in 1859 …” this would indicate that Richmond Hill has existed for at least 155 years.
The Richmond Hill Trail starts at the Westbourne Oval, originally a dam, where an athletics ground and cycling track were laid out for the Port Elizabeth Amateur Athletic and Cycling Club. A leisurely walk will take you past many beautiful Victorian and Edwardian houses amongst tree lined streets. Many interesting sights and buildings are on this route, like St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church, Newington Road, Erica School for girls, Lodge Caledonia at 22 Lansdown place, Raleigh Street Synagogue and ends at the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Children’s Home on the corner of Glen and Stanley Streets.
Original source: Looking Back, June 1978
PE Raper, Dictionary of Southern African Place Names, Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg, 1987