Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Victorian School in Park Drive

Today the elegant Victorian mansion ‘Knockfierna’ in Park Drive now masquerades as a school. It ushered in the 20th century as the home of a wealthy wool merchant and farmer, John Daverin. Much more than that he was also a Member of Parliament and philanthropist. Now largely forgotten, his legacy endures in the form of the St Georges Preparatory School.

Detailed information on the house and the three occupants who resided there prior to its conversion into a school are covered in a separate blog. This blog is merely a copy of the school’s history from its website.

Main picture: St George’s Preparatory School in Park Drive

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Story of “Knockfierna” in Park Drive

Knockfierna (Hill of Fairies or Truth) was originally built in 1899 as an opulent grand Victorian Mansion by John Daverin, from Ireland, who was a successful Wool Merchant. John and his wife, Clothilda, brought up their seven children in the grand style befitting this era. It was then owned by Harry James Harraway and then Raymond Whitworth Hutchinson before becoming St. George’s Preparatory School.

This is the story of this mansion and its first three owners as told by Tennyson S. Bodill.

Main picture: Knockfierna circa 1900

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