Rita, outside Belvedere Cottages
The Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin in Port Elizabeth
The Church was founded at a meeting of citizens under the chairmanship of Captain Francis Evatt on 26 April 1824.
The foundation stone of the Church building was laid on 5 October 1825, and in the same month, the Rev. Francis McCleland arrived to take up the post of Colonial Chaplain and minister of the church. The building was opened for worship in 1832. It was described as being not very imposing, oblong with a red tiled roof. External alterations and additions were made in 1860. In 1895 the church was burned down but was rebuilt within a year and opened for worship on 6 September 1896. Paul Kruger sent a donation and Cecil John Rhodes paid for the cloisters.
Among the many interesting features in the church we would draw attention to the artistic memorial brass over the grave of Archdeacon A T Wirgman, who served as minister from 1875 to 1917. The brass is said to be unique in South Africa.
NB: A piece of St Mary's stained glass is believed to be the oldest in South Africa and was brought out from Britain 1909 originating from a 16th Century German church.
Latitude : -33° 57' 42.33" S
Longitude : 25° 37' 20.72" E