Bradshaw's Mill in Bathurst, Eastern Cape
The National Monument of Bradshaw’s Mill lies on the banks of the Bathurst River in the Eastern Cape only 16 km’s from Port Alfred and about 43 km’s from Grahamstown.
The mill was built just outside the town of Bathurst in 1821 for the purpose of manufacturing blankets and kersey cloth. It was constructed by the British settler Samuel Bradshaw who was a weaver from the heart of English wool and textile industry, Gloucestershire.As a result, Bathurst soon became the hub of the South African wool industry by the mid 1820’s.
The mill operated for over ten years before being burnt down by the Xhosa warriors during the Sixth Frontier War in 1935. The mill was quickly reconstructed in 1936 where a third story was added. It served as a grain mill until the early 1900’s when it fell into a state of disuse. It was the Simon van der Stel Foundation who undertook extensive restoration of the mill after purchasing it in 1964. The restoration was completed in 1981 and Bradshaw’s Mill was later declared a national monument.
Today Bradshaw’s Mill is one of the few remaining, working, water-powered wheels in South Africa. The Mill is a beautiful reminder of the areas roots and a fascinating element of our local heritage. It is run by well-informed volunteers and well worth a visit.
Things to do and see
- Working Water-Wheel
- Old Mill three storey building
- Information on the history of the Mill
There is no charge to visit this national monument.
From Bathurst village, follow the signs to the Pig and Whistle Hotel - the Mill is about 1,4 km's away from the hotel and signage will guide you.
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