On the banks of the Kat River is Fort Beaufort, the centre of a citrus farming area.

The town originated in 1823 as a military stronghold and was named after the Duke of Beaufort, the father of Lord Charles Somerset, governor of the Cape. The fort still stands.

On 7 January 1851 it withstood a full-scale assault by Xhosa warriors.

The mess house of the officers of the garrison is used as a museum, packed with guns, military uniforms and badges. An odd relic from the officers' mess is a square-shaped piano.

From Fort Beaufort the military road, known as the Queen's Road, crosses the Great Fish River Valley to Grahamstown. This was completed in 1842 and provided the British with quick access to the troubled frontier.

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