The town of Hankey is surrounded by beautiful hills and lies en-route from Port Elizabeth via Humansdorp and Patensie to Baviannskloof - an area that is home to an incredible diversity of habitats and species.
The London Missionary Society founded a mission station in the valley of the Gamtoos River in 1822. The station was named after William Hankey, treasurer of the society.
The intention of the society was to settle Hottentot converts on irrigable land. The project was not a success.
The land was sold and today the village is the administrative centre for this fertile area producing citrus fruits, tobacco and vegetables.
Hankey is well known for its sundial, the largest in Africa, that stands 18 metres high and weighs in at a tonne. It is also the burial place of Sarah Baartman - her life story is one of abysmal treatment during which she was cajoled into leaving her place of birth to be exhibited as a ‘freak’ in the UK and Europe. Years of negotiation with the French government finally culminated in her remains being returned to a burial place just outside Hankey, her final resting place - something of a victory for humanity and a symbol of freedom.
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