The name Tarkastad comes from the Xhosa language, and means an area of many birds.
Tarkastad was established in 1862 as a church centre and became a municipality in 1864. The grave of Lt Sheridan, cousin of Winston Churchill, can found in the local cemetery.
San rock paintings can be seen in the area. Victorian cast iron lamp posts and 'broekie' lace adornments indicate the British colonial influence.
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