Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rev Francis McCleland's grave

Over the last two years every time I visited the St Mary's Cemetery I've had a look for Rev Francis McCleland's grave without any success.  Grizel Hart, the curator at No.7 Castle Hill, explained to me where to find it and on my last visit - after again walking right past it twice - I found it.  Rev Francis McCleland came to to Algoa Bay in one of the 1820 British Settler parties and became colonial chaplain in Port Elizabeth.  He bought the land on which No.7 Castle Hill now stands for three guineas (three pounds and three shillings) in 1827 and built the house for his family.  By 1834 he had also overseen the building of St Mary's Anglican church (later declared a cathedral).


  1. I love exploring cemeteries seeking stories that may elude historical record. What an interesting find this one is!

  2. reverend Francis McCleland should be seen as one of the founding fathers of Port Elizabeth, together with Captain Francis Evatt and sir Rufane Donkin.

    I would, however, and perhaps the suggestion can be put to the No. 7 Castle Hill Museum, like to see the Museum undertake the upkeep of his grave. This is of particular historical value to PE. Perhaps even a model can be made by donations or a photograph can be displayed in the Museum and a map to direct visitors. It not only broadens the Museum's sphere if influence but will also attract visitors to St, Mary's.

  3. No. 7 Castle Hill cleaned up the grave a year or so ago but its a struggle to get the municipality to keep the whole cemetery neat. We are going to have a look at it next week and will try to get a fire made under somebody.