Monday, January 13, 2014

Brookes Hill Battery Observation Post

During the Second World War a series of harbour defences were built around Port Elizabeth to keep a lookout for approaching enemy ships, planes and submarines.  The harbour defences consisted of three Forward Observation Posts (FOP) at Schoenmakerskop, Cape Recife and Bluewater Bay along with the Algoa Battery building in Humewood and the Battery Observation Post on Brookes Hill overlooking Happy Valley.  I started out my exploration of these old buildings because they are the sites of a series of Geocaches, but the history started to interest me.  A bit of research later and I discovered a great article on the South African Military History Society website with all the info I needed.
After visits to the three FOP's my next location was the Battery Observation Post (BOP) on Brookes Hill.  The Algoa Battery seems to be inside the military base behind the City Lodge so I'm not sure I'll get an opportunity to visit it.  The Brookes Hill BOP (also referred to as the Day BOP) had a commanding view of Algoa Bay back in its time.  Today most of its view is blocked by apartment buildings although the beachfront towards Summerstrand and the bay beyond is still visible.  It really is sad that these buildings have been so badly neglected.  Imagine turning it into a coffee shop or little restaurant and enjoying this view while having a meal.


  1. Nice to learn about the history in your town.

  2. My cousin and I use t play here in the early 90s as two preteens. Good, decent fun - no drugs, drinking or smoking in those good ol' days.This used to be one of our secret 'bendehuisies' or lairs for the foreign visitors. But what we never knew was that is was also a local satanist coven, and one can truly thank God that our paths never crossed!

  3. Nice to know about the FOP and the BOP.

  4. When I first saw the building, I thought it was an architechtural art work gone wrong.
    Your comment however explains it: notice the curves along the edges which was part of the design to make it blend in against the bush and hills behind it.