The History of Queenstown


Queenstown, named in honour of the Queen Victoria was always known as the Queen of the Border and Rose Capital of South Africa.
Queenstown was founded in 1853. It was intended to be a military outpost designed to protect the British subjects from attack during the time of the Frontier wars. The town was laid out around a central hexagon, which was to be the lager to which the citizens would flee in time of trouble. Although still a distinguishing feature of the town today, the hexagon was never used for its intended purpose.

Queenstown became a service town for farmers in the district. It was known for the quality of its wagon building and for the general quality of its (often) imported merchandise. Educational Institutions also flourished.

Local Attractions

The residents of Queenstown are justifiably proud of the town’s five National Monuments (four of which are built of local sandstone).


Queenstown’s original hexagon layout is unique in the world and was planned to enable the defence of the settlement along each of the streets, radiating like the spokes of a wagon wheel from the central point…

Frontier Museum

The museum was built as a school but now houses, among many other interesting exhibits, a fully rebuilt and furnished frontier cottage. The history of the area is exceptionally well documented and illustrated in the most interesting manner.

Gardens / Queens Casino

Lovers of nature and gardens will enjoy the year-round beauty of the Memorial Gardens in Shepstone Street and the quiet tranquillity of the Walter Everitt Sunken Gardens in the eastern entrance to the town. The Walter Everitt gardens have been beautifully restored by the newly build Queen’s Casino and Hotel complex.

The Eastern Cape Province

The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces, the diverse Eastern Cape is situated between the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal, and bordered by the Orange River and Drakensberg Mountains.

The Eastern Cape is a destination where your imagination can take flight. The region boasts a variety of activities ranging from easy-going to the most extreme, something to satisfy the curiosity and adventurous streak in everyone.

Eastern Cape Attractions

  • Addo Elephant Park
  • Nelson Mandela Museum
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Coffee Bay
  • Eastern Cape Beaches
  • Valley of Desolation
  • Longhill Nature Reserve
  • Visit for more information

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