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East Fort, a little piece of history on Chappies

The view from East Fort
Thursday, 12 November 2020 09:46


The old East Fort Battery, built in 1782, is one of the historical sites you’ll find on Chappies, along with the incredible views this amazing drive offers. With a frequent user card you can enjoy all the sites and views Chappies has to offer for less - and stand a chance to win free trips for a month if you sign up this month. 

East fort was built as one of four fortifications in Hout Bay between 1781 and 1806 by the VOC, the Dutch trading company that ruled the Cape Colony at the time. They were built to defend the Cape against a possible marine attack from the South. You can see the ruins of the old blockhouse fortifications on the left-hand side of the road and a battery of guns are down a path on the right-hand side (driving up from Hout Bay).

The guns had their day on 15 September 1795 when they were fired at an attacking 16-gun British warship, the HMS Echo. The Hout Bay’s batteries won the day, forcing the ship to retreat. The Echo, however, sailed on to Table Bay where later, on the same day after talks at Wynberg, the Dutch surrendered and the British took control of the Cape Colony. The British ruled at the Cape for more than 100 years, (with a brief interlude between 1803 and 1806).

In those days the Cape was an extremely strategic location, being on the popular shipping trade route between Europe and the East. It was the perfect refuelling point for the hundreds of ships making that journey every year.

East Fort is an interesting place to explore, a few hiking trails up the mountain also begin from the path at the blockhouse ruins. It’s well worth the steep walk down towards the sea to see the old gun battery. The guns are actually in working order, having been restored, proofed and licensed, and they are ceremonially fired on many special occasions. The battery also offers spectacular sunsets and is a great spot for a sundowner.

Sign up for our frequent user card this month and stand the chance to win free Chappies trips

If you use Chappies more than twice a month, it’s worth signing up as a Frequent User. A Chapmans Peak Drive Frequent User Card gives users a reduced rate at the tollgate. The more you use the road the more you save.

If you sign up by the end of November, you automatically be entered into our competition and stand the chance to win free Chappies trips for a month. (The number of trips will be based on the average number of trips taken by the winner for the last three months. T’s& C’s apply.)

To sign up for a Frequent User Card, visit the Entilini office at the tollgate, you’ll see designated parking for visitors, and fill out the registration form. You can also download the Frequent User Card Registration form from the website, fill it out at home and hand it in at the Chappies office. Please be sure to wear a mask and social distance from others when you visit our offices.