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Prince Alfred's Pass
Avontuur district, Western Cape

Thomas Charles John BAIN: Engineer

Date:1863-1868
Client:South African Roads
Type:Mountain Pass
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
33°51'40.06" S 23°10'22.84" E Alt: 339m

A reconnaissance survey was conducted in 1857 by Andre Geddes BAIN with his son Thomas, the latter then given the contract despite his father reporting that this would be ''a work of many engineering difficulties and more costly than anything yet attempted in the Colony'' and the route surveyed, although a direct link between Avontuur to Knysna, was through dense forest, some trees 9m in girth and 21m tall. A labour force of 250 convicts was employed to achieve the task in four years but at cost considerably below original estimates because of the forced labour employed.

On the side of the pass there is a memorial to Thomas Bain.

Transcript of Memorial:

TO HONOUR THE MEMORY
OF
TER ERE VAN DIE NAGEDAGTENIS
VAN
THOMAS CHARLES JOHN BAIN
(1830 - 1893)
TO WHOSE DEDICATION AND
SKILL AS A ROAD ENGINEER
THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA
OWE THIS FINE MOUNTAIN
PASS AND SEVERAL OTHERS
IN THE CAPE.

ERECTED BY
THE OUTENIQUA NATURALIST
AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ON THE 29 SEPTEMBER 1980.
THE 150 TH ANNIVERSARY OF
BAIN'S BIRTH.
AAN WIE SE TOEWYDING EN
BEKWAAMHEID AS 'N PAAIE-
INGENIEUR DIE MENSE VAN
SUID-AFRIKA HIERDIE MOOI
BERGPAS, EN VERSKEIE ANDER
IN DIE KAAP, TE DANKE HET.

OPGERIG DEUR
DIE OUTENIQUASE NATURALIS
EN HISTORIESE VERENIGING
OP 29 SEPTEMBER 1980
DIE 150 STE HERDENKING VAN
BAIN SE GEBOORTEDAG.


Writings about this entry

Coyne, Patrick. 2010. A guide to South Africa's mountain passes and poorts. Westville: Osborne Porter Literary Services. pg 120-121
Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1973. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 9 Pop-Sla. Cape Town: Nasou. pg 134
Ross, Graham. 2002. The romance of Cape mountain passes. Cape Town: David Philip. pg 35, 36-59
Storrar, Patricia. 1984. A colossus of roads. Cape Town: Murray & Roberts / Concor. pg 49, 50, 53, 56, 77, 102
Whitehead, Marion. 2018. South Africa's Favourite Passes + Poorts. Maitland: Map Studio. pg 156-165