The Ecca Pass

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Did you know?  


The Ecca Pass, located 15 kilometres north of Makhanda (Grahamstown) on the tarred R67, was once known as the Queen's Road and built in the 1800's. The road links Makhanda with Fort Beaufort. The name Ecca is of Khoi origin and means "salty or brackish river".


You may have travelled along this road and never considered its history. The Ecca Pass has great geological and historical value. 


A memorial alongside this road was erected by the Historical Monuments Commission and dedicated to Road Engineer and Geologist Andrew Geddes Bain who built the road. It reads: "Bain built the Queen's Road to Fort Beaufort via the Ecca Pass and the road through Pluto's Vale as military roads in 1837-45."  


During 1830s, Andrew Geddes Bain had a part in building the Fish River Bridge, then the largest bridge in the country.  

Bain built eight major mountain roads and passes during his career. His son Thomas Charles John Bain was also a road engineer in South Africa.