The Lookout stands on a high promontory overlooking a Valley noted for its Indigenous Vegetation. Although it is a spot of great natural beauty, it is also of little Architectural merit and any Historical interest resides in the fact that the graves of the Fitzpatrick family are located nearby. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 21 August 1953.

James Somers Kirkwood, an auctioneer from Port Elizabeth, arrived in 1877 to auction off the farm \"Gouwernements Belooning\". A flooded Sundays river prevented him from reaching the farm and instead he climbed a hill, known today as The Lookout, from where he had a view of the entire valley. He also had a vision of the valley, overgrown by valley bushveld at the time, being transformed into lush green irrigated fields with fruit trees. His vision also included farm produce being delivered via river barges connecting the fertile valley with Port Elizabeth.
Shortly afterwards, James purchased \"Goewernements Belooning\" and other farms in the valley. He established the Sundays River Land and Irrigation Co and also the small village Bayville. He started preparing irrigation land on a big scale. In spite of a very positive prospectus and tons of publicity, he failed to attract any interest in buying stock in this big venture. It coincided with the big diamond rush to Kimberly. Everyone was investing in diamond companies. His company eventually failed due to a lack of public interest and was declared bankrupt. Kirkwood died a financially and spiritually broken man in 1889.
Like many pioneers, James Somers Kirkwood was ahead of his time. His vision became true in the next century with the Sundays River Irrigation Project and eventually the Orange River Water Project. His name lives on in the town of Kirkwood that originated on his first farm, \"Gouwernements Belooning\", in 1912.
Today, Kirkwood is the center of one of the largest citrus regions in South Africa with approximately 12,000 ha (30,000 acres) of citrus orchards. Approximately 8 million cartons of oranges, lemons, grape fruit and soft citrus are exported from here to countries all over the world each year. Kirkwood is at present the dynamic capital town of the Sundays River Valley Municipality, which includes places like Patterson, Addo and Enon, with a total population of nearly 70,000 people. It is known throughout the country for its citrus fruit, roses, game farms and its annual Wildlife Festival.
To the north of Kirkwood lies the beautiful Rietberg mountain with the Uyepoort (Uye gateway) that provides passage to the Zuurberg mountains and the Greater Addo Elephant National Park with the big five of the animal Kingdom. A panoramic view of Kirkwood and the orange groves is visible from The Lookout, where James Somers Kirkwood had his vision.
The Lookout is also well known as a site where large dinosaur fossils are frequently dug up by archeologists. The first complete dinosaur fossil to be found in South Africa was found not far from Kirkwood and aptly named Kirky, because it looked like a turkey.
-33° 46' 33.6", 25° 19' 1.2"
Further Reading