Location map:
Location Map halftreehollow [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

Half Tree Hollow

Home on the hill

blank [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

Half Tree Hollow (‘HTH’) is the most populous district on St.Helena.

This page is in indexes: Island Place, Island Detail

Half Tree Hollow [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]{a}

Half Tree Hollow from the air [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

Go to: What’s Here?History

Half Tree Hollow, just up Jacob’s Ladder from Jamestown, is the island’s most populous district, with some 22% of the island’s inhabitants living here{1}. It is clearly identifiable as the RMS St Helena approaches Jamestown.

What’s Here?

Houses, mostly! But apart from these, you can also find:

  • Various small local shops, the largest of which is ‘A & D’s, about half way up the hill;

  • The Godfathers Rock Club, an entertainment venue with bar and dining facilities{2};

  • The Half Tree Hollow Community Centre, used for community events and public meetings;

  • The Walcott Guide Hall, named in honour of Winifred Walcott, Canon L C Walcott’s wife, who instigated Guiding on St Helena in 1921;

  • Two areas designated for small enterprise: the Ladder Hill Workshops and the Enterprise St Helena Business Park;

  • The Half Tree Hollow fuel station and two Solomon’s shops: a supermarket and a hardware store;

  • The Community Care Centre, a residential home for the elderly, whose foundation stone was laid by Anne, the Princess Royal in 2002;

  • Various churches, the most notable of which is the large New Apostolic Hall, which is the first building identifiable as the RMS St Helena approaches Jamestown.

The climate is dry; very similar to that of Jamestown.

Apart from the ‘Business Parks’ there are few job opportunities in Half Tree Hollow, so most people commute to work elsewhere, mostly in Jamestown.

Half Tree Hollow in more detail, with the RMS St Helena in the bay (2015) [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow in more detail, with the RMS St Helena in the bay (2015)

History

An entry in the Records{3} from 1686 reads: “A thick wood occupied Half Tree Hollow, and some persons who advanced therein lost their way and perished.” In 1905 an old island inhabitant was reported as saying that the wood was full of monkeys, who pelted stones at passers-by. Sometime after that the woodland was cleared. In 1905 it is recorded that: “Passing through Half Tree Hollow, wholly destitute of trees except a few young saplings of recent planting, and continually ascending past clean little cottages, generally enclosed in a small patch of garden ground.

Half Tree Hollow from High Knoll Fort, in 1905 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow from High Knoll Fort, in 1905

Map of Half Tree Hollow 2002 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

Half Tree Hollow, 1961 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow, 1961
Half Tree Hollow, 1963 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow, 1963
Half Tree Hollow, 1980s [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow, 1980s

This remained until the 1960s, when development began. The Half Tree Hollow area was ideal to meet the demand for land needed for the building of new homes. It already had water and electricity, so it was only necessary to make roads. It’s close to the quarry (across the valley at Donkey Plain), providing ready access to building materials, and Jamestown, where most people work and socialise, was easily accessible.

As the photo (right, bottom) shows, by the early 1980s a significant local communnity had arisen (the building, top-right, is the Community Centre).

Development has continued even to the present day; it is unusual to drive through Half Tree Hollow and not see at least two houses under construction. Much of the development is in-fill; the construction of a new house by subdividing an existing plot, often so that children can have a home of their own.

A plan has existed since 2005 to build a substantial housing estate, with maybe as many as 60 houses, on scrub land just to the north of the New Apostolic Hall. In recent months the land was cleared so development may begin soon!

Half Tree Hollow in 1984 and 2014 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow in 1984 and 2014

Half Tree Hollow from High Knoll Fort, 2005 [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow from High Knoll Fort, 2005

Half Tree Hollow can be clearly seen in this 2014 airborn view of Jamestown [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]
Half Tree Hollow can be clearly seen in this 2014 airborn view of Jamestown{b}

JamestownHalf Tree HollowSt. Paul’sLongwoodAlarm ForestBlue HillLevelwoodSandy Bay

Districts of St Helena [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

Alarm ForestBlue HillHalf Tree HollowJamestownLevelwoodLongwoodSandy BaySt. Paul’s

closinghumourimage [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]

Laugh at funny halftreehollow humour - LOL [Saint Helena Island Info:Half Tree Hollow]


Credits:

{a} MJ Ltd. For more of his photos see our Photography page

{b} Tourist Office



Footnotes:

{1} 2016 Census: 984 from a total population of 4,534.

{2} Don’t be confused by the name - the ‘rock’ refers to the ground, rather than the music style, which is predominantly Country!

{3} The St Helena Records is a collection of documents dating back to the earliest days of St Helena, held in the Government of St Helena Archives. The Archives can be accessed in person or via email - see our Family And Friends page for more. You can search our events database, extracted from the Records, on our Chronology page.



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