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Historic Buildings, Jamestown

A sample

There is a small English town within the great bay, standing in a little valley between two high steep mountains.{s}

Jamestown has many historic buildings, some of which are introduced here

SEE ALSO: This page should be read in conjunction with our page Historic Buildings, which gives an introduction to the subject and discusses some common issues, and our page Historic Buildings, Country which introduces buildings outside Jamestown. Jamestown History provides some context. The Historic Environment Record may also be of interest. Other historic building and structure pages are indexed on our page Island Structures.

Selected Buildings

Below: ‍The Market‍‍The Prison‍‍The Arch‍‍The Post Office‍‍Consulate Hotel‍‍Broadway House‍‍Foresters’ Hall‍‍Musk’s Bakery‍‍Yacht Club HQ‍‍Association Hall‍‍1-3 Main Street‍‍Poor Society Building‍‍The Moon‍‍Wellington House‍‘‍The Standard‍’‍The Old Power House‍‍The PWD Stores‍‍Batchelors Hall‍

‍The Market‍

Market badge

A regular market was established in Jamestown from 29th May 1843, initially in the open air. The current Market building was prefabricated in England in 1864/5 by Gwynne and Co. Engineers of Essex Street Works, London. Cast-iron construction was chosen to resist White Ants, attack from which Jamestown had suffered much in the preceding years. It opened in May 1865, and has been many times refurbished and repainted (in colours known to include dark red, green and grey). At the time of writing the most recent was in 2016 (grey).

The Market is shown below at various dates:

Note that the market keeps changing colour, usually between deep red and light grey, though in 1984 it appears it was pale green, possibly due to fashion or possibly depending on what paint was available at the time… The Bridge Memorial Clock is usually painted in the same colours as The Market, though when The Market was painted dark red in the early 2000s the clock remained grey.

Note also that in the 1961-1991 images above fuel pumps can be seen outside the Market. This was the original island filling station, opened in the early 1950s by Mr. Edward Benjamin and later operated by John Musk. Prior to that petrol was sold by the gallon, decanted from imported drums, by the local garages. Solomons opened another station in Narra Backs in 1964, which they expanded in the late 1980s. The pumps at The Market were closed in the early 1990s due to safety/traffic congestion issues. The Narra Backs station is now Jamestown’s only filling station.

The Market is generally stocked with fruit and flowers…{t}

‍The Prison‍

The prison was built in 1827 and is still in use today, the building largely unaltered. If you want to see the inside, you first have to commit a crime…

The prison was declared unsuitable for further use in the 1850s and Governor Gore Brown built a replacement at Ruperts in 1853. This was a model prison designed by Colonel Jebb, constructed mainly of timber and sent out from England in kit form. Construction was completed towards the end of 1854 and the prisoners were re-located. But the Ruperts Prison was short lived - in 1867 a military prisoner who was confined there burnt it to the ground (which took only around an hour), and the prisoners had to be moved back to the old prison. This was reported in The ‘Blue Book’ for 1867 with the following comment:

With the present claims upon the Government I see but little hope of commencing a new jail for the next two or three years.

years later and the -year-old prison remains in use!

The second photo (below) shows Andries Smorenburg, one of the Boer PoWs, being led out for trial in 1901 after he attempted to escape from St Helena.

See also ‘Lowry’s Cell’.

In former times a family had their home in the upstairs of HM Prison, Jamestown, from where they ran a video-rental business. You had to be let into the Prison to borrow or return a video.

The prison does not conform to modern standards, as reported by the UK Inspector of Prisons in the 1990s. It was decided to relocate prisoners to a new purpose-built prison, but it took from then until 2018 to agree a suitable site. On 29th May 2018 Executive Council announced that the new prison will be built in Bottom Woods, near the Meteorological Station. No completion date was announced and neither was the budget, though the latter was rumoured to be c.£6m. Planning Permission was not granted until March 2020. In 2024 tenders were requested for the construction, but in April it was announced that no qualifying bids had been received. At the time of writing this remains the position.

During his 2018 visit the Prison Advisor for the British Overseas Territories, Keith Munns, said that HM Prison in Jamestown has the worst structure of any of the prisons in the Territories he has visited. In December 2018 the island’s Equality & Human Rights Commission released a report ‘Conditions of Detention at HMP Jamestown’ which concluded that a large number of improvements needed to be made to the existing prison to bring it up to minimum Human Rights standards. The prison was re-furbished in 2019 following this report.

However, the evidence is that, whatever crimes you commit on St Helena, unless you are a Saint you almost certainly won’t end up incarcerated in our Prison. Non-Saints are almost never given custodial sentences for their crimes; mostly they are just bundled off the island to resume their lives elsewhere. The reasons for this probably relate to the fact that our prison still (despite the 2019 upgrade) does not conform to international human rights standards, and the authorites fear that anyone with international connections sent to our Prison will simply sue for breach of their human rights and win release - and compensation.

Escapees from our prison are discussed on our page Escape!.

‍The Arch‍

The Arch is the entrance to Jamestown from The Wharf. The current arch was constructed in 1832, prior to which there was a simple bridge across the moat in this position and access to Town was also from behind where the Customs Building now stands. Pictures of the removal of Napoleon’s body indicate a semi-circular headed arch in lieu of the present rectangular gateway but whether this was artistic licence or when it was altered is not known. Some reconstruction work was undertaken in August 1989 which included making the top demountable (in case a high load needed to pass beneath), though as far as we are aware this option has never been used. The artwork was done by local schoolchildren. It was repainted in 2003 by New Horizons.

‍The Post Office‍

Described in 1974 by Crallan as a fine Victorian Building but actually rather older, it was originally a private house (it was, inter alia, the winter residence of Lt. Gen. John Skelton) and then from 1820 the Soldiers & Sailors Institute{6}, after the withdrawal of the Garrison in 1906 it became the base of the Government Lace School from 1907. In c.1915 the Post Office was moved from The Castle, restricting the Lace School to the top floor. When the latter closed in 1917 the top floor was used for accommodation and during World War 2 became the ‘Red Shield Club’ for servicemen (it was run by the Salvation Army so only served non-alcoholic drinks).

Now with the growth of email and the Internet, the building is too large to be filled by the Post Office alone. From 2003 to 2010 it was shared with the Bank of St Helena. Now it houses a variety of Government offices, though the Post Office still operates from there.

Close inspection of Hugh Crallan’s 1974 photograph suggests that at some point the rear of the building was altered. The blockwork to the right of the central staircase is materially different to the construction used in the remainder of the building, but note that the right-most wall is closer to the style of the left-hand side. It is not known when this was done or what was there before.

The ‍Consulate Hotel‍

The following describes only the building and its history. It deliberately does not take a position on the quality of the hotel or whether it is a good place to stay. No endorsement or disparagement is intended or should be inferred.

Why the name?

The Consulate Hotel was originally The Royal Hotel (see the postcard from 1891, below). We don’t know exactly when it was renamed, but why choose the name ‘The Consulate’? It has been suggested that the American Consulate was located there but, as can be seen from our page Lost and almost-lost Buildings, this was not the case.

The Americans were not the only people to have Consulates on St Helena at this time. The French, Dutch, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and about ten other mostly-Whaling nations had them, and Saul Solomon, and later his descendant Homfray Solomon was, it seems, the Consular representative for many, maybe most of them! The 1857 image (below) shows an unknown (because the image is not colour) flag, but probably French, flying over the Solomons building; Saul Solomon was definitely the Shipping Agent for France from 25th July 1833{7}. Probably towards the end of the 19th Century the Solomon family bought the Royal Hotel{8}. It is possible that Saul renamed it ‘The Consulate’ simply because of his many consular appointments.

Another theory is that the American Consul lived there when he was first on St Helena, and the name was created by local people (Nicknames are popular here) and this was then formalised, possibly by Saul Solomon himself or possibly later by his business, Solomons. The name ‘Royal Hotel’ was certainly inappropriate - no British royalty had ever (and to date still hasn’t) stayed there!

‘St Helena, The Historic Island, From Its Discovery To The Present Date’, by E. L. Jackson, published in 1905 refers to ‘The Officers Club’ in this location, but we assume the club was in the hotel - not a new name for the hotel.

Building features

The wrought iron frontage is spectacular, and fairly well preserved. Crallan has Basemt., 2 Sts. & Mansard. 5 bays, 2 D.s, 2 flights steps, w.i. handrails to Verandah (Double), c.i. Columns. S. Door has good stone surround indicating date around 1760 latest. Teale II.2.61. Verandahs pre 1857. Good staircase & interesting upper Room with ship’s mast as bressumer, rear of item 30. Mansard is post 1837.

The premises has a large ballroom (of recent construction) and other meeting rooms that can be hired for events.


Deeds of 1757 state the Consulate was sold for £800 in that year, and re-sold 30 years later for £1,400 to Sir William Doveton. He sold it to Saul Solomon in 1820, who conveyed it to Nathaniel Solomon and George Moss (i.e. Solomons) in 1841. Solomons sold it to Mandy & Denzil Fowler in May 1998 (price undeclared) and they sold it to the current owner, Hazel Wilmott, in December 2008 (price also undeclared).

‍Broadway House‍

Broadway House is at the northern end of Main Street, almost in Grand Parade. It is currently the headquarters of the St Helena National Trust, but has a long history, it being one of Jamestown’s older buildings, built in approximately 1781 (some think earlier).

Prior to taking over the entire building the St Helena National Trust shared it with the St Helena Herald and its various predecessors. It was also the Museum of St Helena until 2002 and until 2012 the home of the Art & Crafts Association (and its shop).

Prior to all of these it was a family home. There was originally a Broadway family in the 1800s (William Broadway was a photographer) - they owned the house until the late 20th Century. It then passed to the Government of St Helena.

It contains two stories, the lower above street level reached by steps, and a basement. Windows are sashed. According to the 1974 Crallan Report it has Rusticated Quoins & plain string parapet & coping.

‍Foresters’ Hall‍

Foresters’ Hall was formerly owned by the Ancient Order of Foresters. It is not known when the building was actually constructed; the Order was founded in December 1871 but the building is probably older. The Hall was used in 1942 to house some of the survivors of the SS City of Cairo.

The Ancient Order of Foresters was dissolved on 2nd May 2000. The building is now owned by the Thorpe family and let as office space.

‍Musk’s Bakery‍

Formerly Musk’s Bakery, Jamestown, the island’s main bakery. Started in the 1940s, Musk’s closed the bakery on 31st July 2007. Two successive owners failed to make a viable bakery business there and it is now a shop. If you ask nicely they may allow you to explore…

‍Yacht Club HQ‍

One of the older buildings on The Wharf (seen in the earliest photos) this is now the home of the St Helena Yacht Club.

‍Association Hall‍

It is thought Association Hall (left, white) was built before 1800, like most of the surrounding buildings. In the early 1900s the building was managed as a hotel (‘The Hotel’). It remained a hotel up until 1948 when it was bought by Solomons. In later years, the building was owned by the Working Men’s Christian Association and acquired its current name. It is now a commercial building, owned by the Thorpe family, on three levels with rented accommodation at the top.

The other three buildings to the right are numbers 1-3 Main Street.

‍1-3 Main Street‍

These three buildings are always referred to together. They were built in 1772 as houses for The East India Company officials, on the former site of St. James’ Church. They were until recently Government of St Helena offices. In the 1960s they were locally known as Smugglers’ Row because the Chief of Police, the Income Tax Collector and the Customs Officer lived there.

2016, just before conversion
2016, just before conversion

The Crallan Report (1974) has:

Map No.ItemDate
33Staff House: 4 bays, Basement & 2 St., segmental headed windows. D. S. end, in-opening casements, Modern area walls.Teale II.2.65. Date evidence confused. Look not earlier than 1750. No. 33 believed to stand on site of pre-1774 St. James’ Church, so they could be post-1774. Item 33 includes archway connecting with Church.
34Staff House: 3 bays, Basement & 2 St., segmental headed windows. D. S. end, in-opening casements, Modern area walls.
35Staff House: 3 bays, Basement & 2 St., segmental headed windows. D. S. end, in-opening casements, Modern area walls.

(All are Grade II listed.)

In June 2014 Executive Council approved registration of St Helena Hotel Development Limited to own the buildings and convert them into a hotel. In April 2015 it was announced that Mantis Collection would run the hotel. Conversion began in July 2016 and the hotel opened for business on 14th October 2017 - the day the scheduled commercial air service commenced operation.

Mantis St Helena

Mantis writes{v}:

The buildings originally served as an officers’ barracks for the East India Company, who administered the island at the time. They served as military accommodation up until the last garrison left the island in the 1900s. Most recently they were residential buildings and Government office space.

The original buildings were constructed from stone, bonded together with mud and mortar, pointed and rendered with lime which also formed the whitewash. Any joinery was done with local timber but, along with the rest of Jamestown’s buildings, suffered extensive damage as a result of termite infestation from 1840 onwards and the timber was replaced with teak and iroko. The roof was composed of imported slate tiles with wooden supports which were also extensively damaged leading to the replacement of wooden supports with iron framework and corrugated iron sheet roofing and later, asbestos. Though the application of new Victorian design meant none of the buildings have retained their complete Georgian features, these have been carefully and accurately restored, where possible in the construction of Mantis St Helena.

The St Helena Heritage Society conducted an archaeological survey on the buildings and gardens behind the buildings, which originally featured a number of ancillary buildings (like the ‘Cottage’, now suites 7 and 8), and more recently storage areas and garages. A great number of artefacts were discovered and recorded during the survey, and these were archived at the St Helena Museum, and a number of more interesting items are on display in the hotel’s reception area, including Chinese ceramics, stoneware and earthenware and remains of various glass bottles - most likely containing gin or Arrack - painting the picture of a rowdy establishment back in the days of the East India Company, where officers had not much else to pass the time except drinking and gambling.

Other finds include an intricate and detailed archway, now located in the reception area, that was originally Georgian and adapted to Victorian design and later covered up - only to be unearthed during construction works. One of the more significant finds in the garden of number 3 was an old well or ‘watering hole’ constructed from rubble masonry and pointed lime. And we believe this to be one of the earliest remaining pieces of built heritage in Jamestown. This has been partially restored and kept in situ, as a feature of the hotel{9}

The buildings as they are now more accurately resemble their original Georgian design, albeit with a few Victorian and later features.

‍Poor Society Building‍

Poor Society sign

After the Poor Society closed in 2000 their building in Market Street, Jamestown was renovated by the Government of St Helena and turned into housing. Sadly, despite it being Grade II listed the renovation lost many important aspects of the original building. Note the modern-style replacement windows, rather than renovating the original sash windows.

‍The Moon‍

The ‘Moon’ is in Napoleon Street, Jamestown. A plaque outside The ‘Moon’ says the building dates from 1763, but the plaque was added when the buildings were restored in the 1990s so can only report the best understanding at the time. It was originally a Punch House and is thought also to have been a brothel{10}. It is said that the enslaved were held in its cellars before being taken to be sold. It became a private house and remained so until the 1990s when it was sold for restoration.

Local legend has it that the building is so-named because the ‘famous astronomers’ (Halley, Maskelyne, etc.) used to meet there. Charming though this story is, Halley & Maskelyne were not actually here at the same time. And if the plaque on the building gives its correct date of construction, that was two years after Maskelyne left, and 63 years after Halley’s last visit.

It is known to have been the location of the inquest by Mr. T. B. Knipe held on 16th September 1845 into the death of James Emily who had fractured his skull by throwing himself over a precipice on the side of Ladder Hill Fort, that morning about six o’clock.

It was owned by the Cairns-Wicks family until 1984 when it was sold to Cliff Huxtable who restored it in the 1990s. It was then, at various times, the home of Cable & Wireless, the Solomons Insurance Agency, a gift shop, a café and others. Visitors are, of course, welcome during opening hours!

‍Wellington House‍

Wellington House, Main Street, Jamestown
Wellington House, Main Street, Jamestown

Wellington House was probably built in the late 1730s, on the site of the old ‘Sessions House’ that collapsed on 2nd January 1735. In September 1738 The East India Company granted a lease to one Francis Wrangham{11} (who was Secretary to the Council), covering an area of 40x200ft, on the understanding that he would build a substantial dwelling house with convenient speed. The current building is the result.

Wellington House today is a guest house, and welcomes visitors.

Two signatures, scratched into the window glass, probably with a diamond, have attracted the attention of historians. One reads either Sally Wrenton, 1781 or Jas Wrenton, 1781 (‘Jas’ was a common abbreviation for James). The other reads Bazett Knipe, 1865. Neither is thought to have any great historical significance - they were, perhaps, just Graffiti!

Did the Duke of Wellington stay at Wellington House?

It’s a popular belief that Wellington House is so-named because Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington stayed there during his visit in 1805. But actually he didn’t. In Jamestown he stayed at (Old) Porteous House, just across the road from Wellington House, which was destroyed by fire on 2nd April 1865 and recently re-built. He also stayed at The Briars. Wellington House is named in his honour - that’s all{12}.

‘‍The Standard‍’

The current building housing the bar ‘The Standard’ is a boring 1960s-built concrete box, but the building it replaced, also housing ‘The Standard’, was far more interesting.

You can see it in the photos (below). Apparently it was clad with corrugated iron, but over what we don’t know. Was the corrugated iron original, or was it installed to protect an earlier decaying structure?

We are trying to find out more about this original building. If you can help, please contact us.

Live music at The Standard

…one of the Sounds of St Helena
…one of the Sounds of St Helena
…one of the Sounds of St Helena

The modern Standard plays music (loudly!) on most Saturday nights{13}, often including Karaoke. It is often far from tuneful! You can listen (right) to some examples.

‍The Old Power House‍

We do not know the original use of the Old Power House. G.W. Melliss{14}’s map of 1839 shows it as an unidentified area of small buildings. In 1905 it was the site of the execution of Richard and Louis Crowie, found guilty of The Prosperous Bay Murder.

In 1954, when Jamestown was being electrified{15}, it was designated as the site to house the necessary generators (and, presumably, the diesel fuel to supply them); hence the name Old Power House. A section of the collection of outbuildings was used briefly in 1984 by the visiting Handicraft Adviser, Andrew Johnson, to house lace and embroidery workers{16}.

The building remained as the island’s power station until the increasing demand for electricity began to exceed what could be generated from a small-ish building in Jamestown. In addition there were issues of noise and problems with the storage of the necessary flammable fuel in the middle of a built-up area. Described in 1974 by Crallan as Power Station - 1 St. Good masonry. Note: ‘Turkish’ type blind arch in S. wall (mutilated). Late C.18?

In 1982 it was announced that the FCO had approved funding to build a new power station in Ruperts. Work began in 1984 and the new station was officially commissioned in 1986 - it was officially opened by Governor Francis Baker on 7th March 1986. The Old Power Station then became redundant.

In the 1990s the Museum of St Helena, then in Broadway House, was running out of space. A ‘New Museum Appeal’ was launched and the Government of St Helena was persuaded to allow the St Helena Heritage Society to acquire the Old Power House building for the site of the new Museum of St Helena. This was opened by Governor Hollamby on 21st May 2002. You can read an article about the conversion.

The Old Power House remains the site of the Museum of St Helena.

‍The PWD Stores‍

The building currently known as the PWD Stores was one of the first structures constructed on Grand Parade, and has had many uses over time.

Most recently it was used as a materials store by a section of the Government of St Helena, the ‘Public Works & Services Department’ (PW&SD), which was previously known as the ‘Public Works Department’ (PWD), hence the name. It was vacated by the PW&SD in the early 2000s. In 2006 it was temporarily designated to be the new Fire Station, but was never occupied - the building has no sanitary facilities and would have cost too much to refurbish.

Prior to being used by PWD/PW&SD we have incomplete information. In 1927 it seems to have been used by Solomons as a Cinema. Prior to 1927 it had been a theatre since October 1924 and before then was a shop (the ‘New Store’). Earlier, the photograph of the Duke of Connaught’s arrival shows the extension on the front clearly labelled as the Customs House (apparently the whole building was, for a time, used as the Customs Bonded Warehouse). We think it might originally have been built as a Granary:

The building has also been modified over the years. The extension on the front (in 1910 the Customs House) was clearly added before 1866 and after the G.W. Melliss{14} map of 1839 and the 1857 illustration (below), both of which show the building as a simple rectangle. The many illustrations and photographs (below) also show a balcony appearing sometime in the late 1850s or early 1860s (which must have afforded a great view over Grand Parade), remaining until at least 1963. It is not there now{17}. It had disappeared by 1992.

Described in 1974 by Crallan as P.W.D. Store - 2 St. Warehouse, 3 Bays, Projectn. N.E. corner. Note: Teale II.2.93, 177 & 158. Formerly Customs Bonded Warehouses. N.E. projection has early C.18 look. Late C.18?

Currently it is disused; designated to be integrated with the Museum of St Helena, Library, and Archives to form the new Cultural Centre, though there seems to have been no progress since the late 2010s, as the following ministerial question confirms{x}:

Cllr. Ronald Coleman asks Minister Brooks about plans for Ex-PWD Store in Jamestown

The Ex-PWD Store, which is located on the Grand Parade and is currently vacated, is a building which was leased to the St Helena Heritage Society in December 2015 to develop a cultural centre bringing together the Museum, the Government Archives and the Public Library.

The lease required renovations and development to the property to be completed by October 2021. Under the previous Government, a variation to the lease was signed in September 2021, when it was agreed for an extension to the completion of this project to be in September 2026. Delay was caused as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

There has been no confirmation on when this project will commence, but according to Minister Brooks, there is a determination to have the project finished by September 2026.

‍Batchelors Hall‍

Batchelors Hall (blue)
Batchelors Hall (blue)

In a February 1960 ‘FOR SALE’ notice published in the St Helena Wirebird{22}, Batchelors Hall is described as comprising fourteen rooms (including licensed Restaurant/Dance Hall, bathroom and kitchen), situated in Main Street, Jamestown. Connected to public electricity supply and wired throughout. According to Social Media It was owned by Mr. Rennie Thomas who would serve afternoon teas whenever the Union Castle ships were in port. He also held regular dance nights at weekends and Whist drives on a Wednesday evening..

So where is this significant building? All but the older Saints would probably not be able to tell you because, since the 1960s sale, the premises have been universally known as Tracey Corker’s Shop. It is situated on the north-eastern side of Main Street between the Solomons offices and Essex House. In addition to being quite a large shop it is also the family home.

Which Graveyard?

There was some debate on Social Media about this photograph:

Some thought it showed the old Middle Graveyard, now the site of the Police Station. Others thought it had been ‘flipped’ (as below) and was actually the Lower Graveyard, now site of the Duke of Edinburgh Playground.

Debate centred on whether the tall building visible behind the trees was Foresters’ Hall (Lower Graveyard theory) or the Mechanics’ Hall (Middle Graveyard theory). Discussion was finally settled when it was observed that, if this is the Lower Graveyard, then the building at the bottom of the picture (dark stone, two windows, single storey, apex roof) would have to be what is currently the London Gift Shop, which it clearly isn’t because the latter is a very old two-storey building with a flat roof.

So it was agreed that this is the Middle Graveyard - first image above.

Unless you want to argue otherwise, in which case please contact us.

Read More

Below: Religious BuildingsArticle: Archaeological Discovery behind 1-3 Main Street

Religious Buildings

Article: Archaeological Discovery behind 1-3 Main Street

Press Release issued by St Helena Hotel Development Ltd., August 2016{19}

Water feature 1

As part of the Archaeological Mitigation Strategy, Adam Sizeland and Edward Baldwin from the Museum of St Helena, working on behalf of Mantis Developments, made an interesting discovery. Mr Baldwin explained:

While digging test pits to check for archaeological remains in the back gardens of the Georgian houses at 1-3 Main Street, Jamestown, in their second 1m square by 1m+ deep test pit, they found part of a curious curved wall, which could not be immediately explained.

It was constructed of carefully selected flat stones and solidly pointed with hard lime mortar, finished smooth on the inside of the curve. If part of a full circle, this was estimated to have a diameter of approx. 5 metres. As this was at the depth of one metre, it was decided to make further investigations once the surface level had been reduced to the construction level required by AGMAC CONSTRUCTION AFRICA cc, the construction Management contractor.

While surface stripping was being carried out, the excavator pulled out a chunk of similar curved masonry in the back garden of No 3. Detailed excavation by hand followed and revealed this to be part of a similar circular structure which proved to be exactly eight feet in diameter and about a foot deep. The base consisted of a paving of small beetle stones, solidly pointed with the same white lime mortar. On the South side of the circle, the circular wall increased in height to at least two feet from the base.

Water feature 2

Mr Baldwin provided an explanation of these structures being a public water supply of fresh water, channelled from further up the valley. A location where early inhabitants of Jamestown would have collected their drinking water. A spout would have been provided so that a pail could be placed beneath, probably on a support structure of some kind, which has not survived. This basin was allowed to overflow into the lower 16 foot basin, which would have been used for washing clothes and possibly even personal ablutions and watering animals. Mr Baldwin is delighted to be involved with this finding as he stated:

This water system was clearly in use for some time before the construction of the buildings of No 1, 2, 3 so a reasonable date would be 1700-1725. However, it could be earlier. This public water supply is probably the oldest surviving structure in Lower Jamestown; certainly the oldest structure known, which has not been modified since 1740, apart from the accidental partial demolitions.

With this in mind, Mantis Development and AGMAC CONSTRUCTION AFRICA cc are working closely with the Technical Design Team on the possibilities of incorporating this unique Archaeological feature within the Hotel Designs.

Saint Helena Island Info Note:

It has since been proposed that the ‘well’ dates back to around 1645, making this the original watering hole for Jamestown where what is now the Run ran its course - and thus possibly one of the oldest remnants of human habitation in town. If this date is correct it may be the only remaining Dutch or Portuguese structure. The watering hole is shown on Thornton’s c1700 map of Jamestown, as below - the ‘fried egg’(!) to the right of the Fort:


{a} Copyright © 1962 Film Unit, used with permission{b} St Helena Photos & Videos{c} Andrew / Peter Neaum{d} Nick Thorpe{e} Copyright © South Atlantic Media Services Ltd. (SAMS), used with permission.{f} Paul McCartney, Hobart, Australia{20}{g} John Coyle{h} Hugh Crallan{i} From ‘Views of St Helena’, by G.W. Melliss{21}, published in 1857{j} Dr. Richard Cresswell; for a time a doctor in Jamestown, 1881{k} Tim Cattley{l} Adam Sizeland{m} G.W. Melliss{21}{n} John Isaac Lilley, 1861-1866{o} INNES, A.L. (late 1800s, early 1900s){p} Paul Goodwin{q} Jeff Cant{r} Matt Joshua{s} T. H. Brooke, Esq., quoting Captain Dampier, who visited in 1691{t} Emily Louise Jackson, in ‘A Souvenir of St Helena’, c.1905{u} John Isaac Lilley, 1861-1866{v} www.mantiscollection.com/‌hotel/‌st-helena-luxury-hotel, Retrieved 4th July 2018{19}{w} recorded by the editor of this website from his home in Napoleon Street{x} The Sentinel, 30th March 2023{19}


{1} The Records show that the shed to the left of the Market, where the Bridge Memorial Clock now stands, was actually the Police Station!{2} Note the newly-fitted windows just under the roof, which caused controversy because they are made of uPVC - not exactly a traditional building material!{3} Note the family in the window and on the step.{4} This image is extracted from a photo taken to record the arrival of the Boer PoWs in 1900. It also shows the Soldiers & Sailors Institute next door (in what is now Harris’ Guest House); this later moved to the Post Office Building.{5} A higher resolution but monochrome version of this map exists.{6} An alternative explanation is that Crallan is almost correct, and that the Skelton’s house was demolished and the Soldiers & Sailors Institute constructed in its place.{7} Later the French Consulship was vested in whoever was appointed by France as custodian for the French Properties on St Helena: Longwood House; Napoleon’s Tomb and The Briars Pavilion.{8} Interestingly, from the Clark family, originally Americans! The Clarks also owned Broadway House and the Royal Banner Pub in Market Street. The last Clark left St Helena in 1910 for Canada; this may have been when the hotel changed hands.{9} Learn more in the article on this page.{10} Apparently the Officers’ brothels were in Napoleon Street, and the Enlisted Men’s brothels were in Market Street!{11} Of Wranghams fame.{12} See other debunked myths.{13} Also on Sunday nights when Monday is a Public Holiday, and at other times as well.{14} Father of John Melliss.{15} Initially by Solomons, but taken over by the Government of St Helena from 1st January 1959.{16} With generators operating nearby, generating noise and the inevitable smell of the diesel engines, the working conditions must have been far from ideal!{17} Such constructions were often poorly maintained and either fell down or were taken down for safety reasons.{18} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{19} @@RepDis@@{20} Paul’s father was the island’s doctor in the 1960s and Paul accompanied him here. Paul visited St Helena in June 2018 and kindly gave us permission to use these family photographs.{21} Father of John Melliss.{22} The Government newspaper{18}.


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