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Location map:
Location Map levelwood

Levelwood

Quiet and rural

Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man
Charles Darwin

Levelwood; as rural as Blue Hill though somewhat smaller.

 

Sharks Valley, Great Stone Top and George Island
Sharks Valley, Great Stone Top and George Island

Below: About Levelwood • Stay here? • Bellstone • Future • Read More

About Levelwood

There are two ways to reach Levelwood: from Sandy Bay or from Hutts Gate (at the main Jamestown-Longwood road). Levelwood is on the southwest side of the central peaks of the island, and the road passing through it is the road which zigzags all around the peaks, and which also serves as the border of Diana’s Peak National Park.

Welcome sign

Coming from Hutts Gate, you enter Levelwood district at Woody Ridge, where an old flax mill is located. Continuing on, the first sign of Levelwood’s main settlement is the building of the former first school, which was closed in the early 1990s and is now a Community Centre. Then you will pass the clinic (refurbished in 2011), before reaching the Silver Hill turn-off. This is where both the Levelwood shop and the Silver Hill Bar are located: the centre of the settlement. Taking the turn-off, you pass through an area with quite a few houses before the road turns into gravel at the place which gave the district its name. Continuing on the road to Sandy Bay, scattered houses can be found and the start of a number of walks, for example to Great Stone Top which is a landmark of the area.

Around 9% of the island’s population live in Levelwood{2} and people tend to stay close to where they were raised: in 2015 all but two of the ‘Knipe’s listed in the Telephone Book lived in Levelwood.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are very strongly represented here and have a local meeting hall, though their main place of worship is in Half Tree Hollow. There is no Anglican church so services are held at the Community Centre.

In 1987, there was hardly any electricity in the district. Electricity was only connected to the Rock Rose area in 2009.

Sharks Valley is a pleasant walk and not too difficult.

Sharks Valley
Sharks Valley

Stay here?

From our Where To Stay page:

The Levelwood, Sandy Bay and Blue Hill areas are relatively remote and therefore provide few accommodation opportunities, but each area has its own charm and if you do stay in one of these you can be assured of peace and quiet. To get anywhere else you will need to drive for about 15 minutes to reach the centre of the island, from where everything is available.

The Bellstone

Tapping the Bellstone

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

A curious feature in the district is the Bellstone - a rock which, when struck, rings like a bell. Legend says the ringer is granted a wish{3}. Although curious, it is rarely visited, probably due to the long drive necessary. If you can’t make the journey you can still hear the Bellstone (but you don’t get a wish)…:

Incidentally, the Levelwood Bellstone is not the only one on St Helena. Another has been discovered above Ruperts, in an area of scrub, but it is not readily accessible. Any others remain to be documented.

Bellstone, 1875
Bellstone, 1875{a}

Showing how to ‘ring’ it
Showing how to ‘ring’ it

Explanatory plaque {1}
Explanatory plaque{1}

 

Levelwood from The Flag
Levelwood from The Flag

The Future

St Helena’s Airport is located partly in Levelwood, though all access to it is from the adjacent Longwood direction.

No significant developments are planned for the area. It seems likely that in ten years time Levelwood will look very much as it does today.

One of the island’s more famous ruins has now been restored. Rock Rose is on the edge of Levelwood village, and was a victim of the White Ants. For a long time it was owned by Solomons and left to decay. Now it has been bought by the Thorpe family and is fully restored (photos, below). Details of the house and its history, decay and restoration can be found on our Saved Buildings page.

Front view

Fireplace

Kitchen

Staircase

 

JamestownHalf Tree HollowSt PaulsLongwoodAlarm ForestBlue HillLevelwoodSandy Bay

Districts of St Helena

Alarm Forest • Blue Hill • Half Tree Hollow • Jamestown • Levelwood • Longwood • Sandy Bay • St Pauls • Maps of St Helena

Read More

Article: Long Awaited Grand Opening of the Levelwood Community Centre

By Garron Yon, published in the St Helena News 12th January 2001{4}

Levelwood Community Centre

Saturday 6th January marked an important day for the people of Levelwood. After much hard work and sheer determination, a sigh of relief for the committee members who had turned the opening day of the Levelwood Community Centre into such a success. After 12 years of building, the centre has been completed. The event commenced at 5pm with a welcome speech by the Secretary, Mr Ronald Coleman, and this was followed by a speech from the Chairman, Mr William Drabble who gave a little history of the building and the fundraising efforts by the people of Levelwood. H.E. the Governor then made a speech and Father Chris gave the blessing. The Governor and Mrs Hollamby officially opened the building by cutting the red ribbon and members of the public were invited to view the building whilst enjoying cocktail punch and savoury snacks. Following this, the bar opened and King George and Purse Bag provided music for dancing.

There were tables and chairs on both sides of the hall where one could relax whilst keeping an eye on the dance floor. By nightfall, the hall was filled to capacity with approximately 500 people from all districts on the Island. Comments included We will never forget that opening, It was a really enjoyable evening, and the hall is very large, but the floor for dancing wasn’t slippery enough!! There were some complaints about parking but this is being dealt with by completing the Centres car parks. This has taken longer than was hoped, due to funding. On behalf of the Committee, the Secretary said, We were very pleased with the large turnout in support of the centre. The Islands Newest Community Centre The largest portion of the funds came from the Governors Discretionary Fund and The Miscellaneous Minor Works Fund (over a number of years) which are controlled by DFID. Mrs Corinda Essex, Chief Development Officer, said that any proposal must meet DFIDs criteria, and in the case of the Community Centre, this would be classified as giving better opportunities and facilities to those within the district Reports and proposals are submitted to DFID. Donations were received from Saints in the UK, and people on Ascension Island and various fundraising activities took place on the Island. The Secretary said that With the assistance of Governor Hollamby Funding also came from FCO under Good Government Funds to complete the centre. The people of Levelwood are very grateful for all the contributions made towards building the centre. Several members of the public have questioned why the now closed, Levelwood First School was not used instead of building a new centre? The Secretary explained that building had already commenced before the school closed in 1998 when 18 students were attending the school.

Mrs Essex supported Mr Coleman’s point and added that in the early 90s there was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the school would close since there was much reluctance even after numbers had dwindled to the 20s. The school will now be used as sheltered accommodation. The cost of the building is in the region of £40,000, although on the night proceeds from the bar and snack bar were very good. The centre will host its first Christening Party on the 21st of January and it is hoped that a dance will be held on a monthly basis, and this is likely to be a Friday night. Mr Coleman is confident that this will not affect the functions at the Silver Hill Bar. The committee is now looking into the construction of a skittle alley after the car parks have been completed.

Laugh at funny Levelwood humour - LOL

Credits:
{a} From St Helena: A Physical, Historical and Topographical Description of the Island, including the Geology, Fauna, Flora and Meteorology, by John Melliss, published in 1875

Footnotes:
{1} Levelwood First School no longer operates; all Levelwood children are bussed to Harford School in Longwood.{2} 2016 Census: 369 from a total population of 4,534.{3} See other debunked myths.{4} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.

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