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More than just Napoleon…

The woods are hush’d, their music is no more;The leaf is dead, the yearning past away.{n}

Longwood is most famous for housing our best-known exile, but it also has strong connections to the island’s future

About Longwood

SEE ALSO: For the other districts of St Helena see the map (below) or our page Districts of St Helena.

Longwood Bus Shelter
Longwood Bus Shelter

Longwood Soil
Longwood Soil{o}

Longwood is in the north-east of St Helena. It is the second largest district by area (after Blue Hill) and is home to around 17% of the island’s population{1}. Because of its warm, wet climate and rich soil it is a centre for agriculture (see image, right).


Longwood Golf Club is just outside Longwood Village, on the road to Bottom Woods (just opposite Piccolo Hill). There is only room for a nine-hole course so you have to go around twice. There is a warm welcome for visiting golfers.

There is a children’s play park on Longwood Green. Less formally, many people gather around the Longwood Bus Shelter, on Longwood Green. All that is needed is a portable music system and a few beers and you have a party!

There is a major Wirebird site in the district, at Deadwood Plain and the Meteorological Station is situated just beyond Longwood Village. The vast majority of the island’s Renewable Energy is generated by the wind turbines, situated on Deadwood Plain.

St. Matthew’s Church is in the district, at Hutts Gate, as is St. Mark’s Church in Longwood Village.

The Horse Point Landfill Site is in the district.


Below: AreaLongwood Green‍Longwood Gate‍‍Piccolo Hill‍OneWeb Space Park

The Area

There are four geological structures of note:

Principal settlements in Longwood district are:

Longwood Green

Bordered by Longwood House, Bertrand’s Cottage, Longwood Avenue, St. Mark’s Church and the supermarket/filling station is ‍Longwood Green‍. Mostly just grass, there is also a play park for children. Despite it being one of the few expanses of flat land it is rarely used for events, possibly because it is not as big or as central as Francis Plain. In 2022 the roundabout in the play park was given a much needed makeover by members of the St Helena Fire and Rescue Service.

‍Longwood Gate‍

The current Longwood Gate (see above) looks old - maybe even 18th Century, and yet we find the illustration shown below. We suspect this is a variation of Artistic Licence, in that the artist hadn’t actually been here and seen the real structure so when they told him there was ‘a gate’ this is what he imagined. If you know otherwise please contact us.

‍Piccolo Hill‍

Also worthy of note is Piccolo Hill. Formally part of Longwood Village it is a collection of 1960s-built houses originally to house the ex-pat staff of the Diplomatic Wireless Station (it is named after the encryption system used by the DWS - ‘Piccolo’). After the DWS closed the houses were briefly used as ‘holiday cottages’ and for a time were again used to house ex-pat staff. From 2020 they were used by Social Services for sheltered housing.

OneWeb Space Park

OneWeb logo

On 22nd December 2021 Executive Council approved plans for OneWeb to establish a base station facility at Horse Point Plain, Bottom Woods, to link via ‘The Cable’.


Longwood is one of the original five districts, created soon after the Crown took over St Helena from The East India Company in 1834. It was originally much larger - some of it was taken in the 1960s to form Levelwood District and more in the 1980s to form Alarm Forest District.

The place names of the northern part of the district (Longwood, Deadwood and Bottom Woods) all relate to the ‘Great Wood’ which originally covered this area (‘A History of the Island of St Helena’, by T. H. Brooke, Esq., published in 1808 records the area’s name as ‘Long Wood’). The Great Wood was destroyed by the early settlers and is now, in part, being re-created as the Millennium Forest.

The Diplomatic Wireless Station that operated from the late 1960s to the 1970s was based around Deadwood Plain.

The road from Jamestown originally ran only as far as Hutts Gate. It was extended to Longwood in the 1780s when Governor Brooke identified the Longwood area as good for agriculture.

The map below (extracted from the 1872 Royal Engineers map) shows Longwood Village in 1872, with features such as Longwood New House, the Longwood Windmill, the Longwood Observatory and Apple Cottage, later site of the area’s Cinema (the building marked ‘Farm’ is Bertrand’s Cottage, a.k.a. Longwood Farmhouse):

The public toilets were refurbished in October 2020.


St Helena’s most famous exile, Napoleon spent most of his time here at Longwood House, arriving on 10th December 1815 and dying there on 5th May 1821. His Tomb is also in Longwood district.

The Boer PoWs that were held here from 1900-1902 were housed in two camps: one at Broad Bottom in Blue Hill district and the other on Deadwood Plain.

Longwood in pictures

What for many years was the area’s only bar, ‘Pub Paradise’, closed in 2018 after the business failed. The building is now used as a religious centre by ‘The Rock’ an evangelist Christian group.

Stay here?

From our page Where To Stay:

Longwood is about a 20 minute drive from Jamestown. Not much actually happens in Longwood, but it is convenient for access to the Napoleonic Sites such as Longwood House and Napoleon’s Tomb (The Briars Pavilion is in Alarm Forest). Cross-country routes exist to all parts of the island. Accommodation is limited to self-catering or bed-and-breakfast.

Population by district:{p}

Read More

Article: Closing Ceremony at Longwood First School

Published in the St Helena Herald, 15th August 2008{4}

On Tuesday, 12th August at 10am, a closing Ceremony was held at Longwood First School. This was the last First School on the island to be closed. The pupils of Longwood First will now be amalgamating with those of Harford Middle, and thus the school will now be known as Harford Primary School.

The Ceremony was opened with a speech by the Head Mistress, Mrs Eileen Hudson who commented on what a sad occasion this was for the staff, pupils and parents of the school. Everyone was then invited to join in with the singing of the school song. The ceremony continued with a brief history of the school and songs and poems performed by the pupils, expressing their sadness of leaving the school and also a closing in the chapter of the Longwood Community. Three previous Head Teachers also reflected on their time at Longwood First, along with the present Headmistress.

A prize presentation was presented[sic] by the Chief Education Officer, Miss Pamela Lawrence, to those year 3 pupils who sat their Standard Attainment Tests (SATs). Outstanding achievements went to:

The Ceremony came to a close around 11am, with a song performed by some parents expressing their reflections of the closing of Longwood First. Bishop James then wished everyone well in there future move to Harford and ended with a prayer and blessing.

The Longwood First School buildings were used as the offices of Basil Read during the airport construction.


{a} Green Renaissance{b} Google Maps™{c} The RSPB{d} Chris and Sheila Hillman{e} Derek Richards{f} St Helena National Trust{g} Ed Thorpe{h} sthelenablog.wordpress.com{i} St Helena Travel (group){j} Simon Wade{k} On Royal Engineers 1872 map{l} Tourist Information Office{m} Pub Paradise{n} Alfred, Lord Tennyson{o} Google Maps™{p} 2021 Census, taken 7th February 2021.


{1} 765 from a total population of 4,439{p}.{2} For an explanation of the name see our page Place Names.{3} The name is explained on our Place Names page.{4} @@RepDis@@