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The Seven Wonders of St Helena

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If name be needed, wonder names them both: From wonder into wonder existence opens.{1}{b}

The ancient world is not alone in having Seven Wonders - and these are ones you can see today!

In May 2008 the Tourist Information Office suggested that the island should identify ‘Seven Wonders of St Helena’ and invited submissions from the public as to what these wonders might be. After a few rounds of voting seven were agreed upon and the results published. In March 2018 the Tourist Information Office announced that it would be reviewing the list of Seven Wonders. The new seven were announced at the St Helena’s Day celebrations on 21st May 2018.

The 2018 Seven Wonders

2018 logo

On 22nd March 2018 the Tourist Information Office announced that it would be reviewing the list of Seven Wonders, first set in 2008. A round of nominations ended on 13th April 2008 and the shortlist was announced a week later, as follows:

Jacob’s Ladder ⋅ Heart Shaped Waterfall ⋅ Diana’s Peak ⋅ High Knoll Fort ⋅ Lot’s Wife’s Ponds ⋅ St Helena Airport ⋅ Jonathan the tortoise ⋅ Longwood House ⋅ Napoleon’s Tomb ⋅ Lemon Valley ⋅ The Bellstone ⋅ Plantation House ⋅ St. James’ Church ⋅ Flagstaff ⋅ Swimming with Whale Sharks

Tourist Information Office Announcement

Following a national poll the new seven were announced at the St Helena’s Day celebrations on 21st May 2018. They are (this time with a designated order):

  1. Heart Shaped Waterfall

  2. Diana’s Peak

  3. Jacob’s Ladder

  4. Longwood House

  5. High Knoll Fort

  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks

  7. Jonathan the tortoise

‍The Heart Shaped Waterfall‍

A romantic natural wonder, the Heart Shaped Waterfall is an iconic landmark where water cascades through the middle of a heart shaped cliff face.

More on our page The Heart Shaped Waterfall.

‍Diana’s Peak‍

Diana’s Peak is the highest point on St Helena, being an impressive 823m above sea level. The National Park is home to exotic flora and fauna, including many endemic species and dense tree fern thickets.

More on our page Diana’s Peak.

‍Jacob’s Ladder‍

Are you ready to walk up the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder? This landmark of the island’s capital, Jamestown, was built in 1871 and stretches 282m high! If you conquer the ladder then grab yourself a certificate from the Museum of St Helena.

More on our page Jacob’s Ladder.

‍Longwood House‍

Longwood House was Napoleon’s home during the last years of his life. He took up residence at Longwood House on 10th December 1815 and died six years later while still a prisoner on the island. Today it is a museum owned by the French Government and, featuring exhibits including his death mask, portraits and original furniture. It’s arguably the best Napoleonic Museum in the world.

More on our page Longwood House.

‍High Knoll Fort‍

Built in 1790 as a redoubt for the island population in the event of an invasion, High Knoll Fort features a perfect view across St Helena. High Knoll has a dry moat and drawbridge, with signs of a portcullis, storehouses, tower and embrasures with slit walls.

More on our page High Knoll Fort.

Swimming with Whale Sharks

Whale Sharks rhincodon typus are the largest known extant fish species, averaging nearly 10m long and sometimes weighing more than 20 tonnes. These enormous and completely harmless (to humans!{2}) animals are stunning to watch. Although normally solitary creatures, at the end of January 2013 a group of 17 Whale Sharks were spotted around St Helena, much to the delight of ecologists and tourists alike, and they have come back in increasing numbers, every year since.

More on our page Whale Sharks.

Jonathan the tortoise

At years old he is probably the oldest living land-animal on the planet. He currently resides in the gardens at Plantation House and is definitely one of our National Symbols.

More on our page Jonathan the tortoise.

The 2008 Seven Wonders

2008 Seven Wonders

In May 2008 the Tourist Information Office suggested that the island should identify ‘Seven Wonders of St Helena’ and invited submissions from the public as to what these wonders might be. The aim was to showcase seven iconic or historic places on St Helena.

An initial list was advertised in the St Helena Newspapers on 1st August 2008, being (in alphabetic order):Ann’s Place;The Asses Ears;Sandy Bay;Banks Battery;The Bellstone;Black Rock, Blue Hill;The Boer Cemetery;The Briars Pavilion;Castle Gardens;Diana’s Peak;Fairy land;Fishers Valley;Flagstaff;Geranium Valley/Sane Valley;Great Stone Top;Green Hill;Heart Shaped Waterfall;High Hill;High Knoll Fort;Horse Pasture;Jacob’s Ladder;James Bay;Jamestown;Ladder Hill Fort;Lemon Valley;Longwood Green;Longwood House;Lot;Lot’s Wife;Lot’s Wife’s Ponds;Man & Horse Cliffs;Manati Bay;Mundens Battery;Museum of St Helena;Napoleon’s Tomb;Needle’s Eye;Old School House, Half Tree Hollow;Paradise Point/Burnt Rock;Plantation House;Prince Andrew School;Prosperous Bay Plain;The Public Library;Rock Rose;Rosemary Plain;Ruperts;Sandy Bay Beach;Sharks Valley;Speery Island;St. Andrew’s Church;St. John’s Church;St. Paul’s Cathedral;St. James’ Church;St. Matthew’s Church;Stone Tops;Sugar Loaf;The Barn (Longwood);The Friar;The Run;Thompsons Wood;Trap Cot; andTurks Cap.

After an initial round of voting this was cut down to a shortlist, as follows:

Banks Battery

The Barn

Diana’s Peak

The Heart Shaped Waterfall

High Knoll Fort

Jacob’s Ladder

Longwood House


Lot’s Wife

Lot’s Wife’s Ponds

Napoleon’s Tomb

Plantation House

St. James’ Church

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Turks Cap

A formal voting procedure was enacted and by the end of September the results had been collated. The selected seven were:

Jacob’s Ladder

The Heart Shaped Waterfall

Diana’s Peak

High Knoll Fort

Napoleon’s Tomb

Longwood House

St. James’ Church

The 2018 list is much the same with only two demotions:

‍Napoleon’s Tomb‍

Napoleon’s Tomb in Sane Valley is the place chosen for Napoleon’s final resting place in 1821{3}. Napoleon had come across Sane Valley on one of his walks and was delighted with the peaceful landscapes. In 1840, his body was returned to France and placed in L’Hotêl des Invalides in Paris.

More on our page Napoleon’s Tomb.

‍St. James’ Church‍

St Helena has the oldest Anglican Church in the Southern Hemisphere dating from 1774. This beautiful church is a prominent feature in Jamestown. A visit inside will reveals plaques and tablets depicting the fascinating history of the island.

More on our page St. James’ Church.


Appeals were broadcast on Radio St Helena prior to the 2008 Seven Wonders voting in favour of each shortlisted attraction. The following were in favour of the eventual winners:


The Real Seven ’Wonders’?

It has been said (perhaps jokingly; perhaps not) that the true Seven Wonders of St Helena are:

  1. Money coming from the Government of St Helena;

  2. Finding in the shops all the ingredients you need for the meal you have planned;

  3. Getting a letter or parcel from the UK that hasn’t come via Bermuda or the Falkland Islands and taken six or more months to arrive;

  4. Seeing an advert on TV for something you can actually buy here and might even want to;

  5. Attending a meeting where everybody turns up on time;

  6. Calling a Government of St Helena office and finding the person you need to speak to isn’t in a meeting, taking a day off or out at lunch (at 10:00am?); and

  7. Seeing another driver indicate before making a turn.

It is commonly believed that nobody has ever experienced all of these.

Read More

Below: Article: Seven Wonders of St Helena, by Prince Andrew School Year EightArticle: ‘Seven Wonders of St Helena Announced’

Article: Seven Wonders of St Helena, by Prince Andrew School Year Eight

Published in The Sentinel 17th August 2023{d}

From the sapphire blue, a bronzed emerald Jewel; Your wonders are hidden, clouded and veiled.
Silenced by the peaceful tranquillity; The glittering flow from high above us; Abandoned by nightfall, lost in shadow.
Fortress so high, haunting but all thoughtful; What lurks in the depths of your eerie, silence? Mysterious and dark histories found; Memories of slaves and soldiers fallen; Stout in defence of this green, golden isle.
The lights shine bright every night from our Ladder; A monument reflecting history; We party, we disrespect, our Ladder.
Post box walking with endemics, unique; Breath-taking views from her cloud covered Peak; Nature’s deepest greens, its earthiest browns; What treasures lay hidden in your furrows?
Ageless elegance in a brown mud pool; Winds of time have left him so wise, so cool; What secrets might he tell, woven in time; Would they be merciless or truly kind?
Emperor, stature challenged, did you wonder?

Article: ‘Seven Wonders of St Helena Announced’ (2008)

Seven Wonders Badge

Last Friday afternoon saw the climax of a four month campaign to find the first ever Seven Wonders of St Helena.

Since St Helena’s Day, Saint’s, and lovers of St Helena, took part in a nomination process on-line, on SaintFM’s website and through the Tourism Office, to identify their favourite iconic, historic, scenic, or built, place of wonder which would symbolically represent St Helena in future tourism promotions.

During the first round, some 2,067 votes were received and a total of 60 nominations were suggested and week by week we saw places shuffle back and forth fighting for top places as you continued to vote.

After 80 days of voting the first round closed on Friday 8th August, short listing the 60 nominations with the most votes down to your top 15 finalists. In a last push for votes many of you took part in the St Helena Independent Lucky draw, which allowed readers on island a chance to enter a draw for £25. The draw was done live on SaintFM on Friday 8th August and the lucky winner was Anna Hopkins. The top 15 finalist was announced live on SaintFM the same day.

Round 2 commenced with 6 weeks of voting to establish the final Seven Wonders of St Helena from 8th August to the 18th September and the announcement was made live on SaintFM by Miss St Helena, Nicole Peters and Director of Tourism, Pamela Young.

Two weeks prior to the broadcast the Independent and SaintFM launched a huge sweepstake campaign with co-sponsorship with Printech and the Proud of St Helena Campaign. 1,200 sweepstake slips were printed and distributed to numerous newspaper outlets island wide and a two week publicity campaign began. At just 50p a ticket, participants stood a chance of winning up to £600 in cash. Sweepstake slips doubled as a voting sheet and players participating in the game also inevitably contributed to the final votes in determining the top seven. Sweepstakes closed last Thursday and on the following Friday all monies and slips were collected from outlets and tallied. Following the live announcement of the Seven Wonders, the draw for the winner of the sweepstakes took place, with 896 slips entered into the draw and a jackpot of £457.50 going to Shirley Robinson of Half Tree Hollow.

In the final count, 7,785 votes were cast over the 6 week period via the SaintFM webpage, newspaper sweepstakes and at the Tourism Office with only a hand-full of votes separating places from 7th, 8th and 9th places.

Miss St Helena cuts the Seven Wonders cake

A thank you to everyone who took part in the campaign and to everyone that voted. To celebrate the Seven Wonders of St Helena, the Tourism Office hosted a Seven Wonders Party at Bayside and voters danced the night away to a glass of Seven Wonders Punch and a slice of Seven Wonders cake and nibbles.

Your top Seven Wonders are: Jacob’s Ladder; The Heart Shaped Waterfall; Diana’s Peak; High Knoll Fort; Napoleon’s Tomb; Longwood House; and St. James’ Church.

The Seven Wonders of St Helena have been selected as a result of 7,785 votes being cast by Saints here and overseas and lovers of St Helena. It has been an incredible journey which started on St Helena Day this year when we launched the ‘Proud of St Helena Campaign’ and you were encouraged to nominate places that you thought should be considered as one of the Seven Wonders.

To all of you, who voted and gave us your support and encouragement, thank you. As a result of the unstinting assistance of Emma-Jane and SaintFM, we were able to reach a much wider audience than we first imagined. To all who promoted the final fifteen, you have re-educated us on some of the most amazing places that St Helena has to offer. Special thanks also to: Mrs Jean Gurr; Michel Dancoisne-Martineau; Martin George; Ed Thorpe; Andrew Darlow; Rebecca Cairns-Wicks; Printech; Barbara A George; A&NRD; Basil & Barbara George; Derek Henry; Pat Joshua; Ben Jeffs; Cathy Hopkins; Dale Bowers; Henry Thorpe; Vince Thompson; Trevor Magellan; Ivy Yon; George Thomas; Joan Thomas; Nicole Peters; Ripetungi; Garron Yon; The Standard; Rose & Crown; Thorpe’s Emporium; Seale’s Corner Shop; MacKnights; Little Italy; A&D’s Mini-Mart; Andrews Shop; Yon’s Shop; McDaniel’s Shop; Phillip John’s Shop; Thorpes Sandy Bay; Maisie’s Shop and Longwood Supermarket.

Although the selection of the Seven Wonders of St Helena has now been finalised, the activities surrounding the Seven Wonders are yet to begin. For starters, the Post Office has agreed to release a Seven Wonders stamp issue and St Helena Tourism will develop a ‘Seven Wonders Trail’.


{a} Government of St Helena{b} Laozi{c} Manfred Rippich/Radio St Helena{d} Copyright © South Atlantic Media Services Ltd. (SAMS), used with permission.


{1} No, we have no idea what it means either.{2} Whale Sharks have very large mouths, but as filter feeders they feed almost exclusively on plankton.{3} He actually asked to be buried in Paris but Governor Lowe would not permit that.