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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}
Laozi

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

Below: 2018 Seven Wonders • 2008 Seven Wonders • Read More

In May 2008 the Tourist 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 Office announced that it would be reviewing the list of 7 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 Office announced that it would be reviewing the list of 7 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 LadderHeart Shaped WaterfallDiana’s PeakHigh Knoll FortLot’s Wife PondsSt Helena AirportJonathan the tortoiseLongwood HouseNapoleon’s TombLemon ValleyThe BellstonePlantation HouseSt. James’ ChurchFlagstaffSwimming with Whale Sharks

Tourist 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

The Heart Shaped Waterfall

Location map:
Location Map heartshapedwaterfall

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 The Heart Shaped Waterfall page.

Diana’s Peak

Dianas Peak

Location map:
Location Map dianaspeak

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 Diana’s Peak page.

Jacobs Ladder

Jacobs Ladder

Location map:
Location Map jacobsladder

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 Jacob’s Ladder page.

Longwood House

Longwood House

Location map:
Location Map longwoodhouse

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 Longwood House page.

High Knoll Fort

High Knoll Fort

Location map:
Location Map highknollfort

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 High Knoll Fort page.

Swimming with whale sharks

Governor Lisa Phillips with a Whale Shark, 2017
Governor Lisa Phillips with a Whale Shark, 2017

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

Jonathan the tortoise

Location map:
Location Map jonathanplantationhouse

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 Jonathan the tortoise page.

The 2008 Seven Wonders

2008 Seven Wonders

In May 2008 the Tourist 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 Ponds;Man & Horse Cliffs;Manati Bay;Mundens;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

Lot’s Wife

Lot’s Wife Ponds

Napoleon’s Tomb

Plantation House

St. James’ Church

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Turk’s 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

Napoleons Tomb

Location map:
Location Map napoleonstomb

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 Napoleon’s Tomb page.

St. James’ Church

St. James Church

Location map:
Location Map stjameschurch

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 St. James’ Church page.

Appeals

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

Jacob’s Ladder

Local historian Barbara George. More on our Jacob’s Ladder page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

Heart Shaped Waterfall

Local journalist Vince Thompson. More on our The Heart Shaped Waterfall page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

Diana’s Peak National Park

Local conservationist Dr. Rebecca Cairns-Wicks. More on our Diana’s Peak page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

High Knoll Fort

Visiting archaeologist Ben Jeffs. More on our High Knoll Fort page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

Napoleon’s Tomb

Trevor Magellan. More on our Napoleon’s Tomb page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

Longwood House

Ivy Yon, Joan Thomas & George Thomas. More on our Longwood House page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

St. James’ Church

Church elder Cathy Hopkins. More on our St. James’ Church page.

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

Read More

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

Published in the St Helena Independent 26th September 2008{4}

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 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; Standard; Rose & Crown; Thorpes 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’.

Laugh at funny The Seven Wonders of St Helena humour - LOL

Credits:
{a} Manfred Rippich/Radio St Helena

Footnotes:
{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.{4} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.

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