About This Site

Helping you use Saint Helena Island Info

The best place for information on St Helena


Why is this site here? How do you get the best from it? Read on…

IN BRIEF: Saint Helena Island Info provides all the latest{1} and most accurate information you need to help you learn about and explore our island, covering St Helena’s history, culture, places to visit, food & drink, nature and activities to enjoy, with information on how to visit, where to stay and related travel information. In fact, our information pages cover everything you could possibly want to know about our island! More below…

Below: What is this site for?How to use Saint Helena Island InfoIf you have a questionIsland HistoryMaterial we have usedUpdates and Site HistoryRegulationBeware of impostors!‘What the Saints did next…’Technical InformationWho is ‘we’?Read More

Read about Covid-19’s impact on St Helena.

What is this site for?

Put simply, Saint Helena Island Info aims to be a resource which documents St Helena, the island in the South Atlantic. We aim for it to cover everything you could possibly need to know about St Helena: past, present and future. That’s quite a challenge, and although there are already information pages on the site we feel we still have more to do.

This website is a highly valuable resource.
Peter Hohenhaus, dark-tourism.com

Please note that it is our intention to address our subject in a light-hearted manner, while maintaining factual accuracy and honesty. We aim to be a source you can trust for information about St Helena.

How to use Saint Helena Island Info

You can get to here from any page using the HELP button (). If you came here that way you can return using your browser’s Back button.

If St Helena is new to you, perhaps because you stumbled on this site while looking for something else, start with our Where is St Helena? page, so that at least you know where we are, and then perhaps go to the Information Index page to begin exploring.

If you’re new to Saint Helena Island Info, the best place to start is our Information Index page, which will show you how to navigate to the detail you seek.

You can also access Saint Helena Island Info with the URL http://islandinfo.co.sh but this is not guaranteed for the future so we recommend using only sainthelenaisland.info.

This site does not collect any personal data from users, and does not allow users to make any financial transactions, so an SSL Certificate (https://) is not required. See also Technical Information (below)

Below: Page StructureÀ La CarteSubject Groups ExplainedOther IndexesContent PoliciesAdverts

Page Structure

Pages on Saint Helena Island Info follow a standard structure:

À La Carte

You can configure some aspects of Saint Helena Island Info to operate differently, or to meet visual impairment issues. To do this you need to visit our Configuration page - use the Configure icon () in the Control Icons (top, right). Things you can change include colour schemes{7}, fonts and font sizes.

Your settings are saved on your device for subsequent visits to the site, but please note that if you use more than one browser you will need to set up the changes on each one (or have each of them different!)

If there is anything else you would like us to make configurable please contact us. We can’t promise to implement all suggestions but we can guarantee that they all will be considered.

Subject Groups Explained

Saint Helena Island Info currently has information pages, so to help you explore and find what you are looking for we’ve organised them with various subject groupings. If your interest is our natural environment, start with the Nature Pages index and navigate easily through all of these. Similarly if you want to know about activities, or people, or history, or places… Each subject group has a symbol - a small coloured icon with the first two letters of the subject name - and these appear on every page within the subject group, as follows (links are to our Information Index page):

Void Our activity pages

Void Our history pages

Void Our people pages

Void Our place pages

Void Our nature pages

Void Our structures pages

Void Our pictures pages

Void All our information pages

Void The Community pages

The chart below shows the number of pages in each group.

Of course, a page can appear in more than one index. Our Napoleon page, for example, is in ‘people’ and ‘history’.

Other Indexes

If searching for content you may also find useful:

Content Policies

Children warning

information and data are presented ‘as is’ and while we endeavour to ensure accuracy this cannot be guaranteed. No liability can be accepted for any errors in the information or data presented. For more Terms & Conditions see our page Important Information.

While profanity is generally avoided parents should review all content before allowing minors to view Saint Helena Island Info as descriptions of some of our past - for example on our Slavery on St Helena and Titbits from the records pages - may upset young children.

Opinions quoted on this site are not necessarily those of the editor of this website/The Website Owner.

Quoted texts are generally not adjusted for spelling or grammar.

The default colour scheme is intended to be suitable for sight-impaired users but those with more severe impairment may benefit from using the HIGH CONTRAST colour scheme.

Javascript must be enabled to see all content. Only limited functionality is provided for users who choose to disable Javascript.

Where events are reported Saint Helena Island Info simply presents what happened. It does not in general take a position on whether what happened should have happened. Where Saint Helena Island Info expresses an opinion it is clearly indicated as such.

Whenever you see the ‘current’ time on this site you are actually seeing St Helena’s current time, which may be different from your local time. For example, if you are in Arizona (UTC-7) and your local time is 10pm, Saint Helena Island Info will give the current time as 5am the following day - the actual time on St Helena at that moment{8}.


You may see the terms ‘slave’ and ‘slaves’ on this site, which some people find objectionable. We recognise and respect that slavery is how its victims were treated, not what defined them, and we aim to refer to the victims as ‘enslaved’, but we have not amended quoted text and diagrams that use the terms ‘slave’ or ‘slaves’.

This website does not promote or advocate any faith or religious belief. Religious buildings are described solely in terms of their interest as historic buildings or examples of more modern architecture.

We frequently link to Facebook™ pages, particularly in item credits. Facebook™ does not take down pages when they become inactive (which would trigger our Dead Links checker) and we do not have the resources to continually verify that all of these pages remain active. If you spot an inactive one please contact us.

These days it is normal to write place names without any apostrophes, even where these are clearly implied in the name. Thus what should be written Munden’s Hill - named after Governor Richard Munden - is almost always written Mundens Hill. In general we have shown place names as they are usually written, without any apostrophes that should really be there.

The week is defined as beginning on Monday, running through to the last day - Sunday. Calendars (e.g. right) reflect this.

Document downloads are usually in Portable Document Format (.pdf); these can be read by most systems, but if you need a reader you can download one free from www.adobe.com. Audio downloads are normally in MPEG 1 Layer 3 (.mp3) format which is an Internet standard. Most images are in Independent JPEG Group (.jpg), Portable Network Graphics (.png) or Graphics Interchange Format (.gif) which all modern browsers can display. A few charts are in SVG (.svg) format which has been an Internet standard since 2001. Video downloads are currently all in MP4 (.mp4) format.

Weights and measurements are normally given in SI units (Km, Kg, etc.). Some older texts use the original imperial units. In general, if you hover your mouse cursor over a unit, its equivalent should appear as a tool-tip (though this depends on your browser); illustrated thus. Images are sized in pixels (px).

The metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimetre bullet.
Dave Barry

Historic monetary amounts are generally converted to current values and shown as a tool-tip (as with weights and measures, described above). This conversion uses the Average Annual Nominal Earnings dataset from measuringworth.com{5}. No attempt is made to translate SHP/GBP £s into other currencies but a converter is available from www.xe.com.

We follow the British convention that floors in buildings are designated ‘Ground’ (street level), 1st, 2nd, etc. The level below the street is the ‘Basement’.

Where legal matters are discussed please note that this website is only providing a Layman’s Opinion. You should not take any action based on what you read on this website without first consulting a qualified legal professional.

See also Regulation.


All electrons used in the production of this site are 100% recycled and come from sustainable sources. No wombats were harmed in the making of this site{9}. Nutrition Information: Gluten-free; Dairy-free; Energy 0; Carbohydrates 0 (of which, sugars 0); fat 0; salt 0; does not contain nuts (but edited in a place where nuts are consumed).


You will note that there are no adverts on this site.

Unlike some other St Helena sites we do not need to sell you stuff to support Saint Helena Island Info, our (few) costs are sponsored by VoidBurgh House Limited. If you wish to reach the people of St Helena we suggest you contact our local media.

If you have a question

Before you contact us with your question, perhaps we have already answered it? Firstly there is the information on our information pages - see How to use (above) for how to find stuff. For more general questions check our Frequently Asked Questions about St Helena, Frequently Asked Questions about this site and Help With pages for answers to many common questions we are asked about Saint Helena Island Info and about St Helena itself

If none of these answers your question please feel free to contact us.

Island History

Material we have used

Information is reproduced here for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged. Excerpts fall within the doctrine of ‘fair use’.

Information and images presented on this site are gleaned from sources too numerous to list, many on the Internet but all in the public domain. Acknowledgement is offered to:

Some images are sourced from the Wikipedia (and related projects) and are used under the Creative Commons Licence{5}.

Wikipedia Creative Commons Licence logo

We source some images and other content from the Internet, but only from public domain sources and we always respect copyright. If you think we have breached your copyright or used your copyrighted material without your permission please contact us and we will advise on how access our ‘Alleged Breach of Copyright’ procedure.

Updates and Site History

We update this site whenever sufficient changes (new content; improved images and layout; even corrected errors!) have accumulated. Saint Helena Island Info was last updated on @@JAVASITELASTUPDATED@@. We do our best to keep the information on this site up-to-date, but with so many pages to review it is probable that the occasional superseded item will slip through. If you spot anything that needs updating please contact us.

It can take as long as two hours to upload the updates because of St Helena’s slow Internet connection and, although we try to upload in a continuity-friendly manner, during this time you may experience issues accessing the site, for which we apologise. When completed we announce these updates on social media. After we update the site you may need to force your browser to refresh the page{11}!

You can see which pages were updated in the most recent release and also see when pages were first added.

A Brief History of Saint Helena Island Info…

June 2010
Site years ago, June 2010 (Click to explore)

This site was first registered on 1st July 2009. Initially the site had 19 pages, 11 of which were information pages, and 77 images. You can actually explore the June 2010 version of the site - click on the screen-shot (right).

The current colours, layout and logo came in 2012, and by October 2012 the site was up to 35 pages (24 information pages) and 210 images. By the end of 2014 there were 87 pages (77 information pages); 28 downloads and 1,306 images, and the site has continued to grow steadily ever since.

In December 2018 changes were made to improve access from mobile devices. The recommended minimum viewing width was reduced to 720 pixels and the fixed menu on the left was replaced by a requestable menu triggered from a floating icon (, top, right). Around 48% of our users connect with mobile devices{2}.

At the beginning of 2020 we posted a notice for users that choose not to enable Javascript, warning that we would disable additional non-Javascript features unless we heard reasons not to. We heard nothing so the May 2020 release removed all additional processing for users that do not enable Javascript. For such users the site should still function but some content is no longer available. Modern browsers enable Javascript by default, and on some it is actually quite difficult to disable, so we were confident this would not affect many, if any, users. We have received no complaints.

User Configuration (Saint Helena Island Info À La Carte) came in July 2020 - use the Configure icon () in the Control Icons (top, right).

Current status

Usage is currently averaging at around 5,000 pages (70,000 ‘hits’) per day - 190GB of data per month.

Yet another example of how so many questions placed on this Group need not to have been asked if only people consulted Saint Helena Island Info first!
Participant on Social Media


Media on St Helena is regulated by the St Helena Media Commission, which is charged with overseeing Media Services (including radio, TV, newspapers and websites) delivered in or from St Helena in accordance with the regulatory objectives set out in the Media Standards Ordinance 2011. If you hear or read anything you think should not have been broadcast/published first contact the media outlet concerned. If this does not resolve the matter you can make a complaint to the Media Commission. You can read the ‘Media Code of Practice 2014’.

NB: Saint Helena Island Info is hosted in the UK so is not, technically, ‘delivered…from St Helena’; however it is our policy to fully comply with St Helena’s media regulations.

Beware of impostors!

Impostor flag

We are aware of other sites using similar URLs to ours, some of which also include out-of-date copies of our content and one has even stolen our images! These are nothing to do with us. They seem to exist purely to sell you stuff; we exist purely to provide accurate up-to-date information about St Helena. There is nothing we can do to prevent these imitators; we just treat it as recognition that our site is the leading independent site about St Helena and is the one to copy! BEWARE: These copycats may not be safe to use; often such sites download viruses or other malware to your computer/‘phone/tablet/etc. As long as you make sure you only visit http://sainthelenaisland.info/ and ignore the mimics you can be assured of the best and most up-to-date information from a safe-to-use website.

Please Note: You can also access Saint Helena Island Info with the URL http://islandinfo.co.sh but this is not guaranteed for the future so we recommend using only sainthelenaisland.info.

‘What the Saints did next…’

What’s happening inside St Helena…

The history of St Helena and its people is continuing. This website can’t provide up-to-the-minute news about what’s happening inside St Helena, and there is no need for us to do so because sources of St Helena news are readily available on the Internet:

S.A.M.S. Radio 1




Please note: there are many sources on the Internet purporting to give news and information about St Helena. Some of these are not reliable and you should use them with caution{12}.

By the time the future is easy to predict its history!
Peter de Jager

There are quite a few places in the world called St Helena (or some variation thereof), but our island has the distinction of being the original! Our St Helena was discovered and named in 1502. The places in America and Australia now called St Helena were all not named such until the 19th Century, at least 300 years after we claimed the name…

Technical Information

Below: SSL CertificateStandards ConformanceEncodingUsabilityBrowser TestingSite IndexError PageWork In ProgressJavascript‘Cookies’LocalStorageSite MaintenanceAccess from Mobile DevicesAlternative URL

SSL Certificate

This site does not collect any personal data from users, and does not allow users to make any financial transactions, so an SSL Certificate (https://) is not required.

Standards Conformance

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

This site is sample-validated for conformance with the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard. If you encounter any conformance issues please contact us.


Pages on this site are encoded in utf-8.


A minimum viewing window width of 720 pixels is recommended for this site.

This site uses Cascading Style Sheets. You can therefore control text size and colours using your web browser. Please refer to the documentation for your web browser for further information.

Images are normally limited to a maximum dimension of 10000 pixels but maps and diagrams are permitted to be larger.

Please contact us to report any usability problems, specifying as much technical information (OS, browser version, etc.) as possible.
Thank you.

Browser Testing

Features are tested using: ⋅ VoidGoogle Chrome™; ⋅ VoidFirefox™; and ⋅ VoidOpera™{16}. All features should work in these browsers but some may not work in others.

Site Index

A full site index appears here.

Error Page

Unresolved URLs are directed here: Error Page

Work In Progress


Please note that some pages on this site may be under construction and that these pages may not yet work fully as advertised. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

We welcome feedback, so please contact us with your comments on our work so far.


Javascript logo

Javascript is a technology that allows websites to display dynamic content, e.g. date-based or user-selected displays. Saint Helena Island Info makes use of Javascript to deliver useful content so please note that some features described on this page will only work if you have Javascript enabled in your browser.


This site does not use ‘cookies’. However, the third-party products (e.g. Google™) used on this site may employ cookies, outside our control.

Note that this site does use the Javascript feature localStorage to retain parameters, as set on the Configuration page accessed with the icon - see the Control Icons (top, right). Read more about localStorage.


Configuration parameters (accessed with the icon - see the Control Icons (top, right)) are stored in your browser using the Javascript facility ‘localStorage’. While this is in some ways similar to using ‘Cookies’ we do not use it to store any information about you, about your browser or about the device you use, so it does not compromise your privacy.

Site Maintenance

This site was created and is maintained for us by VoidBurgh House Software (part of VoidBurgh House Limited), to whom all technical queries should be directed.

Access from Mobile Devices

This site should be fully accessible from any mobile device with a screen size of at least 720px{14}. Around 48% of our users connect with mobile devices{2}.

Alternative URL

You can also access Saint Helena Island Info with the URL http://islandinfo.co.sh but this is not guaranteed for the future so we recommend using only sainthelenaisland.info.

Who is ‘we’?

Editor, John Turner
Editor, John Turner

Saint Helena Island Info is operated and edited by John Turner, who moved to St Helena with his family in 2005 and aims to stay here for the rest of his life. Many have contributed content to the site and we thank them all.

The site is run from the editor of this website’s family home in Jamestown, which is really not equipped to welcome unexpected callers, so if you want to meet in person please contact us to make an arrangement.

Read More

Article: The original ‘Homepage of St Helena’

John Ekwall, 1996
John Ekwall, 1996

Site banner
Think of a place far from the madding crowd, think of a place where heritage and nature are in harmony, think of a place with warm and friendly people…think no more…come and see for yourself.

In 1990 Radio St Helena did its first Radio St Helena Day short-wave broadcast to the world. And half-way across the world this broadcast reached an enthusiastic radio listener in Sweden by the name of John Ekwall. John was fascinated to hear live radio from St Helena, such a tiny speck in the vast South Atlantic Ocean. John’s fascination with St Helena had begun a while before and he had begun corresponding with the people at Radio St Helena. In 1992 he visited for the first time, and again in 1997.

In addition to his radio listening activities John was also an ‘early adopter’ of the Internet. In 1996, with websites just beginning to spring up around the world but with the Internet still not generally available on St Helena, John decided that he would create the world’s first website about St Helena. And thus, later that year, the ‘Homepage of St Helena’, hosted from Sweden, was born.

Initially much of the site was focussed on Radio St Helena and its annual short-wave transmissions but the site quickly grew into a comprehensive guide to the island; hence the popular name, the ‘Homepage of St Helena’.

John continued maintaining the site until around 2014 when other pressures got the better of him. He handed back the domain name at the beginning of 2017{15}. Later, regretting his decision, John created a new version of the site at joesweden.info/sthelena.

This is the site as it was in late 1996:

{1} Saint Helena Island Info was last updated on @@JAVASITELASTUPDATED@@.{2} Figures for August 2020.{3} Waves at the Seaside in Jamestown.{4} Note that our supplied Style Sheet (http://sainthelenaisland.info/normal.css) overrides the behaviour of some browsers which highlight visited and hovered links differently. If you want this behaviour you will need to use your own style sheet. See your browser’s instructions for how you achieve this. Also note that (except in HIGH CONTRAST mode) our underscore thus is deliberately ‘less harsh’ than the standard underscore thus, but again you can override this with your own Style Sheet.{5} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.{6} Why? Well in a vast number of movies there is a scene where someone gets into a taxi and, in response to the driver asking Where to?, says Take me anywhere but here!. This sounded like a good idea for a Saint Helena Island Info feature…{7} .{8} Please note that all ‘current’ times are calculated from your device’s clock, so are only as accurate as you make them…{9} At least, not as far as we know, but how can you be sure? There was a David Attenborough film (can’t remember which one) that showed a wombat digging a hole and another wombat standing behind getting showered with earth, but the second wombat didn’t think to move away. With a creature like that how can you be certain you haven’t harmed one? Anyway, they may be stupid but they’re definitely cute and so should not be harmed. [Image, right]


{10} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{11} PAGE-REFRESH EXPLAINED: to save Internet time most browsers maintain a ‘cache’ - a store of recently-viewed pages, images, etc. If you go back to a page you recently visited your browser will use a complicated algorithm to decide whether to use its stored page files, or get new ones from our Internet source. Obviously, if your browser decides to use its stored data, you will not see the updates we have made! On most systems you can force your browser to refresh its store from our servers by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key and pressing the key ‘F5’. Please see your browser’s instructions for more.{12} Our social media feeds are, of course, completely safe and reliable!{13} And, in any case, it took so long re-setting all the stupid ‘security’ features so that pages actually displayed it really wasn’t worth the effort.{14} In fact it seems to work with a screen as small as 550px, but we don’t guarantee that this will always be the case.{15} It is now used for a site in Swedish which is notionally about St Helena but is full of out-of-date content and bad links, so we do not list it here.{16} We used to test with Internet Explorer™ but this has now been replaced and has few users{13}. We’d be happy to test on Safari™ but we have no Apple™ devices and Apple™ does not release a Windows™ version of Safari™. We have started testing on Microsoft Edge™.{17} It was removed in December 2018 to make the site easier to use on mobile devices. Around 48% of our users connect with mobile devices{2}.

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