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Jamestown (district)

More than just the city

It is in general the unexplored that attracts us.{a}

Jamestown (city) is in Jamestown (district), but so is much more‍‍

Jamestown (district)

Apart from the City…

Jamestown (district) 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 slightly larger - some of it was taken in the 1980s to form Alarm Forest District.

Jamestown (district) is obviously dominated by Jamestown (city), but it has other interesting parts too. Most obvious is Ruperts, the ‘next valley along’ (going north), which is both a thriving community and also now our primary industrial estate. Then travelling further up the coast, at the northern end of the district is Banks Battery, formerly one of the island’s leading fortifications but now, due to neglect, sadly falling into the sea.

Apart from the above, all of which are covered by the pages linked, there is very little else of note in Jamestown (district). Despite its close proximity to the island’s ‘thriving metropolis’ the area north of Ruperts is rarely visited. It would be as if Hertfordshire were an unexplored wilderness… The reason for this may be that there are no roads into the area. The route to Banks Battery was a major route when the Battery was still in use, but by the time our modern road network was developed the Battery was long disused and there was no other reason to make up the road.

Population by district:{b}

A good coastal walk

There is good coastal walk, starting in Jamestown (city) and proceeding along the coast at Ruperts all the way up to Banks Battery. All along there are spectacular views to the north of the empty sea (only if you’re extremely lucky will you see a ship). Banks Battery is not connected to the road network, so this is the only way to reach it. If you’re feeling energetic you can continue along to the base of Flagstaff and then turn south over Deadwood Plain and back to the road network. See the article (below).

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Article: Walks of St Helena, #2 - Banks Battery

Approaching Banks Battery
Approaching Banks Battery{c}

By Ed Thorpe, published in the St Helena Herald 21st November 2008{1}

As the most significant line of fortifications on the island, Banks battery was once the first line of defence against enemy ships approaching Jamestown. Ships had to approach from the North east side and had to sail close to the guns & fortifications otherwise they would overshoot James Bay. Approaching ships would be hailed from Repulse Point, and a runner would be sent to town with the name and nationality of the ship. The lines were abandoned around 1870 when the advent of steam meant that ships didn’t need to sail so close to the shore, so they could approach out of range of the guns.

The lines have now sadly fallen into disrepair and the path is narrow in places where the retaining wall has fallen away, so this is not a walk for those afraid of heights! However it still remains one of the easiest coastal walks as the path follows much the same contour. Banks also has to offer a sheltered cove for swimming and fishing. Walkers wanting a stamp for their book will have to continue for another half an hour to Sugarloaf, as there is no postbox at Banks.


{a} en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌Arthur‌_‌David‌_‌Waley, en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌The‌_‌Tale‌_‌of‌_‌Genji{b} 2021 Census, taken 7th February 2021.{c} Ed Thorpe


{1} @@RepDis@@