L'autre Sainte-Hélène - The other St. Helena

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The island of St. Helena

Longwood House

Other sites in the island

Main habitations

   - The Castle (governmental offices)
   - the Church, where Rev. Boys used to preach
   - Porteous House, where Napoleon spent his first night on the island (now destroyed)

Jamestown in St. Helena
Jamestown, viewed from Jacob's ladder 
(courtesy of "d'Hautpoul")

Military camps 

Jamestown: the town was defended by fortifications and a garrison at the Castle 
Deadwood, which is located on the same plateau as Longwood; in 1821, the 20th Foot Regiment was quartered there
   - Francis Plain, a camp situated near Plantation House; in 1821, the 66th Foot camped there
   - Lemon Valley: a camp situated in the western part of the island, near the camp used for the Boer prisonners around 1900

Artillery post, Lemon Valley, St. Helena
Old artillery post above Lemon Valley
(courtesy of  "d'Hautpoul")

Possibles landing points
    - The bay of Jamestown: it was well defended from all sides by artillery posts on top of the hills surrounding the town; the access to the town from the sea was defended by the garrison and fortifications
    - Prosperous Bay: it is there that an English fleet disembarked its invasion force in 1672 and captured the island which was under Dutch control
    - Sandy Bay: a certain number of fortifications et artillery posts had been arranged in this location

Prosperous Bay, St. Helena
Prosperous Bay, at the end of Fisher's Valley, so-called "The Valley of the Nymph"

Sandy Bay, St. Helena
Sandy Bay
(courtesy of "d'Hautpoul")

The plateau of Deadwood
On this plateau, the regiment in charge of the close surveillance of Longwood was encamped. Twice a year, it was also the place of horse racing.
At the southern end of the plateau, is the Longwood area, bounded by the ravine down to Fishers' Valley, which the French nicknamed "The Valley of the Nymph" because a beautiful young girl, the daughter of farmer called Robinson, lived there with her family.
At its northern end, the plateau is bordered by two hills, one with a sharp shape called the Flagstaff and the other, flat and elongated, called the Barn. It is a characteristic view that Napoleon could contemplate every day from his house, looking north.
In June 2010, the first wind turbines of the island of St. Helena were installed on this plateau ! Undoubtedly, the location is quite appropriate because Napoleon very much complained about the trade winds blowing steadily around his house, in the direction southeast to northwest. Hopefully a future generation will find another way to generate energy at low cost without crippling the landscape ... This will allow the removal of these machines!

The 12-mile perimeter of "freedom"
The military authorities had established the concept of a perimeter where Napoleon and his suite could move freely without being accompanied by a British officer. This perimeter was said to be of 12 miles, thus sufficient for any person to use for physical exercise, by walk or for a horse ride, without the inconveniance to feel under surveillance. Maps were made at the time (see the one below), and published in England, to show this great space of freedom. But was it so? In reality, a good part of the space within the perimeter was occupied by the military camp of Deadwood... and other parts were made of ravines unfit for walking or riding. At a time, the authorities also removed part of the perimeter by forbidding passage around Hutts' Gate, but put it back as formerly arranged after the French complained of the new restriction. In fact, the only promenade that Napoleon could afford was to go down to the "Valley of the Nymph" and pass by the house of Miss Mason, a rather eccentric land owner lady who lived nearby.

Map of St. Helena

Main sites in St. Helena

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