“NAPOLEON’S TOMB” SHEWING “HALLEY’S MOUNT” IN DISTANCE,
FROM A SKETCH BY REV. J. C. LAMBERT, F.R.G.S.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY
HUDSON RALPH JANISCH, ESQ., C.M.G.
GOVERNOR OF SAINT HELENA,
ETC., ETC., ETC.,
THIS WORK IS, BY SPECIAL PERMISSION,
IN sending forth our modest little Venture, we have been actuated with only one idea, viz : that of furnishing a really useful Guide for the benefit of those whom chance may bring to our rocky Island. At the same time we may venture to state, without fear of contradiction, that our unpretentious book will be found of more or less value to many who have lived all their lives upon the South Atlantic Rock ; amongst these are a very large number to whom such localities as Great Stone Top, Bell Stone, Sandy Bay Barn and Beach, The Chimney, Horse's Head, Lot, The Churchyard, and others are, to this day, terrae incognitae. There are many, whose peregrinations into the Country have been strictly limited to an occasional visit to Hutts Gate, Francis Plain, and St. Paul's Church : and it is no unfrequent thing to hear some Townsman or other on visiting a, place within three or four miles of Jamestown, state with a blank stare of astonishment, mingled with pleasure and saddened by self-conviction, “What a nice place this is ; I had no idea it was so pretty : I never was here before!”
With seven-tenths of the Inhabitants so thoroughly well posted (?) anent places in the Country honestly worth seeing, can it be a matter of surprise that strangers should shrug up their shoulders and chime in with our city denizens by remarking that “there is nothing to be seen, nothing worth seeing” ?
We therefore ask our readers both residents and visitors to give our “Guide” a fair trial, by visiting those places whither we have directed them—make their own estimate of the unique and picturesque scenery—and then criticise our Book and condemn us if we have been guilty of saying more than the various scenes are justly entitled to.
ST HELENA , April 12, 1883.
IN submitting this little Pamphlet upon our Island Home, to a generous and tolerant public, the writer earnestly trusts it may be received in the spirit which prompts him to offer it, namely, a hearty desire to bring before the outer world its unrivalled climate, the natural beauties of its scenery, and its health-giving and other invigorating sanitary properties, which although hitherto touched upon by writers of far greater literary ability, the information afforded has been meagre and the more attractive portions of the so-called “Old Rock of St. Helena” glossed over as if the details were of comparatively less consequence to the denizens of other (in matter of climate) less favored lands, than to the Native Inhabitants. The writer, without presuming to claim any special merit for the Book, ventures to hope that its pages may be found readable ; and having adhered strictly to facts which have come under his own observation and corroborated by other reliable testimony, ventures to launch his little bark to be tossed upon the waves of fair criticism, trusting to the gentle trade winds of the South Atlantic to waft it far and wide to welcome havens, and be the means of inducing many of those who need a healthy resort to come and share with us the balmy breezes and all the other rural attractions of this really beautiful (though much neglected) “Isle of the Sea.”
ST HELENA , October 1, 1881.
|Page 13, line 43, for “2,500” read “2,051.”
— 15, line 18, for “2,500” read “2,225.”
— 24, line 24, for “1873” read “1875.”
— 27, line 21, for “bon” read “bonne.”
— 69, line 14, for “1,500” read “3,600.”
— 59, line 7, for Iberis read Mesembryanthemum crystallinum.
— 80, line 3, for “four” read “six.”
— 81, line 31, instead of “these are two” read “this is a.”
— 81, line 31, for “places” read “place.”
— 91, line 13, for Iberis read Mesembryanthemum crystallinum.
— 98, line 18, for “petals” read “pistils.”
A FEW NOTES ON ST. HELENA.
WHEN St. Helena was discovered by JUAN DE NOVA CASTELLA in 1502, History says it was clothed with trees to the water's edge, but at the present day (1882) not a vestige of trees can be seen near it ; and it is presumed by the writer that the total absence of trees on the hills to within 900 or 1000 yards of the sea coast is mainly due to the destruction of them by the early settlers so as to provide fuel and timber for building purposes, for in many buildings that were some 20 years ago razed to the ground there were found rafters, &c., of wood of the cabbage tree—a tree, it is believed, nowhere else to be found. History says too, that ebony trees existed in great plenty at Ebony Plain (hence its name), Deadwood, and on the side of Rupert's Valley contiguous to Deadwood ; but no doubt their total extinction from these places is to be attributed to the continually cutting them down by soldiers encamped at Deadwood for useful purposes and by the first settlers for building cottages in the vicinity wherein to reside, and it may be safely inferred that trees all along the coast met the same fate. Accordingly denudation began immediately the hills were deprived of their protectors from those heavy downpours of
NOTE.—Since the above was written I have procured a few stumps of the ebony tree from Fritus near the sea. From what I can learn several trees have lain there for years, probably uprooted a very long time since by the heavy winds characteristic of the Western side of the Island : there are still a few stumps lying there among the rocks. The fact of ebony trees still lying about the sea coast will tend to set any doubt which may have existed as to the fact of the island having been clothed with tress (probably ebony) to the water’s edge. And I have no hesitation whatever in stating, from information gathered from some of the oldest inhabitants, that ebony trees were at one time very plentiful on all of the Western hills near the sea, such as Devil’s Hole, Shepherd’s Pound, Fritus, Castle Rock, Horse Pasture, and Ebony Plain, and that being excellent firewood parties of soldiers used to be sent daily to these places to gather the ebony. I am informed that the last ebony tree seen (a young one) was growing at Fritus about 20 years ago, but when my informant went to take it up, it had been taken away by someone else ; so that I cannot say whether a green ebony tree exists in the Island now-a-days. I have also been informed by an inhabitant 88 years of age, that the cabbage trees were cut down and made into rafters for nearly all the houses in the 1sland, there being (when he was a young lad) no other wood adapted for such, and that the houses and two churches were thatched with rushes.
rain characteristic of the Eastern and Western districts of the Island ; thus the soil slowly diminished year by year until it entirely vanished from the hills where trees are said to have existed, so that nothing now remains but bare rocks.
(It is a well known fact that where trees are, the soil in which they grow is retained by their roots and protected from heavy rains by their wide spreading boughs—inasmuch as the leaves absorb a great deal of rain. Besides preventing denudation the roots of trees, by opening the earth, act as conduits for the water which collects from heavy rains and thus prevent floods ; and the absence of trees in some of the higher lands in the Island is, in my opinion, the sole cause of the tremendously heavy floods which have of late visited Friar's Valley, Sandy Bay, Rupert's, and Jamestown. It is also my firm conviction that the chief and sole cause of the denudation which has taken place since the Island was discovered, was through the total destruction of trees from off the mountain slopes.)
Therefore at the present day on approaching its anchorage, St. Helena presents a forbidding aspect ; its barren and huge precipitous rocks are extremely repulsive to the eyes of strangers, many of whom are thus deterred from landing on its peaceful shore ; and those who do land and merely walk through the lower part of Jamestown and see no signs of vegetation on the hills above it, go away from the place with the impression that it is a “barren rock whereon nothing grows,” which appellation obtains to this day both in England and elsewhere. But to those who remain in the Island for a few weeks and have ample time and opportunities to ride through the Country and view its verdant hills ; its picturesque valleys and plains where flocks and herds so peacefully graze, where the lovely canary sings its sweet carols, the pretty little averdevats flit about and chirp their melodious “chijit-a-vees,” the sparrow, cardinal and turtle dove joining in with their harmonious notes, where the cock of the harem (the beautiful pheasant) proudly struts amid the smiling fields of waving hay, where the native wire-bird trips it fearless of foes, where the rabbits gambol among the beautiful green furze covered with yellow flowers, and where many pretty cottages and stately buildings peep through the dense copses of pine, yew, willow, and other handsome trees and shrubs ; its deep ravines and magnificent dykes and huge boulders ; its many purling springs and grand waterfalls, across which oft is seen the beautiful rainbow dancing as it were with the white spray when propelled by heavy winds ; and inhales the balmy breezes which sweep across Atlantic's
Ocean, o'er its up-country tree-clad peaks and dales : the Island seems a paradise in the midst of the sea enclosed by huge basaltic walls of towering height, to hide as it were the garden of the Great Atlantic from the eyes of the tempest-tossed mariner, to whom the Island has ever proved a safe refuge in time of distress.
Jamestown, where the whole business of the Island is transacted, is a pretty place when viewed from the Sidepath and contains the Governor's residence called “The Castle,” three Churches, six Schools, and several fine buildings ; but the handsomest of these are the Counting House, Consulate, and Warehouses of Messrs. SOLOMON, MOSS, GIDEON & Co., whose Business materially aids in supporting a large portion of the Inhabitants, and who are the principal Shipping Agents and the largest stockholders and landed proprietors in the Island. There is a Government Garden above the Castle, a Botanical Garden above the Infantry Barracks, adjoining which is the pretty residence and garden of our much respected and talented Governor, HUDSON RALPH JANISCH, Esq. C.M.G., and pretty gardens at “Cambrian Cottage” and “Maldivia”, two fine residences where sojourners generally put up, they being in a very healthy situation at the head of the Town. Just above the Hospitals there is a pretty house with a small garden attached to it called “St. John's Villa,” the residence of our respected Clerk of the Peace and Registrar, J. HOMAGEE, Esq., and immediately above this and joining “Cambrian Cottage” is a fine large house which could be converted into a Sanatorium, and I think no better site offers in Jamestown, it being eligibly situated and has a good garden attached to it. There is also a fine residence called “Chubb's Spring,” situated about 200 yards above “Maldivia,” which previous to the destructive flood of 1878 had a very good garden where grapes grew profusely ; but at the present day the best part of it is literally covered with stones, and a large stream of water running over it. Up to the time of the flood this garden was enclosed by a high wall, but is now level to the ground. This may be said to be the first and last house in the Jamestown district proper and is a mile distant from the Castle. It is very pleasant in the cooler months of the year to live in Jamestown and most of the elite of the Island dwell there ; but the Country is decidedly more healthy and sojourners generally prefer to reside there.
There are in Jamestown 29 shops, most of which are of fair size, and very respectable, in fact a credit to the place. In the Country there are only five, at Half-tree-hollow, Half
Way House, Red Hill, Sandy Bay, and Hutts Gate, at which latter place are comfortable apartments for the accommodation of sojourners.
“The Briars” may be considered as midcountry, being 1¼ miles from Jamestown. This fine place, the residence and property of the Hon’ble G. Moss, is famed in History as the first dwelling place of the Great NAPOLEON ; its surroundings are very picturesque, and is in a most pleasant and healthy situation, over which the balmy breezes waft sweet odours from Diana’s lofty Peak. It contains many valuable and pretty trees, among which is the beautiful black olive, which seems peculiarly adapted to this place, as olive trees grow all around it. Here one may see the stately peacock and hear the croaking frog, both of which have been lately imported. Immediately below is the Briars Village containing a few snug buildings and cottages ; it is also pleasantly situated and commands a full view of the Town and anchorage. A large portion of the locality is covered with aloe and briers (prickly pear, &c.), hence the appellation “Briars.” ‘Tis here the eyes of strangers are suddenly assailed by the intense scarlet flowers of the wild geranium, which grows in luxuriant profusion between the prickly pear, among the rocks and on the hillsides, and presents to the eye a field of scarlet flowers amid the brown rocks, the pale green leaves of the aloe and the yellow flowers of the dark green cotton, such as is not to be seen in any other part of the Island. Many persons prefer residing in this healthy spot to either Town or Country. The soil about bore is a stiff clay, in which the cotton (gossypium arboreum) seems to delight, and gives a fair yield of wool, valued at from 9d. to 10d. per lb.
Rupert’s Valley, situate to the East of Jamestown, from which it is only separated by an immense hill, is a pleasant healthy place to dwell in, though its appearance from the road leading from the Sidepath is like a dreary wilderness—but it contains in the lower part of it some fine buildings and was at one time the depot for Africans from captured slavers, hundreds of whose graves stud the upper portion of the valley. Here was once H. M. Gaol, and a more fitting spot could not have been selected, but it was destroyed by fire in 1867, and all that now remains to mark the spot whereon it stood are four bare walls ; but there is a small garden attached to it. This valley could be made a splendid orchard, as the soil is well adapted for fruit trees, especially the orange, lemon, and shaddock, several of which grow in the lower part (Hay-town) and the fruit is very fine.
Rupert’s once bristled with cannon, but they have now been withdrawn and the Lines left pretty much to themselves, though kept in repair. Rupert’s Bay is a much finer one than that of Jamestown, and is a safe anchorage, and not nearly so deep water. To the East of and above Rupert’s is Deadwood, the celebrated race course, on which there are no buildings, but is partly under cultivation, and to the N. E. are Banks’ Battery, Sugar Loaf Hill and the Barn, from which can be seen Ladder Hill, Egg Island and South West Point.
Ladder Hill, situated 600 feet above and about a mile's walk from the Town, is the principal fort in the Island, as it commands the whole of the approaches to the anchorage. This fort could hold about 200 soldiers, for whom there is ample accommodation, and is a very healthy place. Here is the only Signal Station which communicates direct with Shipping. On the side of this hill a Ladder containing 700 steps and about 300 yards long was erected for the purpose of expediting the dispatch of troops, &c., to and from Town in case of emergency ; it can be scaled in five minutes and descended in two. This Ladder has now come into general use by the Inhabitants.
Above Ladder Hill is Half-tree-Hollow, so called from the number of stumps of trees which were to be seen in the locality up to 80 or 90 years ago ; but at the present day the particular spot is entirely denuded of trees, although many firs still exist at no great distance. It is a healthy place and although as hot as Jamestown in the day it is cooler in the early morn and at night, and many persons, chiefly the laboring class, prefer residing there. It is about a mile and a half from Jamestown. Half-tree-Hollow is literally studded with cottages. Here the pretty little ice plant grows luxuriantly and presents a pleasing sight on a sunny day, the numerous little globules of water on the green leaves glistening like quicksilver, which they very much resemble. In regard to Half-tree-Hollow the Scraps from the Records says :—
“HALF-TREE-HOLLOW—called in the Records ‘Half-way Tree’ and first mentioned 14th December 1696, when the body of a suicide Mary TEWSDALE was ordered to be buried at Half-way Tree with a stake through her body and a heap of stones cast upon her as a monument. On 20th December 1711, it is Ordered that ‘Half-way-Tree Common, about 3 miles in circumference, be reserved for the Company's cattle, hogs, and goats, there being no plantations or houses between the Great Plantation and the Fort Valley.’
“The solitary tree which gave name to this piece of waste land
must have been like the last Rose of Summer, for Governor BEATSON records on 21st September 1810, with some appearance of faith in the tradition, ‘That within the last 50 years many Gumwood trees grew on the hills between Rupert’s and Deadwood and there is a tradition that a thick wood occupied Half-Tree-hollow and that some persons who had advanced therein lost their way and perished.’ ! ! ! We have also heard a very old inhabitant say that this forest used to be filled with Monkies who pelted stones at the people who passed by. Another old inhabitant suggested that the tradition was very credible, but that the Monkies had no tails.”
The Country is a lovely, healthy place, and the approaches to it are commanded by High Knoll Fort, which will ere long be made impregnable, a strong Citadel being under construction. There are many excellent buildings here, but the finest is Plantation ; there is a neat Cathedral (“Saint Paul’s”) in the early Gothic style immediately above Plantation, and a Baptist Chapel to the East of it called “Knollcombe,” also a pretty little Church (“St. Matthew’s”) in the East close to Hutt’s Gate, and a Baptist Chapel in Sandy Bay (South), where there are also some fine residences ; in fact from East to West and South are some pretty and valuable estates, and the most magnificent scenery, the grandest of which is that viewed from the Ridges of Sandy Bay.
A walk through the Country on a moonlight night is extremely delightful, the scenery appearing more majestic and the trees seeming as if they were huge candelabras in the light of the moon, “whose silvery light tips the fruit tree tops.” The exquisitely delightful scent of the snowy white bell-shaped flowers of the moon plant ; the sweet smelling odours of the many flowers intermingled with the fragrance of the ripening hay, greet the grateful traveller as he wends his way along the Country roads. Aye, too, on a clear starlight night a ramble here is indeed pleasant, the cool bracing breezes, extremely welcome after a warm day, wafting delicious odours to one’s olfactory organs ; the deafening but melodious chansons of thousands of crickets and beetles which infest the thickets falling pleasantly on one’s ears ; but the otherwise perfect stillness which reigns here and there, and the sombre hue of the hills and surroundings, strike the traveller with awe and cause him to gaze in wonderment.
LONGWOOD.—In regard to this place I cannot do better than give the subjoined extract from the Scraps from the Records, a pamphlet printed at the Government Printing Office and edited by His Excellency H. R. JANISCH, C.M.G.,
from whose pen I should like to see a few more pages regarding events in the earlier history of this interesting Island.
“This property and Deadwood were formerly always spoken of as one property, called ‘The Great Wood.’ The first mention of it is on 11th August 1678—that there were herds of wild Swine in the Great Wood, and it was ordered that no person should presume to kill any unmarked Swine. On the 16th October 1716, a ground plan of the Wood is inserted in the Records, and it is said ‘the Great Wood is in a flourishing condition full of young trees but miserably lessened and destroyed within our memories, and is not near the circuit and length it was, but we believe it does not contain less now than 1500 acres of Fine Wood land, and good ground, but no springs of water but what is brackish. If wells could be sunk we should think it the most pleasant and healthiest part of the Island.’ It is also added that ‘the Hutts was called the Woods End,—but the Wood is so destroyed that the beginning of the Great Wood is now a whole mile beyond that place.’ The destruction of the wood though often regretted, seemed to progress, until a large portion of the Wood received the name which it now retains of ‘The Dead Wood.’ It was treated as a common, the planters pastured their cattle there and obtained from it their chief supply of fuel.
On 20th July 1789, Governor BROOK proposed to carry water to Longwood in an open drain,—but it was not until 25th November 1815, that Governor WILKS names it as one of his improvements, that 3226 yards of drain and lead pipe had been laid from Wells to Longwood at a cost of £1231. Longwood had then become the residence of NAPOLEON and his staff. At the close of last century, the forest at both Deadwood and Longwood had disappeared, but on 17th August 1795 it is stated that 317,000 young gumwood trees had been planted at Longwood. Up to 1720 the cost to the Company of fencing this property was £5400, and in 1778 a further sum of £5000 was estimated as the cost of renewing the fence of Longwood with a stone wall of three miles in circumference. Until the arrival of NAPOLEON it was used as an official residence for the Lieutenant Governor. The Grounds were used as a Company’s farm, and on 5th June 1823 Governor WALKER minutes ‘that the Farm buildings at Longwood are in a ruinous condition, and their reconstruction would be attended with great expense,’—he proposed therefore to appropriate ‘the old dwelling House at Longwood as Farm Offices as they could not be consigned to a more useful or a more necessary purpose.’ This was a very utilitarian view, and it did not seem to occur to any one then, that it would be a desecration to turn the room in which NAPOLEON died into a threshing barn, and his bedroom into a horse stable.
In 1857, the enclosure called the ‘Old House,’ was conveyed by Her Majesty’s Government to NAPOLEON III, and it is now
restored so as to resemble as nearly as possible the building as it stood in 1815-21.”
The House in which NAPOLEON lived and died has become as famous in history as the Tomb of MAHOMAT at Mecca, thousands of pilgrims of all Nations having paid—and no doubt will continue to pay—visits to Longwood to see the place where the mighty man spoke his last words Tete d’Armee (thus shewing that in the throes of death his mind was occupied with military tactics.) The New House which was built for the Emperor to dwell in, but not completed at the time of his death, is situated a few yards below the old House : it is more commodious and in a more sheltered spot than the latter. Since the transfer of this property to, and its restoration by the late Emperor NAPOLEON III, the New House has been used as a residence by the French Officers in charge of the Tomb and Old House. To the left of this is another house, formerly occupied by General BERTRAND, one of NAPOLEONS’s companions in exile : this belongs to the farm and is the residence of the lessee—Mr. T. DEASON—who has done much to make the fields of this large estate valuable grain and potato grounds. A walk through them would repay the tourist ; for besides viewing the several crops and farm stock and the majestic “Barn,” one has the opportunity of beholding good scenery, which one would not do were one merely to visit the Old House and return to Town. It has been stated that the scenery of Longwood and its environs is the most unattractive in the Island ; and as nine-tenths of those who land on St. Helena's shores do so for the purpose of visiting the Tomb and Old House, and having seen them and the varied scenery which crops up at every turn of the road on the journey thither, they cannot form a correct idea of the magnificent sights to be obtained in the Southern, Western and South-Western districts of the Island.
‘It is an incontrovertible fact that anyone taking the trouble to traverse the samphire-covered plains which extend from the confines of the Eastern boundary of the Longwood farm grounds to the heights overlooking Prosperous Bay, such sights will be disclosed as rarely fall to the lot of the ordinary sight seer. First there is the finest headland in the world called the “Barn,” a stupendous mass of volcanic debris and containing numerous well-marked dykes, rising to a height of 2500 feet and presenting fully half its mass to the sea in almost unbroken precipices of 200 to 800 feet. Its bold outline, and solemn form—its pearly grey sides—if seen when lit up by the early morning sun, then bathing
“LONGWOOD OLD HOUSE,”
FROM A PHOTOGRAPH.
it in all the changing hues of the rainbow—and its picturesque situation, present a tout ensemble seldom to be met with. Then there is the lesser celebrity of this neighborhood called “Turk’s Cap,” a curiously striated, dome-shaped isolated mass of rock rising some 750 feet above the sea. To climb down to this curious formation demands considerable “nerve.” No doubt the ordinary visitor will content himself with the knowledge that it can be “scaled,” and pass on to the equally interesting monolith near Gregory’s Battery—or to the highly romantic Waterfall a few yards to the North—or to the historical “Hold fast Tom”—or down the seemingly interminable declivity to Prosperous Bay. But in whichever direction the route is to be, it will be at once conceded that Longwood (within a mile) possesses features which have hitherto been strangely ignored—probably through the limited time in which most visitors are allowed to “do” St. Helena. At the same time we would earnestly recommend that, time permitting, the visitor go and see these grand sights for himself and suspend passing judgment until they have been brought under personal observation. At the same time pledging our word that all these wondrous examples of Nature’s handiwork will furnish a panorama long to be stored in the memory for future pleasing reference.’
St. Helena offers a fine field for the Artist—here he would find enough to keep him hard at work for a twelvemonth : sketching the many beautiful hills and dales, plains and vales, the constantly recurring dykes and peaks, the hill shaped like a lion crouching, and the dyke at its side resembling very much the back of a cathedral chair, the Friar, the Chimney, Lot, Lot’s Wife, the Asses Ears, &c., &c., and painting them as near like Nature as possible. It is beyond the powers of my pen to describe the grandeur of the scenery of this healthy Rock of the Deep. The pencil of the skilful Artist alone could do justice where mere words fail to convey the beauties of Nature.
The chief beauty of St. Helena is its high conical peaks, most of which are covered with luxuriant indigenous vegetation, including the noble tree-fern ; its beautiful mountain slopes ; its huge cliffs ; its many dykes and immense boulders of the most fantastic shapes ; its undulating plains and deep valleys where flocks and herds are to be seen browsing, while the little lambkins skip about the hills, and the calves and colts their frolics among the bushes play, unscared by beasts of prey. Some of the plains are covered with a rich carpet of hay and other grasses, and several of the valleys
are filled with vegetables, and fruit and forest trees of all kinds ; while some of them are as desolate and barren as wildernesses, though picturesque. To form a correct idea of the beauty of the Island a stranger must go through it ; but should time not permit of his doing so and he has a few hours to spare after visiting Longwood he would be amply rewarded for any extra exertion by going to Sandy Bay Ridge, where perhaps he would be struck with admiration mingled with awe, and surprise heightened by pleasure, on beholding the most magnificent scenery his eyes may have ever fallen upon—the most chaotic yet the most sublime in the Island. ‘Tis the vast volcanic amphitheatre called Sandy Bay, where fine residences are also to be seen ensconced with trees. This region is as it were shut out from the other parts of the island, an immense circular ridge enclosing it, and the traveller has no idea that such a place exists until he suddenly comes in full view of it from the Ridge gate, which is 2500 feet above it ; hence the surprise and wonderment aroused in the beholder.
A large quantity of white sand exists in the lower part of the valley, but some distance from the sea, proving to my mind that at a very remote epoch this part of the Island was submerged. I have seen white sand (a large quantity of it) at the foot of Lot’s Wife, some 1500 feet above the sea and about 200 or 300 yards from it. There is also a lime quarry to the East of the beach. The Bay itself is small and filled with sand, hence, I presume, the appellation “Sandy Bay”. It is not always safe to land here on account of the heavy seas which ever and anon roll into the beach ; yet a couple of boats are moored there nearly all the year through, and at times the Bay fishermen are to be seen plying between the shoals in search of fish, of which there is abundance. There is a fort near the sea which commands the entrance to the Bay, but a woman only is now stationed there to look after it. The distance from the landing place in Town to this fort is said to be 9½ miles, but if one has to judge of the distance by the circuitous and tortuous road leading from the former to the latter, the conclusion arrived at would be 12½ miles good. On the West of this fort, from which a good road leads to them, are the magnificent ponds called “Lot's Wife Ponds,” and the “Chimney,” a large dyke resembling an old-fashioned chimney—similar to the chimneys to be seen here and there affixed to many of the old country dwellings—hence its name. The Ponds are really wonderful and of great extent, and are so formed by Nature as to give to the beholder an idea that they were
cut out—judging from the wall-like embankments which act as breakwaters to the turbulent seas without. The Author had the opportunity of seeing these Ponds in 1864, having gone there on a fishing excursion, but the sea being so rough he could not fish from one of these naturally formed walls or embankments ; therefore he had an opportunity of observing that these Ponds were replenished from the raging main. They are indeed worth a visit, and the Photographers of the Island would do well to take views of the Ponds and the Chimney which stands near them. At and for some hundred yards from the fort everything seems like a wilderness, black and naked rocks staring one in the face ; while in the centre and on the upper sides of the valley are to be seen houses, gardens, and flocks and herds, resembling oases in the desert. On the West end of the Bay is a projecting rock which is called the “Horse's Head,” from its similarity to the head of a horse.
The valley is well watered, a large stream, made up from many little rivulets which meander from Diana's and other Peaks and sides and head of the valley, and called the Run, runs through it and empties itself into the sea. Sandy Bay is very healthy, a cool sea breeze constantly blowing over it, and though it is rather warmer there during the influence of the sun's rays, yet it is delightfully cool at night. Upwards of 200 persons reside in the Bay and strange to say that nearly all of them are relatives—a sort of happy family. Coffee, cotton, elder, plantain, and other fruit and forest trees, all thrive well here.
The Inhabitants, who are of European, Asiatic and African origin, and whose only language is English, are peaceable and kind, and are as independent as their white brethren, with whom they intermarry (hence the many pretty-coloured girls and boys which are to be met with in one's travels through the Island) ; many of them are owners of plots of ground, acres of arable land, cottages, sheep, goats, horses, cattle, &c. Some are very poor, but not in that state of poverty in which many are to be found in England and other lands, and no one starves here. This fact is to be attributed to a moderate climate and to the calm sea surrounding the shores which abound with fish of almost all kinds and which can be caught by a little child with even a pin hook and thread line, and many poor females as well as males, when work is scarce, avail themselves of this pleasant recreation, sometimes catching sufficient fish to enable them to make a few shillings wherewith to purchase rice, which with fish form the staple articles of food—in fact many would not
make a meal or feel satisfied without rice, and it may be safely asserted that nine-tenths of the Inhabitants prefer fish and rice to any other food. They are, as a rule, very intelligent, and seem peculiarly gifted with a good ear for music, and it is by no means an uncommon thing to see little urchins beating tin kettles or playing tin flutes about our streets. Let but a song be sung or a tune played, they will have them off by heart in a very short time, and it is indeed pleasant to hear the boys singing at night. They are also adepts at cricket and very fond of sports of every description. They are of good physique, healthy, muscular, and courageous.
The chief products of St. Helena are Vegetables—such as cabbages, which are generally very fine, averaging from 6lbs. to 30lbs. (I have known a Cape drumhead cabbage to weigh over 40lbs.), carrots, cauliflowers, knolcoles, turnips, Irish potatoes (of which there are about 150 tons grown annually, the average yield at Longwood Farm alone per year being about 50 tons—I have seen exceedingly fine potatoes grown by the late Mr. STROUD at Horse Ridge, 3 of them weighing over 7 lbs., and the largest 3¾lbs.), Spanish or sweet potatoes, and pumpkins, hundreds of which grow in almost every part of the Island. (The largest pumpkin I have seen weighed 80lbs., but I am credibly informed that one weighed 120lbs.!) There are also lettuces, radishes, onions, eschalots, beans, peas, cucumbers, parsnips, beetroots ; in fact almost all kinds of vegetables and herbs. Lettuces and radishes are mostly grown in the gardens at the upper part of the Town and are always to be had and ever in demand. Most of these vegetables are very cheap and seldom fluctuate in price, but Irish potatoes vary from 8s. to 30s. per bag. Chilies are plentiful and cheap and are greatly used by the Inhabitants, who seem particularly fond of pungent food.
Yam, an excellent esculent, was very many years ago extensively cultivated (mostly in Sandy Bay) and used by the Inhabitants ; and it is presumed by the writer that the appellation “Yammer” to the Islanders in the early days was given on account of their fondness and continual use of the yam in preference to other vegetables ; but at the present day it is only grown in small quantities. Yam (cooked) fetches from 1d. to 4d. each and weighs from 1lb. to 6lbs.
Of fruit there are loquats, peaches, guavas, figs, pears, plantains, bananas, pomegranates, water lemons (or granadillas as called here), blackberries, bilberries, raspberries,
strawberries, mulberries, red plums, Bussorah dates, Kaffir dates, grapes, (very scarce now-a-days), common apples, Kei apples, papau apples, pine apples, rose apples, cherimoyas (or custard apples), quinces, mangoes, oranges (Seville, sweet and Mandarin), limes, lemons, shaddocks (or pomelos), cocoa nuts, and a few others. The first twelve of these are to be had in abundance in their seasons and are generally very cheap ; but the latter nineteen are by no means plentiful or reasonable.
Prickly Pear (opuntia cochinillifera)—the large Cactus, so called English prickly pear—is a luscious fruit about 3 inches long and is eaten with avidity by the poorer classes, who are to be seen in dozens gathering the fruit when in season off the bushes on our rugged hillsides for sale. Sheep and goats seem very fond of the young sprouts and are frequently to be seen browsing on them. The leaves are also good food for pigs, and are sometimes used as size for whitewash. The prickly pear is easily propagated, the tiniest bit of leaf will take root almost anywhere. The round red prickly pear (opuntia vulgaris) is also eaten, but is not so good as the white. A very strong spirit has been distilled from this wild plant and has the taste of whiskey.
Fowls and ducks are plentiful and reasonable—in fact most of the products of the Island are reasonable—and considering the cost of freight and other contingencies consequent on imported articles provisions are not dear. The only article that may be considered dear, and scarce in the Island, is fresh meat ; but where there is an abundance of fish which is very cheap and which can be cooked in various ways, and where vegetables and poultry of all descriptions can be raised by any one who will take the trouble to do so, fresh meat can be dispensed with for six days of the week, or for a whole month for that matter. Milk is plentiful and sells at from 3d. to 6d. per quart, and fresh butter from 2s. 4d. to 2s. 6d. per lb.
The number of Animals in the Island, according to the printed Returns for April 1881, is as follows:—Horses, 202 ; Horned Cattle, 1444 ; Sheep, 4145 ; Goats, 1491 ; Swine, 325 ; Asses, 922.
New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) grows luxuriantly in almost all parts of the Island. Ten years ago a Company called the Foreign Fibre Company, was formed for the purpose of preparing the fibre of this useful plant : Machines were sent from England, a Factory established on the Jamestown Lines for that purpose and the Company purchased in the Island a fine large estate of 156 acres
called “Woody Ridge,” under 60 acres of Flax and 15 acres of Aloe, for Ł1200 sterling. But after five years incessant work the Company ceased its operations ; thus many men and boys were thrown out of employment. Mr. W. ERRIDGE (of the Firm of W. ERRIDGE, & Co. of this Island) then hired the Factory and commenced operations again, but after twelve months he too closed the Works, alleging as a reason for so doing that preparing the fibre did not pay. So at the present day the Foreign Fibre Company’s Works are closed, which is a great pity, as there are thousands of tons of Flax encumbering several plantations. Besides an abundance of Flax there is also a great quantity of Aloe (Fourcroya gigantea) growing all over the Island—the most of it in a wild state among the rocks and ledges. This I am informed is more easily prepared than the Flax and fetches Ł25 per ton in the English market. Here is a fine field for Capitalists if they would but embark in the enterprise. Both Flax and Aloe are very cheap in their raw state, and if the seat of operations be made in the Country instead of in Town, I fail to see the slightest reason why the speculation could not be made a paying one.
Coffee, pronounced by Parisians to be equal if not superior to the best Mocha and which gained the prize medal in the Great Exhibition of 1851, flourishes here and commands 1s. 6d. per lb. in the market ; but there is not much more than a ton or two grown annually. The principal Estates being—Terrace Knoll and Oaklands in the Western—Prospect and Woodlands in the Central—and Bamboo Grove in the Southern Divisions of the Island. Thus proving beyond any question the adaptability of both soil and climate for the production of this highly valuable aromatic shrub. Doubtless many tons could be grown, and the reason why Coffee is not cultivated on a much larger scale by landowners is, I presume, through want of means. There is therefore wealth in these three commodities, but none but persevering men possessing a small capital can be partakers of that wealth ; then let me invite such to come to St. Helena, where they will find plenty of room and materials for reaping a good harvest.
Barley and oats are cultivated in the Island, and some 22 years ago wheat was grown at Longwood Farm and manufactured into flour in Jamestown, and the flour was very good ; but for some reasons, unknown to me, this laudable enterprise was abandoned.
Possessing a safe harbor, the best water in the world, excellent vegetables and every facility for the dispatch of
calling ships, besides being a Free Port, St. Helena is unrivalled, and only needs a Dock to enable it to meet all the requirements of shipping ; and one fails to conceive any reason, beyond the necessary capital, why a Floating Dock should not be constructed either in Rupert’s or Jamestown Bay. On calling ships most of the Inhabitants chiefly depend for a livelihood, and it may be a source of much gratification to Shipowners to know that in this respect they are the supporters of many in this little Island ; for when shipping is dull the whole trade of the Island is at a standstill. It must be also a great benefit to them that, by means of St. Helena, they often hear of their ships either calling or passing, as the Island is within 15 days of England by steam and 10 days by wire via Madeira, and Messrs SOLOMON, MOSS, GIDEON & Co. (Lloyds Agents) never fail to give all information concerning ships in their Shipping Lists, forwarded extensively every mail. St. Helena has been well called “The Inn of the Ocean”, for did it not exist many unfortunate mariners would have found a watery grave and ships never again seen or heard of. The number of ships which called here for supplies, water, medical attendance, &c., in 1845 was 1458, but since the imposition of the penny per ton tax (which was removed in March last), and the opening of the Suez Canal, the number has dwindled down to 523, and 466 vessels signalled and passed during the year 1881 ; but it is very probable quite as many, if indeed not more, passed during the night or beyond signalling distance in daylight. Many of the vessels that pass the Island come near the anchorage—as if to say “How do you do, good bye,”—and square away. A good number evidently pass during the night, as oft times several are sighted towards evening, but in the morning they have disappeared from view—as many as 12 being sighted off Longwood in the afternoon, of which none were visible at daybreak. It is estimated that upwards of 700 ships pass St. Helena annually ; but probably they wanted naught else but to verify their chronometers and so bid adieu to this Haven of Refuge.
Viewed as an Outpost, St. Helena is one of the most important of England’s possessions, as it is situated in the track of homeward bound vessels from the East ; yet the Island is badly treated—in fact almost neglected—by England. A small Island with but slight resources, it has to support its own officials, whilst that miserable cinder Ascension is pampered up as a pet child by a fond parent. Finding Ascension to be of no other use it was converted
into a Naval Depot, which costs England a very large sum annually : whereas St. Helena could be utilized for the same purpose to greater advantage in pecuniary, sanatory, and Naval and Military points of view ; for in time of war guard ships stationed here and a reserve force of sailors and marines located in Rupert’s Valley would be of great service in protecting our Mercantile Marine, which otherwise would be at the mercy of a belligerent ; and this fact ought not to be lost sight of. It is true there are a battery of Artillery, a company of Infantry, and a few Royal Engineers stationed here—in all about 200 men ; but what could these do in protecting our ships? Why there are not sufficient men here to man half the batteries in case of a bombardment ! It is the sincere wish of many that England will exert herself in rendering assistance to St. Helena, and that speedily, by making it a Naval as well as a Military Station and giving employment to its Inhabitants by repairing and reconstructing many of the batteries around the Island, and also by raising a Militia, to be composed of native-born Inhabitants, commanded by British Officers, and supported by the British Government. I fear my beloved Country will only realize the value and importance of this Natural Fortress of the Great Atlantic when some other nation has seized it out of her grasp.
From the time (1836) the Island was transferred to the Crown up to 1872, its affairs have been administered by (with a few exceptions) old Major Generals, worn out Colonels, and pensioned Admirals, whom the British Government delighted to honour, and the Island had to pay £2,000 a year, besides £200 allowances, and a splendid mansion to reside in ! They knew nothing of, or were wholly indifferent to, the requirements of the place and its Inhabitants ; therefore did naught but receive their salaries and expend the Revenue on what they deemed most advisable ; while the Inhabitants themselves had no voice in the management of their internal affairs. And what good has followed to the Island by their administration ? In 1871 it found itself burdened with a heavy debt, at a time too when it was verging on a state of bankruptcy ! A happy idea suggested itself to the Home Government : they sent out a pensioned Admiral to cut down the expenses, and what did he do? While lessening the expenditure by pensioning young and old servants he caused a great loss to the Island : e.g.—nearly the whole of these pensioners, finding their pensions insufficient to keep them in St. Helena, left its shores, therefore receiving and spending their allowances
(about £1500) in other lands, thus draining the resources of the Island and rendering it poor indeed. And this is one of the chief reasons why the Inhabitants are now in such a depressed condition. By having to pay £1500 out of the colony and getting no return for it, besides paying off the heavy debt, many necessary works are unavoidably neglected and the labouring classes consequently without employment. Our present Governor is the right man in the right place ; he knows the requirements of his native home, but he has not the funds at his disposal to meet those requirements. He himself is the worst, and most inadequately, paid Governor in the employ of Great Britain. He is besides Administrator of the Island, a Judge of the Supreme Court, yet he receives as salary for such £900 a year and provides a residence for himself ! I trust he will long continue to be our Governor, and it is the opinion of many that he deserves a larger salary for his labours.
Considering the immense service rendered by St. Helena to not only England but Europe, in keeping in safe custody the Great Conqueror, it is a wonder she is not idolized ! What might have been the fate of Empires had England not possessed such a blessed Island ? Yet all affect to look clown on it and apply every foul epithet to it now-a-days.
To St. Helena the whole civilized world owes a great debt, it being the only place on earth which kept secure him who caused Europe to tremble and Kings to quake. St. Helena was instrumental too in saving an immense amount of blood and treasure and giving peace to those who now treat her as if she had been a curse instead of being a great blessing. Let England call to mind St. Helena in the time of the Captivity of NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, when every anxious heart was turned towards her sea-girt shores and when every nook and corner into which a boat could thrust its bow were carefully watched and guarded, and I think she will find that her treatment of the Island since the death of the Great Monarch has not been such as might have been expected. What Gibraltar is to the Mediterranean, St. Helena is to the South Atlantic Ocean ; she is the key to it, and therefore should be made impregnable. Much more could be said on the subject, but I must leave it to abler heads than mine.
As a Health Resort, St. Helena stands preeminent. Here the invalid will find a balm for his disease, peace and comfort, and a climate unequalled in any part of the Globe. Ye who are seeking foreign climes to regain health and strength to
your shattered frames, St. Helena offers you a home : come then and give it a trial ; you will never regret living in it.
There is no place in the world the size of St. Helena and with the same number of inhabitants that can boast of so many Societies as are now in good working order in the Island, and this speaks well for the Inhabitants, proving them to be a provident people. The first Society, established in 1838, is the Mechanics’ and Friendly Benefit, which provides its members with relief in sickness, medical attendance, medicines, and a burial allowance for both members and their wives, and an annuity to the widows and orphans of deceased members. This Society now numbers 198 and its capital amounts to £1210. The next oldest is the Poor Society established in 1847, with a capital of upwards of £3000, and numbers 1175 members. Its objects are to provide a burial allowance and slight relief to sick and infirm members, of whom at the present time there are 400. It is a very popular Society among the poorer Inhabitants. Then come the Foresters, which number 140 ; its objects are the same as those of the Mechanics’, but the rate of sick pay and burial allowance is higher. This Society was established in 1871 by Dispensation from the High Court at York, and is popular. Its capital is upwards of £600. The most popular of all among the laboring classes is the Working-men's Christian Association, which provides for its members in the same manner as the Mechanics and Foresters, except that widows and orphans of members are not relieved. The subscription is lower as also the rate of sick pay. The meetings are held every Thursday and opened with a short scriptural address and prayer. It was founded in 1873 and its capital at the present time is £600, number of members 600. There is also an African Benefit Society, established in 1865, and although it only numbers 56 members, yet it has worked satisfactorily and amassed a capital of upwards of £250. Its objects are the same as the Working-men's Christian Association. The last benefit and much needed Society is the Church Provident Society for Women founded in 1876, and notwithstanding the heavy drains on its funds for sick relief and burial allowances, and certain other drawbacks, has now a capital of £110. This speaks well for the management of so young a Society. Number of Members 200.
I must not forget to mention the Social Society, which was established in 1845 for the purpose of providing an annuity for the widows and orphans of deceased members and a burial allowance ; but as no members have joined it
for some years past and the old members dying off it is gradually sinking and ere long will become, like the old Island Society, a thing of the past.
Besides the above Societies there are three Masonic Lodges : the St. Helena, No. 488, established in 1846, Old Rock No. 912, established 1862, and St. John's Royal Arch Chapter, No. 488, established 1878. The St. Helena Lodge, and the Mechanics and Friendly Benefit Society, are the only two Institutions in the Island that can boast of having their own Lodge and Hall, both of which are good commodious buildings.
There are also two Good Templars Lodges—the Hope of St. Helena and the Flower of St. Helena ; the former was established in 1873, is the most popular and has effected much good in reclaiming the inebriate, and numbers at the present day 80 members, mostly Inhabitants. The latter is a younger Lodge, yet is doing a good work, most of its members being military men. There has also been formed during the present year a Temperance Society for Military and Naval men. The promoter of this Society is the much respected D. A. C. G. St. QUINTIN, whose example is well worthy of imitation.
The above Societies have saved an immense amount of suffering as well as a large sum of money to the Ratepayers, for did they not exist the poors’ rate instead of being 26/ in the £100 as now, would be something like 60/! The anniversary days of these Societies are so to speak gala days and persons from all parts of the Island flock to Town to witness the processions. Small parties are got up for the evening and St. Helena for 24 hours at least is gay with mirth and glee.
The oldest philanthropic Institution in the Island is the Benevolent Society, founded by Col. MARK WILKS in 1814. It has done, and is doing, a great work in educating the rising generation. It is supported by voluntary contributions, which I regret to state have fallen off considerably during the past decade. This Institution now supports two (it formerly supported five) Schools, one in Jamestown and one in Sandy Bay, which are kept by Island born Master and Mistresses. The Town Day School is a very commodious building and upwards of 80 scholars attend it daily. The Sandy Bay School has an average attendance of 60 scholars ; total number on the Schools’ books 160. A good common education is imparted to the children, and the girls are instructed in Needlework. There are many young men and females who owe their present status in society to the
efforts of this noble Institution, to which they ought to look with pride and help to support ; but like all ungrateful children, they have forgotten the friend that fitted them for positions of trust in the world. All who come to these shores would do well to throw in their mites to help this Institution to carry on its noble work of educating children which would otherwise be running about our streets and thus allowed to grow up in ignorance and vice. The worthy Honorary Secretary and Treasurer—Rev. H. WHITEHEAD—I am sure would be glad to receive subscriptions, however small, and make due acknowledgment of the same. I must here add that this gentleman has worked hard and unostentatiously for the Benevolent Society during the time (12 years) he has held the offices of Superintendent of its Schools, Secretary and Treasurer, and added materially to the efficiency of the Teachers. It is to be hoped this valuable Institution will never fail, through lack of support, to continue in its laudable efforts. I would therefore commend it to all—strangers as well as Islanders—as highly deserving of their support and encouragement.
Besides the Benevolent Society's there are four Government Schools, viz :—the Head School, where the classics are taught (No. of scholars 16) ; Under School (50 scholars) ; Girls’ Schools (60 scholars) ; Country School (110 scholars) ; and the Ragged School (30 scholars) ; also three Hussey Charity Schools, viz :—Town (day and evening) School (114 scholars) ; Half-Tree-Hollow (50 scholars), and Hutt’s Gate (35 scholars). The whole of the above, with the exception of the Head and Girls' Schools, are presided over by native-born Teachers, who bring on the children entrusted to their care in a very satisfactory manner. The Hussey Schools educate the colored children, principally African and of African origin. Besides receiving a good common education the lads are also instructed in Carpentry and Tailoring by efficient tradesmen, and have proved themselves to be worthy of the trouble taken with them, and the girls in Needlework. The Baptists possess a large school-room in the Town, but as there is no Teacher available at the present day, it is only used on the Sabbath and for special meetings of the Working-men's Christian Association.
Of other Institutions in the Island there is but one more to mention, that is the Public Library, which was instituted in 1813, and is open alike to strangers and residents. The fee for annual subscribers is 15/, quarterly subscription 5/, monthly do. 2/. Number of volumes in the Library 3,183.
There are at the present day three Medical Men on the Island, two of whom are military ; but I may add that there is another, for though he is not actually present his Medicines are, and in many cases more thought of than a Physician. Persons of all ranks use his simple remedies and rarely fail to be benefitted thereby. Hence the name of HOLLOWAY is verily a household word.*
The White Ants are still as numerous as ever, and it would appear from their longevity or existence in a state of metamorphosis—to be aroused only at the scent of wood, which they soon devour when placed in old buildings which have not had a vestige of timber near them for years—that as long as St. Helena exists so will these pests. Their ravages now-a-days are nothing to be compared to what they were 20 years ago. This is owing to the foresight of the Inhabitants in using teak and iron, both of which are impervious to the attacks of these curses of St. Helena.
I will here relate a little anecdote of a battle between the White and Red Ants. A Rev. Gentleman having had occasion to call at the GUARDIAN Office in 1869, espied some rafters which had been eaten by White Ants. While conversing about their ravages he noticed several long-legged Red Ants running about the floor, a few of them lugging a cockroach to their haunts. Enquiring whether they were enemies to the White Ants, I bade him poke the rafter with his stick and see for himself. He did so, and out tumbled a lot of these pests. While viewing them and asking why there were so many without nippers and but few with them, the Red Ants were observed making for the intruders on their ground. Presently the assault commenced and the
* The Noble Philanthropist, Professor HOLLOWAY, has lately presented to the Nation a magnificent gift in the shape of a Lady’s College for Women of the middle classes and a Sanatorium for the cure of mental disorders, the erection of both of which, cost £600,000, to say nothing of the large amount with which they are endowed. May this great and noble man long be spared to see the benefit of his Institutions both in the education of the young women of the middle and upper middle classes and the curing of poor suffering humanity ; and as years roll on may they stand unscathed from all ills as lasting monuments of one who has so willingly and handsomely come forward to the aid of his fellow beings, is the sincere wish of the Author of this little Work, who has made honorable mention of this good old gentleman solely to let the world know that in this isolated Rock of the Atlantic the venerable Professor has made for himself friends through his excellent Patent Medicines, to the e efficacy of which many are willing to testify.
first one attacked proved to be one with nippers—the carpenter Ant,—but it succeeded after a short struggle in nipping two of its assailants in half ; whereupon a few of the Red Ants turned away and picking up the severed parts of their comrades carried then to their haunts, from which shortly afterwards hundreds emerged and fiercely renewed the battle, carrying off the labouring White Ants with but little trouble, but had a regular pitched battle with the few carpenters, whom at last they conquered with the loss of five or six of the Red Ants, who were nipped in halves and carried by their comrades out of the field hors de combat. Should this meet the eye of this gentleman he will no doubt remember the, to him, interesting circumstance.
‘The waters of the Atlantic, which so gently lave our rock-bound shores, teem with an almost endless variety of Fish, from the smallest Sprat to the gigantic Whale. Some of these denizens of the deep are of the most nutritious quality and have flesh fully equal to the far-famed Turbot ; whilst the Turtle, the real, unsophisticated article, the genuine Simon Pure, the Alderman’s bon bouche, for 3 or 4 months in every year visits our waters and is taken in such quantity and size as to afford Turtle soup to the poorest family. The Stump, which is a species of Crayfish, is equal in flavour to the Lobster and may be purchased when in season at 2d. or 3d. a-piece. The Gurnard is not by any means an attractive-looking fish, yet is highly esteemed by many, inasmuch as the flesh is very firm and white, easily digested and posseses a flavour somewhat resembling boiled fowl. Moreover it makes excellent soup, and if properly manipulated during the process of cooking, altogether loses the smell of fish, no mean quality in itself. Conger Eels, up to 4 or 5 feet in length, are frequently captured, the flesh being considered a great delicacy. A small variety of Cod is occasionally caught and immediately snapped up by some lucky purchaser. The most abundant Fish, however, is the Mackerel, which is caught in such profusion as to retail at 1d. to 6d. per dozen. A species of Tunny, known locally as Albicore, is also very common and cheap. The flesh somewhat resembles a coarse kind of meat, hence called “St. Helena Beef.” Many of our finny tribe display the most gorgeous arrangements of color, as well as some extraordinary freaks of form ; and excepting one or two rather vicious looking monsters, all serve for daily food.
A complete list, so far as can be arrived at, will be found in the Appendix.
St. Helena offers a fine field to Speculators in curing Fish for home consumption and export, and a Company formed for the purpose would be sure to reap a good reward. I may also allude to the Whale Fishery, which could be pursued to advantage, within a few hundred miles of the Island, and the port could be made a rendezvous for the ships employed in the business. It is a well known fact that the American whale ships do a very large and profitable business not very far* from St. Helena, almost always tranship their ‘takings’ in Jamestown harbour, and recruit their crews twice a year on our healthy shore. We venture to predict that a Whaling Company, having its head-quarters at St. Helena, under local management and having its fleet manned by the young men of our Island (who have in numberless instances proved themselves to be adepts in this Fishery), would be of general benefit and a pecuniary success. It is to be hoped someone will come forward and set the matter fairly agoing, whether it be in the business of Fish Curing or Whale Fishing, or both. As before stated, our shores abound with Fish of numerous kinds, and are only waiting for some enterprising persons to come and catch them, and thus develop the resources of the bounteous sea, which freely offers wealth for the mere gathering of it.
I may here add en passant that some years ago a cow and calf (whales) were captured in the offing by the crew of a whaler at anchor in our roadstead. The calf was brought on shore for the inspection of all who wished to view it. It is needless to add that the wharf was crowded on the occasion. A whale to be on shore in St. Helena was a novel sight, at any rate so it seemed, if any criterion could be formed from the eyes and mouths of many of the spectators on first beholding the monster cow's monster calf.
“UNDER THE TREES.”—No doubt strangers have been puzzled on seeing advertisements headed “For Sale by Public Auction under the Trees” in the ST. HELENA GUARDIAN and perhaps have as often been at a loss to know where were the trees or what was meant by “Under the Trees,” since there are several places where trees are growing : in front of the Terrace and Court House, in the Castle Garden, the Lower Churchyard, the Head Schoolyard, Officers Parade near the Baptist Chapel, by the side of the Barracks, and in the Botanical Garden. I will therefore explain the mystery in front of Mr. George’s Dispensary and the Lower Bazaar
* The whaler “Jireh Perry” captured a fine whale within sight of the Ladder Hill Signal Station in September 1882.
are three peepul trees ; under these almost every auction sale in Town is held, it being a convenient spot for everyone, as nearly all the business of the Island is transacted about here, the principal merchants business houses and stores being near them. Hence the signification “Under the Trees,” a rather important one to folks fond of making bargains.
Appended herewith are some Statistics which may be relied upon as trustworthy, as they are from the pen of a talented gentleman fully competent to give information on such matters ; they will be found invaluable by those intending to reside on the Island. Besides these Statistics there is the Geology of St. Helena by Capt. J. R. OLIVER, R.A., published in 1879 ; also a Descriptive Guide by the Author, and Appendices.
Here dear readers are some facts which no doubt many of you have never known. They are given merely to shew that St. Helena is not inhabited by semi-civilized people, nor is it a barren rock as many believe it to be. I have lived on it 40 years and therefore I may be relied on when I state that St. Helenians are as much civilized as Englishmen, and that the Island is a fertile healthy place where one may lie down in safety fearing no evil. My object in writing this short account of my Island home is to bring it more prominently before the world, which seems to have very vague ideas concerning the place renowned in History as the last abode of the late Emperor NAPOLEON I,.
Beside whose vacant Tomb still weeping willows grow,
And the water of whose favorite spring has never ceased to flow,
Down in the lovely Vale where reigns perpetual Spring,
And pretty feathered songsters their carols sweetly sing.
* ‘The phrase “Under the Trees” is the offspring of a much older phrase. Viz : ‘Under the Almond Tree.’ Governor BEATSON in his book 1816 quotes a letter from the St. Helena Register in which the writer expresses his fear to advocate some new agricultural improvements because he “dreaded the jokes under the Almond Tree”, a place well known, as Governor BEATSON says, “as the resort of Idlers.” All public auctions were held under this tree, and the old phrase would probably have continued to this day. had it not been for a Government Notice in 1821, “That the new iron railings to the Government Garden having been completed at considerable expence the Public Sales are prohibited from being held under the Almond Tree.”
This good old Bengal Almond Tree (“Terminalia Cotappa”) still lives at the entrance gate of the Garden, and is quite a curiosity in itself. At 8 feet above ground it is about 6 feet in circumference and then forks off into two large branches. The whole of the lower part of the trunk below the branches has been so completely hollowed out by white ants that nothing remains but the bark and the bark itself has been so destroyed as to leave a door-like opening 4 feet high and 20 inches wide, the rest of the bark looking frail enough to be knocked dawn by a blow of a man’s fist. T he mystery is how the tree stands, but it does stand flourishing with fine foliage at the tap, and the resort of Idlers at the bottom quite as much as in the good old days.’
SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING ST. HELENA AS A HEALTH RESORT.
The following remarks are merely intended as tentative hints for anyone a desirous of entering more fully into the subject, for which the present writer has neither inclination nor ability. When a capitalist has been found ready to invest money in Sanatoria in this Island, there will probably be many only too happy to compose an attractive Prospectus.
CLIMATE.—The chief characteristic of the climate is its remarkably equable character. It is entirely free from fogs which Madeira a not, from the hot and cold winds to which the South of France is subject, and the terrible steaminess of the invalid's quarter at Mentone. For the purposes of this paper the Island may be conveniently divided into the following regions:—"Hot," from the sea level to a height of 900 feet in the valleys, Jamestown being in one,—"Warm," from the level of the cliffs about 600 feet to 1000 feet,—"Temperate" between 1000 feet and 1600 feet, and "Mild" above that point. Excepting Jamestown and the next valley to it, the bulk of the existing houses of any size including Longwood are in the Mild region, with a few in the Temperate. The most suitable for pulmonary complaints would undoubtedly be the Hot, the Warm (in which the soldiers barracks are situated) and the Temperate, but of available private buildings small cottages are the only representatives. Over the ridge of the old crater, which is 4 miles across, there are some houses down its sides on the spurs which must be considered as belonging to the Warm, although in the Temperate in point of height. At Longwood observations were made from 1841-’45 inclusive, with the following results, maximum temperature 77.6 F—mean temperature 61.4, and minimum temperature 52. As none in delicate health would permanently reside in the Mild region, these statistics are of no great importance ; one year at Scotland, centrally situated and near Plantation, (1600 feet) may however be given, as the year in question 1880-’81 was in some respects typical, comprising a hot summer and cold winter—the maximum at Scotland was 71.25, the mean 61 and the minimum 52. No observations exist, to the writer's knowledge, of the temperature in the other regions, but that of the Warm may be taken at from 6° to 8° higher than the above, and that of the Hot from 12° to 14°. The
temperature in a room in Town rarely however exceeds 84 and the Winter temperature is delightful. Keeping the above additive correction in mind it may be as well to give the mean temperatures of each month in the above year at Scotland—April 63.7, May 62.2, June 58.9, July 58.6, August 56.2 September 56, October 57.2, November 60.5, December 62.2, January 65, February 66.2, March 65.4. Temperatures however vary with local circumstances. The rapid rise of the land, the outskirts being bare and rocky, and the interior covered with vegetation, all combine to produce divergent results ; but even more powerful than these is the affect of the rainfall. The ridge, or edge of the old crater, contains the highest land in the Island and culminates in Diana's Peak, a ridge some ¾ths of a mile long and 2700 feet high. The result of this, with the moisture-laden trade wind impinging upon it, is that to leeward of the ridge there is a tremendous rain-fall which rapidly thins out. At Longwood in 1841-5 the mean humidity of the air was 87, the maximum rainfall in a year 90.46 inches, the mean 47.19, and the minimum 19.41. It is however doubtful whether the present rainfall is anything like this, as the ridges in the Longwood direction are now more bare of trees. Judging by the scanty records available the rainfall in Jamestown may be taken at 1/6th of that at Longwood, and at Ladder Hill (warm region) as 1/3rd. At Plantation (Mild) during 4 years there was an average fall of 33 inches. At Scotland (Mild) 48 inches fell in 1879-80. There are two well defined rain periods, the Summer rains in February and March, and the Winter rains which commence in July or August.
DEATHRATE.—During the last ten years the deaths have been at the yearly rate of 14.96 or practically 15 per thousand, of which 4.7, or more than ¼, were under ten years of age. Of the deaths, 32.6 per cent. were of persons 10 years and under, 5.4 of 20 years, 6.8 of 30 years, 9.2 of 40 years, 10.4 of 50 years, 9 of 60 years, 8.2 of 70 years, 10.7 of 80 years, and 7.7 of persons over 80 years. Taking some of the more numerous or important causes, 4.9 per cent were, “Accidental,” 6.8 “Bronchitis,” 12.6 “Consumption,” 5.6 “Inflammation of the bowels,” 3.6 “Inflammation of the lungs,” 9.1 “Natural decay,” 4.7 “Debility—infant's,” 5.6 “Paralysis,” 5.5 “Teething and Convulsions.” These account for 58 per cent. of the whole number, the other most numerous causes, though of few numbers, being “Heart,” and “Various.” With the exception of young children, it will therefore be seen from the statistics that the climate is very healthy. To Europeans however it is far more favour-
able. The bulk of the country people living in a wet climate to which English patients would not be sent, poorly housed, fed, and wretchedly clad, trudging about in the wettest of wet weather, are in the most favourable conditions for lung diseases, and hereditary consumption is far from uncommon amongst them ; but it must be remembered that English visitors would not be subjected to the same influences, whilst it is a certain fact that the few visitors, either consumptive or delicate, we have had have all derived undoubted benefit from their temporary sojourn in this tiny oceanic Island. The latest case was that of a gentleman who came here from the Cape. He went there for his health, but disliking the place came on here, and left regretfully.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS.—Besides a good climate invalids require comfort and amusements. At present there are two houses in the upper portion of Jamestown valley where a limited number of visitors would be accommodated with not only comfort but kind attendance,* whilst as regards the latter necessity the small Island society certainly makes up in hospitality for its lack of numbers. But for a number of people in more or less delicate health more establisments would be necessary. The Maldivia and Cambrian Cottage estates (containing the two houses above mentioned,) constitute a perfect site for a Town Sanatorium and would have the advantage of a magnificent garden. Another establishment might be at Cleugh’s Plain (mild region), a fine site, sheltered, with most interesting scenery not to say grand (notably Friar’s Ridge), possessing a level road and easy access to the country, and only waiting a cheaply and easily constructed water-course to become a paradise. A third establishment would probably be in the Sandy Bay district, whilst during fine weather, arrangements could easily be made for parties to stay at Longwood and other places.
As regards soil, the whole Island is volcanic. In the inhabited portion the basaltic lavas may be considered as reaching to a height of 1600 feet, at which point the felspathic commence. There would therefore be no fear of a damp sub-soil on the proposed sites for Sanatoria.
It may be added that there is a good Hotel in the Town with some ten or twelve beds, but of amusements in Town
* The charges for Board and Attendance both at the Private House and at the Hotel, compare very favourably with those of Madeira, Brighton, Cheltenham, Scarbro' or other well known Health Resorts. An average price of 6/ to 8/ per diem (exclusive of wines, which are very reasonable,) cannot be considered by any means exorbitant.
the Club and “Amateur Dramatic Society” are the sole representatives —though Dances, Picnics, Fishing Parties, Excursions round the Island, Lawn Tennis and other healthy recreations are by no means rare.
NOTE.—Since the above was written (in 1881) one of the disused Barrack rooms in the Jamestown Barracks has been temporarily fitted up as a Theatre by the enterprising Amateurs of the Detachment 5th Company Royal Engineers now stationed here. It was opened on the 23rd May last (1882) and has proved not only a success but a boon to the Theatre-loving folk of the Island. Is is the only Theatre in the place at the present day and is a credit to the few Amateurs forming the Theatrical Club of the Royal Engineers. The scenery is exquisitely painted by Sapper HERBERT, R.E.—in fact everything comme il faut.
THE GEOLOGY OF ST. HELENA,
BY CAPTAIN J. R. OLIVER, R.A.
On referring to the map of St. Helena it will be seen that the Island is of an irregular egg-shaped figure. Its greatest length, viz. in a line joining Barn Point and West Point, which line lies about E.N.E. and W.S.W., is 10½ miles, and its greatest breadth about 6 miles. On approaching it from the North-West its general appearance is as follows:—The coast line rises abruptly from the sea in bare brown cliffs, varying from 450 feet to 2,400 feet in height, but of a general altitude of about 700. The face of this wall of rock is intersected by a number of deep and narrow gorges running at right angles to the coast line, in some places lying so close together as to leave but a narrow ridge between them, in others more than a mile apart. Form the summit of the wall of cliffs the ground recedes in a very regular slope of about 10° terminating in a ridge running along the centre of the Island. The general altitude of this ridge is 2,200 feet, but it is serrated in form and two of its peaks are as high as 2,700.
To a spectator standing on some point slightly raised above the sloping plain, such as Horse Pasture, and looking across it, the intersecting ravines are hardly visible, and this side of the Island presents the appearance of an almost unbroken slope cut off abruptly by the sea cliffs. With the exception of High Knoll and High Hill, which are to a certain extent isolated peaks, and leaving out the parts removed by denudation, the plain, from Banks' Ridge to West Point, may be considered to slope with little interruption up to the central ridge. At both ends it is cut off abruptly—at the West in rear by the Man & Horse cliffs at the East laterally by the line of cliffs joining Sugar Loaf and Flagstaff Hill.
A narrow ridge connects Flagstaff Hill with the Barn, an apparently level-topped mass of rock 2,200 feet high, forming the N.E. extremity of the Island. After rounding it we find the coast somewhat similar to what it is on the N.W. side. A gently sloping plain intersected by deep ravines terminates abruptly in lofty cliffs with terraces of alternate slopes of forty-five degrees inclination and vertical walls of rock. With the exception of Prosperous Bay
Telegraph Hill, and Stonetop, two huge partially detached masses of rock, the coast maintains much the same character till we arrive off Sandy Bay, where an immense circular amphitheatre opens out. The back of this amphitheatre is formed by part of the central ridge and the sides by two of its spurs. The one running along the Diana's Peak range, the other separating from it behind West Lodge and terminating in the Asses Ears and Castle Rock. Passing Speery Island, a lofty jutting rock, we again come to the Man & Horse cliffs.
Judging from the appearance of the Island one would expect to find deep water close under its cliffs, but such in reality is not the case. The water deepens very gradually to a distance of some two miles from the shore, more or less, where there seems to be a great ledge, the depth changing suddenly from 60 or 70 fathoms to no soundings at 150. The distance of this ledge from the shore varies from 1,200 yards of Horse Pasture to more than 4,000 yards off Speery, where there occurs a large shoal.
Thus much for the principal topographical features of St. Helena. Before entering upon its Geology it may be as well to state that the S.E. trade wind, blowing almost constantly across it, brings up clouds which condense in the shape of mist and rain over the higher grounds forming the centre of the Island, leaving the parts near the coast comparatively rainless. The consequence of this is that while the sea cliffs are bare and brown, and almost destitute of vegetation, the centre of the Island is for the greater part of the year clothed in the richest verdure. This gives rise to a practical difficulty in studying its Geology, for although near the coast plenty of good sections are obtainable, in the interior the rocks have been so much disintegrated by moisture and covered up by debris that it is in places almost impossible to ascertain their real structure without deep quarrying.
The rocks composing St. Helena are entirely volcanic, and the place may be looked upon as the remains of what was once in all probability a much larger island, formed by a vast number of eruptions of ash, lava, and mud, and subsequently denuded to a very great extent—so much so in fact as to render it very difficult to unravel its geological history.
In this respect it differs from most other volcanic Islands, Teneriffe for instance, where we generally find the surface of the ground coinciding with that of the last flow of lava. It may be mentioned here that earthquakes very seldom occur at St. Helena and are then but slight. It is highly probable
that the last eruption there took place, even geologically speaking, at a very remote epoch, so that that part of the earth's crust (supposing it to have become gradually consolidated by radiation of heat into space, or otherwise,) may be looked upon as having attained a state of permanent quiescence.
To an observer viewing the coast on the North-West side from the sea the cliffs appear regularly and horizontally stratified. But on entering one of the valleys;—that of Jamestown for instance,—it is at once seen that the strata dip towards the sea at an angle of about ten degrees, and lie parallel to the surface of the sloping plain before mentioned. On close examination of these strata we find them to consist of layers of ash and rubble, hard splintery lava, and volcanic mud, superimposed on each other with great regularity. The mud deposits are perhaps in the proportion of about one to ten of the others, and are in every case more or less altered by the heat of the lava that has flowed over them, the upper part of each having been changed from a yellowish compact clay to a brick-looking substance of a bright red colour distinguishable at a great distance. This clay frequently contains embedded cinders and angular fragments of hard lava, and its discolouration is always in proportion to the propinquity and thickness of the flow of lava next above it. The lava itself, though brown outside, is dark greenish gray when broken, and appears to consist chiefly of augite. It is very compact, hard, and splintery, and exhibits a more or less columnar structure, the direction of the columns being at right angles to the planes of stratification. The uppermost part of each layer is always vesicular, and, owing to its toughness, forms a good building stone. The cavities are generally found to be compressed and elongated in the direction of the flow, and more or less filled by crystals of zeolitic minerals. The lower part of each lava bed is usually mixed up with rubble and cinder which it has apparently picked up and dragged along with it. The incorporation is frequently so complete as to render it hard to distinguish one from the other. Where the lava has flowed directly over a clay bed a thin layer of cinders generally intervenes. The thickness of the beds, both of lava and rubble, varies considerably. These last are composed of cinders and fragments of hard lava mixed up with ash and dust.
The above description applies to the whole of the rocks of what may be designated for shortness sake the "Jamestown District" which extends from West Point to Sugar Loaf and Flagstaff, and from the N.W. coast to a mile or
Loaf and Flagstaff, and from the N.W. coast to a mile or more inland. In places the layers of hard lava attain a great thickness, and occasionally we find the whole mass of rock intersected by dykes of other material ; but in general the whole of this part of the Island exhibits great uniformity of geological and mineralogical character. The rocks of the S.E. coast, from near Sandy Bay to near Prosperous Bay (excluding the upper part of Stonetop), much resemble those of Jamestown and may possibly have been derived from the same sources.
The Geologist, on examining the North-West side of the Island finds two principal questions to decide. In the first place by what means the intersecting gorges have been produced, and in the second whether the beds of lava originally flowed as we now see them on a slope of about ten degrees, or were first deposited at a lower angle and upheaved at some subsequent period. With regard to the first question persons but slightly acquainted with Geology are apt to imagine that all great chasms and ravines have necessarily been caused by some convulsion of nature upheaving and tearing asunder the earth's crust. Those who have any idea that such is the case as regards the Jamestown and other ravines are much mistaken, and the Geologist is forced to the conclusion that, wonderful as it may seem, these huge gorges have been scooped out by gradual denudation. It is possible that they may have originated in surface cracks, but they have most certainly been gradually enlarged during the lapse of ages. Had they been caused by "convulsions of nature" the strata, when viewed from the sea, would appear waved and contorted, whereas the contrary is the case, the different beds exhibiting a striking uniformity and regularity. The red clay bands are very conspicuous objects, and can be traced for miles in a continuous line, cropping out at nearly the same level. Again, we frequently find hard ledges of rock crossing the bottoms of the gorges, where they give rise to waterfalls. These ledges would of course have been broken across in the case of any great fracture, instead of being, as we find them, invariably continuous.
Another proof exists in the dykes, a few of which cross the valleys obliquely (of course caused by real fractures, but in a different direction) and appear to have been formed prior to them, having been worn away along with the rocks they intersected, and showing no signs of disruption. It may be mentioned by the way that where the dykes have cut through clay beds the clay has been altered in their
immediate neighbourhood,—also that it is possible to determine the relative age of some of these dykes, since they are often found cutting through the strata up to a certain point where they abruptly come to an end, thus marking what was the surface of the ground at the time they were formed.
The denudation which has produced these valleys must have been going on for a vast number of years ; although, as it is probable that the amount of rainfall may have formerly been much greater than at present, we may suppose the scooping action to have once gone on more rapidly than now. At Teneriffe we have instances of torrents having cut deep valleys through volcanic deposits within the memory of man, and the same action has apparently been at work at St. Helena to a considerable extent.
The sides of the gorges lie at the natural slope of 45° (except at the faces of the hard lava ledges, which are vertical,) and meet at the water-courses, leaving in general but little space for cultivation. And this is the shape naturally assumed by torrent-formed ravines. The denudation is visibly going on. Every heavy shower of rain not only carries out to the sea a quantity of mud washed down from the slopes, but also generally causes the fall of portions of the hard ledges by loosening their joints. These masses in falling frequently break up into small fragments, which in time are reduced by the action of the weather to a state of rubble and dust.
The second question is more difficult to answer. If it is true, as some Geologists assert, that lava will not form thick beds if it flows at a greater angle than 5°, then it is quite certain that the whole mass of beds forming the N.W. side of the Island must have been upheaved subsequently to their deposition, since some of them attain a thickness of more than a hundred feet. But then it must be remembered that these thick masses may have been caused by the lava meeting with obstacles in its way which have since disappeared, or by its filling basin-shaped cavities. Of this however we have not yet sufficient evidence, and the question must remain for the present an open one. The oblique dykes before mentioned may have been caused by a slight upheaval.
Another undetermined point is whether these beds were deposited in the open air or under water. The former at present appears the most probable.
There are a few more points connected with the structure
of the Jamestown district that are worthy of notice. The valleys are sometimes so close together as to leave only a narrow ridge between them, as at Goat Pound Ridge, Friar's Ridge, and the ridge between Swanley Valley and Old Woman's Valley. Where these narrow ridges consist of hard columnar basaltic lava they necessarily have sharp projecting points such as the "Friar" which have been left standing while the surrounding parts have fallen away. Sugar Loaf Hill affords a good instance of denudation, the cap of hard rock, with nearly level base and vertical sides, forming its summit, having been part of a lava flow. At Egg Island again we find a thick mass of hard lava, while close to it Peaked Island is composed entirely of rough scorić cemented together.
The clay beds often attain a great thickness from the mud having met with hollows in the surface of the ground it flowed over. Very good sections illustrating this are to be seen at the bold cliff forming the end of Goat Pound Ridge and in Horse Pasture Hangings. At the former place a (now) conical mass of lava surmounts a thick sloping bed of clay, evidently the remains of a larger mass which over filled a hollow. While at the latter the section exhibits a sloping bed, of which the lower surface conforms to a series of hollows and mounds in a mass of lava, while the upper is a smooth inclined plane.
In many places the lava in its flow has assumed the form of spherical concentric masses. It is difficult to assign a reason why the beds should have attained such an immense thickness at certain places. The most remarkable instances are High Knoll, Horse Pasture, and High Hill. Each of these forms a boss rising from the sloping plain,—abruptly on the upper side, but gradually blending with it on the lower—and each consists apparently of a solid mass of hard basaltic lava resting conformably on a sloping plane surface, and thinning out towards the North-West in proportion as the lava has flowed down the incline. The upper part of these masses is generally a spongy purplish-brown trachyte, and that at High Knoll furnishes a very tough building stone and is extensively quarried for the purpose. In spite of the abrupt S.E. terminations of these hills, which would lead us to suspect some great fracture, the beds on which they rest are found to be undisturbed.
The mass of hard basalt of which the crest of Friar's Ridge consists may be looked upon as of the same nature as the above.
In the lava beds of this district are found numerous very
perfect tubular cavities about 14 inches in diameter by several feet in length. They have all the appearance of being casts of trunks of trees embedded within the liquid lava, the rock immediately enclosing them being marked in concentric rings as if it had rolled in a semi fluid condition. In some cases the interiors of these cavities are marked with a perfect network, much resembling the impressions of the bark of trees found in the coal measures. Should the species ever be identified we should be enabled to assign the geological age of the lava streams in question. If any more of these cavities be opened up, either in quarrying or excavating, it would be very interesting to notice whether they contain any charcoal.
The coast cliffs of this side of the Island are undoubtedly due to the action of sea waves continued through a vast extent of time. The different beds of lava, scorić and mud must have once extended far out to what is now open sea, the result of the long-continued wearing action of the waves having been to cut away bodily a large portion of them.
In tracing out the Geological History of St. Helena we must take into consideration the form of the bottom of the sea surrounding it.
Suppose that the whole Island were to be raised 450 feet, or one-sixth of the height of its highest peaks—the whole of the sea bottom from the present coast line to the ledge before mentioned would then become dry land. The present sea cliffs would become an inland escarpment at an average distance of nearly two miles from the new coast, which would consist of a low sea cliff with very deep water at its base. So deep indeed that in one place we find the soundings drop suddenly from 528 feet into no bottom at 1500, within a horizontal distance of 600.
The newly exposed belt of dry land would slope very gradually to the sea, and wherever there was a sloping plain at the summit of the overhanging escarpment it would be found that according to the greater or less inclination of one slope so would be that of the other, the lower terrace, however, being less inclined than the upper.
From these facts we have to deduce our conclusions as to the past history of this, the oldest part of the Island. It might be supposed that the terraces just described may have been caused by the successive subsidence of ring-shaped tracts of country subsequent to the formation of the Jamestown District but prior to that of the newer portions of the Island. This, however, besides being a phenomenon unknown in geological experience, is rendered
most improbable by the fact that the lower terrace runs continuously round parts, like Castle Rock and its vicinity, where bold, highly-denuded cliffs, of quite a different nature, take the place of the sloping planes of the older deposits. The more probable explanation is that the terraces were produced by the action of sea waves consequent on successive subsidences of the land. A series of submarine eruptions may have originally piled up layer after layer of scorić and lava until an Island appeared above the surface of the water. A great central crater, probably occupying the position of what is now the Sandy Bay basin, continued to disgorge showers of ashes and floods of molten rock, varied occasionally by an outpouring of torrents of mud. The products of these eruptions flowed down the slopes on all sides towards the sea, each one adding to the height and area of the Island until eventually it assumed something of the form that Teneriffe now possesses, viz : a lofty cone, many thousand feet in height, with sides sloping gradually to the sea and constituting an island very much larger than St. Helena now is. A subsidence of the whole then took place—whether very gradually or more quickly we are unable to say—and the waves immediately commenced eating into the sloping shores. A low vertical cliff was thus produced, the debris being removed by tides and currents. After the lapse of a number of years the sea would have worked its way to a considerable distance inland by the planing action now generally recognized by Geologists, until the lower ledge as it now exists had been formed. Another subsidence then took place and the same sequence of cause and effect resulted in the coast line as we now see it. Of course an indefinite lapse of time must be admitted in order to account for these effects. The whole hypothesis takes no account of the formation of the newer rocks to be presently noticed, nor would its probability be affected thereby. For aught we know this may have been completed before the subsidences commenced. It is noteworthy that if one of the subsidences had been irregular—that is if the Island sank more on one side than the other—it would be a sufficient explanation of the greater inclination of the older strata on the North-West than on the South-East side. It should also be observed that the inclination of the slope formed by the debris under water ought to be less than that of the original strata, although varying according to its amount, which is exactly what we find to be the case.
If we draw a line from Manati Bay to Flagstaff it will
cut off to the N.W. a tract almost coinciding with what we have called the Jamestown District, and (leaving out the valleys) the shape of this tract would be that of a broad short wedge lying on one of its faces, and with its edge cut off. Along the whole of this tract the strata dip with more or less regularity to the N.W. The long coast line constitutes the truncated edge, and the almost vertical cliffs, extending on the one hand from Manati Bay to West Point, and on the other from Flagstaff to Sugar Loaf Point, form the two ends of the wedge, each of these cliffs affording, on a large scale, a section nearly parallel to the dip of the strata.
One or two points remain to be noticed before leaving this part of the Island. On following any of the slopes a certain distance towards the central ridge the old lava streams are found to be overlain by newer deposits of a different nature. These beds are lighter coloured and softer than those underneath, and consist in general of a species of felspathic claystone. They usually terminate about half way between the Sandy Bay Ridge and the sea, and appear to be the product of a comparatively recent series of eruptions. Their softness is no doubt partly due to the disintegration produced by the moist climate of the interior of the Island ; but even without taking this into consideration the mineralogical distinction between the two sets of beds is well marked.
The Jamestown valley terminates at its upper end in a most remarkable cul de sac formed by a semicylindrical and vertical precipice some 250 feet in height. There are no dykes, no signs of fracture or displacement. The layers of lava and clay have all been cut clean through, and the chasm has exactly the appearance of having been scooped out by a huge boring machine. It is difficult to understand how such a state of things can have been brought about, but the fact remains patent. At the foot of the Waterfall is one of the well-mark clay beds before alluded to. It may be traced along the side of the valley and the faces of the sea cliffs for many miles, and serves as a conduit for the moisture that feeds the long beds of rushes above Maldivia.
The cliffs of Flagstaff and the Barn as seen from the sea exhibit a very remarkable section, the vertical height of which amounts in one place to 2400 feet. On the right we have the whole series of strata of the Jamestown District dipping to the right, while on the left those of the Barn dip in the opposite direction and more rapidly. The faces of.
both cliffs are seamed by several vertical dykes, and the two are connected together by a lower neck of land, of which the stratification is not at first sight very evident.
The first impression received is that Flagstaff and the Barn were originally part of the same mass, and that a subsequent violent upheaval bulged up the strata in a dome-shaped form, the central part of this dome falling into the chasm below and the debris forming the connecting neck of land. But on closer inspection this theory would seem to be untenable. In the first place the rocks of the Barn appear to be harder and more silicious than those of Flagstaff. In the next, on examining the neck of land we find a series of hard beds lying parallel to each other and apparently underlying those of Flagstaff conformably. These beds seem to abut on to those of the Barn at right angles, much in the same manner as the two halves of a pack of cards may be made to lean against each other. A series of confused deposits resembling those of the neck, and intersected by numerous dykes, may be traced for many miles by the sections afforded by the sea cliffs between the Barn and Stonetop, and appear to underlie the whole of the nearly horizontal strata composing the country between the Barn and the Diana's Peak range. It is by no means improbable that the Barn may be a fragment of some very old volcanic formation. The steep angle at which its beds dip to the N.E. indicate that the whole mass was probably tilted up after it had been formed, and the face of the hill seen from Longwood is apparently the fractured surface exposed where the strata have been broken off at right angles to their planes by a violent upheaval.
A line drawn form the summit of Flagstaff Hill along the crest of the ridge to Halley's Mount and thence following the Diana's Peak range and continued down to the sea in the neighbourhood of Deep Valley would enclose between it and the sea a tract of country which may be designated as the "Longwood District"—this term however being applied more in a topographical than a geological sense. The greater part of this area was no doubt once a plain, sloping very gradually towards the coast. Here as in the case of the Jamestown District, denudation has been busy at work, although in a different manner. Instead of the narrow, sharply-cut ravines of the N.W. side we find either undulating plains or wide valleys with gently sloping sides, alternating with rounded ridges. The rocks forming the surface of the country have been disintegrated by the action of the weather into a loose friable clay, and, as a
consequence, the sides of all the steeper slopes have become intersected by a multitude of miniature ravines each serving as a watercourse to drain the higher ground. The sides of these slopes exhibit a number of bright coloured bands running parallel to the stratification of the rocks underneath, and no doubt due to beds containing an unusual proportion of iron or manganese. These beds are, in general, of a bright red, blue or, violet colour, and form a remarkable feature in the District. In the immediate vicinity of the sea the valleys deepen into precipitous gorges much resembling those at the other side of the Island, except that, from the hard lava beds being much thicker, the scraps are bolder and on a larger scale.
Viewed from the neighbourhood of Halley's Mount it would appear at first sight as if this district had been formed simultaneously with, and from the same source as, that of Jamestown. But the very different mineralogical structure of the two sets of rocks points to a different conclusion. As we descend towards Prosperous Bay we find alternate beds of hard silicious lava and a soft white claystone. The outcrop of the former is vertical, and the precipices are seldom less than 50 feet high—generally much more. The alternating claystone beds are thinner, and weather at an angle of 45°. As their slopes are in most places covered with the brown debris of the harder rocks their real nature is only apparent at certain spots. These beds of claystone are highly interesting because in them, and nowhere else, are found a vast number of veins of black oxide of manganese, varying from a quarter of an inch to nearly a foot in thickness. These veins seldom proceed far without swelling out into nodules, and it frequently happens that a number of them are interlaced in such a manner as to form considerable masses—never however quite free from the claystone, portions of which may always be noticed mixed up with the manganese and sometimes enclosed in it. At the surface the ore often stands out in a remarkable manner from the claystone having been washed away from around it. It has just the shape that we might suppose would be assumed by a quantity of melted lead forced into a mass of wet clay.
Were this manganese to be found in England it would be very valuable. At present  owing to the high price of labour and freight and the difficulties of land transport, it would not pay to work it. The claystone becomes hard at a short distance from the surface and the veins are very delusive, changing suddenly from large masses into mere streaks, so that a great deal of the rock has to be blasted
away to obtain the ore in any quantity. Besides this, four-fifths of the manganese is of inferior quality and would never pay to export.
These veins may be traced at the outcrop of the claystone beds at intervals the whole way from Flagstaff to Stonetop, and the actual quantity buried beneath the surface is probably enormous, since they doubtless underlie the whole district.
Scattered about the whole of the Longwood plain are found nodules of red oxide of iron which must have been left exposed on the surface by the wearing away of the softer material of the rock. They are of all sizes, and the larger ones have been used for building fences with.
The sections afforded by the sea cliffs and gorges shew us, as was mentioned before, that the series of nearly horizontal strata (their dip is about 2½°) comprising this District are underlaid by a set of confused deposits, intersected by a number of dykes. These lower rocks have not as yet been properly studied, but they appear to extend to the neck of land at Flagstaff Bay, and to be the oldest in the Island. The great mass of Prosperous Bay Telegraph Hill with its sharply serrated, comb-like crest may possibly be an outlier of some similar old formation.
From what has been said it will be seen that the rocks of the Longwood District are composed of such different materials to those of Jamestown, that we cannot suppose them to have been emitted simultaneously from the same crater. The probability is that the former are of more recent origin than the latter. Whereabouts the crater or craters were situated is difficult to determine, owing to the great extent to which the face of the Island has been altered by denudation.
In the neighbourhood of Turk's Cap the greater part of the original plain has disappeared leaving however one long arrow strip with vertical sides, known as "Gregory's Rock," to mark it, as well as the conical mass of Turk's Cap itself, which, from some cause or other, has remained standing while all the surrounding strata have been washed away.
Continuing our examination of the coast Westwards from Prosperous Bay we find the cliffs have much the same character as those of the Jamestown District till we arrive at the entrance to Shark's Valley. The sides of this gorge are terraced with the usual parallel ledges of hard rock, the columnar structure of which is here very distinctly marked. On the East side of the valley, in one place, the strata have
been bent up into the form of an arc of 90° the chord of which is inclined at an angle of 45°. But the most unique features of this part of the Island are the rocks known as Great and Little Stone Top. The former is a conical mass some 1800 feet high, rising almost vertically from the sea, at the West side of the entrance to the gorge. The lower half of the cliff consists of the outcrop of alternate ledges resembling those at the other side of the Island, but the upper half is an all but vertical precipice forming the face of a huge conical mass of hard, crystalline, felspathic rock of a light gray colour, which rests upon the older rocks beneath. This huge cliff show no signs of stratification and is apparently a mere fragment of some great lava flow, a vertical columnar structure being distinctly traceable throughout the whole mass from base to summit. A little higher up the valley, and at the same side, we come to Little Stone Top, a conical sharp-pointed hill, the summit of which is formed by a fragmentary mass of the same hard gray rock, which here rests upon a thick deposit of a light coloured claystone, or sandstone as it might almost be termed, a great deal of which occurs in the neighbourhood. The sides of the slopes are in places covered with great angular masses of the gray rock which have fallen down from above. They are very hard and ring loudly when struck a hammer. It is evident, even to a casual observer, that the summits of the two Stonetops were once parts of the same great lava flow. The enormous denudation which must have occurred here would almost tempt us to give credence to the theory that St. Helena may be merely a remaining fragment of a great tract of country, formed like the plateaux of the Deccan and Abyssinia, by lava flows on a gigantic scale.
There now only remains to be considered the crater-like district known generally as "Sandy Bay," including the circular ridge which, commencing at the Asses Ears, terminates in Sandy Bay Barn. The crest of this ridge is, in places, only a few inches wide and its inner slope is very steep, and sends out a number of spurs which converge towards Sandy Bay itself. This great amphitheatre has all the appearance of having once been a crater. Its sides exhibit in section the outcrop of thick masses of lava sloping away in different directions, and its interior is filled with all sorts of confused deposits, showing signs of great disturbance.
The spurs are composed generally of rather soft material—such as slaty friable lava, and hardened clay beds, without any very definite stratification, and their form appears to
be due to water action. Several great dykes of harder material may be traced crossing the crater in a straight line from side to side and standing out boldly wherever they cut through the converging spurs. The great masses of "Lot," "Lot's Wife," the "Asses Ears" and Speery Island, are all portions of one of these dykes. Its thickness must be at least 500 feet and its junction with the softer rocks is very distinctly marked. It consists of a hard crystalline felspar rock resembling that of Stone Top and exhibiting much the same vertical columnar structure. The great peaks called the "Asses Ears" look as if they had been built up of so many distinct prisms, so well are their joints defined. "Lot's Wife" is a single vertical shaft 270 feet high, springing from the crest of a spur, and the great cone of "Lot" rises 500 feet above the crest of another ridge.
It seems probable that this amphitheatre may have been the site of most if not all of the eruptions which have at different times occurred. The newest formed rocks in the Island, viz. those which slope downwards to the East and North from the crest of Sandy Bay Ridge and Diana's Peak, covering the older Jamestown and other rocks, must undoubtedly have had their origin here. They are comparatively soft and felspathic and hence are most useful in the economy of nature, their capability of retaining moisture enabling them to accumulate and store up a sufficient supply of water to keep many of the springs on the hillsides flowing, almost without diminution, through long seasons of drought.
The mineralogical character of many of the rocks of the Sandy Bay District is very well marked. We find a great deal of hard lava, both in the shape of beds and dykes, consisting of a dark green paste with embedded crystals of black augite and light green olivine. The blocks which strew the ground at the place called the "Churchyard," and which are simply boulders that have rolled down from the crest of the hill above, are of this nature, though externally covered with a brown crust caused by weathering.
In other places, as in the neighbourhood of "Lot," we find a rock composed of a red felspathic paste with very large embedded crystals of augite. This rock decays rapidly when exposed, and the felspar gets washed away, leaving in time a thick bed of gravel of the liberated crystals.
At Lot's Wife Ponds we have the well known "Chimney" which stands out by itself, a fragment of a small dyke of hard silicious material. In the cliffs in the neighbourhood
“LOT,” SHEWING “LOT’S WIFE” AND THE “ASSES EARS” IN DISTANCE,
FROM A SKETCH BY REV. J. C. LAMBERT, F.R.G.S.
of Sandy Bay itself are numerous vertical dykes of two kinds. The one consisting of the black paste with olivine crystals, and separating in prisms running at right angles to the plane of the dykes. The other homogeneous and softer and of a greenish buff colour. The two kinds may often be noticed within a few feet of each other. Having necessarily had their origin in separate reservoirs of molten rock it may almost be taken for granted that the two sets were formed at different epochs. Indeed it is said that in places the dykes are found to cross each other. If this really is the case it puts the matter beyond a doubt, since the rocks through which these dykes cut are very much tumbled and confused, and appear more like heaps of debris than anything else. The frequent occurrence of dykes in this part of the Island shows how much more it has been disturbed by subterranean forces than other localities, and indicates its being at or near the centre of former volcanic action. Whether or not there may have been other centres—as near the Barn for instance—must be considered as yet undetermined.
In addition to the porous lava already mentioned as used as a building stone there is a quarry at Jamestown of a soft red stone which cuts easily and is employed for ornamental purposes, but does not wear well. It occurs in a great rounded mass against which the lava streams have abutted, and appears to be the result of an accumulation in some way or other of a volcanic mud, subsequently hardened by heat and pressure.
The oxide of iron and manganese of the Longwood District have already been noticed. Only one other valuable mineral has been found at St. Helena, and that is the "limestone," a great deal of which has at different times been quarried and burnt. It occurs in the form of surface beds of light coloured calcareous sand, very slightly compacted together. These beds are found in different places near Sandy Bay, at Sugarloaf, and at one or two other spots. They are generally situated several hundred feet above the sea, but never very far from it. They are mere surface deposits of no great thickness and generally exhibit a bedding parallel to the slope of the ground on which they lie. It is difficult to account for their formation and it is said that under the microscope they show no traces of organism. They would appear to be accumulations of calcareous sand derived from the destruction of coral reefs, washed up on a sea beach and subsequently drifted by a strong trade wind into certain convenient hollows.
Reverting to the idea, previously broached, that St. Helena
was once in all probability a much larger island than at present, consisting of a regularly-sloping cone rising, perhaps, 10 or 15,000 feet into the air, it is worthy of note that the amount of rainfall would in this case be much more copious than now, so that the excavation of the gorges, as well as the denudation of the slopes, may have gone on with tolerable rapidity.
In drawing up this sketch the main object held in view has been rather to put forward facts as they are, than to attempt to deduce conclusions from them which further investigation might upset. Those parts of the Island which have been the most carefully examined have been the most minutely described. A great many localities have as yet been barely visited, and, until the whole Island has been thoroughly explored by a competent Geologist, it would be premature to lay down definite theories. This applies more particularly to the older rocks of the Longwood District, the coast from the Barn to Sandy Bay, and portions of the Sandy Bay deposits. It is to be hoped that the subject may be one day or other taken up by some scientific man, able and willing to investigate it thoroughly, and that the ascertained facts, put forward in this pamphlet, may serve as a basis on which to construct a more perfect and complete work.
DESCRIPTIVE GUIDE THROUGH ST. HELENA,
IT seems to be an almost universally admitted opinion that the Island of St. Helena, when viewed from the sea, is one of the least attractive-looking of any to be found. Seeing that it is surrounded with an immense wall of perpendicular rocks entirely divested of soil and vegetation, it has consequently obtained the misnomer of a barren rock ; while in the interior it is clothed with the richest verdure, and miles of indigenous trees and shrubs clothe its mountain slopes and highest peaks. Its scenery is admitted to be unsurpassed and even unequalled in many of the most picturesque countries in the world. Constantly enjoying refreshing South-East trades, the air is found by experience to be extremely salubrious ; and the Island therefore one of the healthiest spots in the world, where reigns an almost perpetual spring, as may be evidenced after a few showers of rain, when the parched ground is rendered green in a very short time, and seed germinates in a day ! To enjoy the scenery it is obvious that a visitor must go to the Country. As a tour is nearly always made to the Tomb and Longwood Old House, the Author has deemed it necessary to append, for the information of the Tourist, a Descriptive Guide so that he may be spared the necessity of asking questions of those whose information may be as incorrect as vague—as it often is—and therefore misleading. The Tourist, if he is a tolerable pedestrian, may accomplish the journey to the above places in three hours easy walking. It is quite a mistake to start from the Wharf at a quick rate, for the continuous steep thence to Two-Gun Saddle will soon cause one to “haul to” and to puff and blow a deal more than one would expect. It is therefore highly advisable that a moderate pace be indulged in and the journey will then be a pleasant one. Otherwise, it will be extremely fatiguing and irksome, more especially on a hot summer’s day. Besides, one half of the scenery cannot be observed if hurriedly passed by. These remarks apply equally to equestrians and those who ride in carriages.
After landing at the Lower Steps the Visitor wends his way to the Town, and on his journey thither views the Harbor Master’s and Watchman’s offices on the Wharf, and
the row of fine peepul trees inside the disused fort, in front of which there is a ditch, into which a large stream of water could be turned if required, also the site of the Flax Works on the right of the fort. Entering the gate of Jamestown the Traveller sees in front of him St. James’ Church and the Lower Parade ; to his right the Main Guard, the Custom House, the famous Ladder, a fine building for many years used as a Hotel but now converted into a store house, the Royal Engineer and Fort Adjutant’s offices, and the Gaol ; and to his left the step entrance to the Terrace—where folks resort in the early morn and evening to enjoy the refreshing saline breezes wafted from the deep blue sea and the lovely marine prospect—the Castle Gate, Post Office, entrance to Commissariat Department, the Supreme and Summary Courts in front of which is a row of banyans, the Castle Garden, in which, to the left, is the Public Library and, near Sisters’ Walk, the Signal Station, and Government Girls’ School, (formerly the Garden Hall) in front of which is a fine Monument, surrounded with flowers, erected to the memory of the officers and men of H. M. ships who died or were killed while engaged in the suppression of the slave trade. The Garden is a favorite resort of the beaux of the Island for promenading, and in former years it used to be thronged with persons who assembled there to listen to the sweet music discoursed by the fine band of the late St. Helena Regiment (styled the “Old Saints”) twice a week in fine weather, and that of the St. Helena Volunteers on moonlight nights. Bazaars are generally held in the Garden, it being the only place in Town adapted for such. It contains a few nice walks which are shaded by graceful trees, such as evergreens, oleanders, gamboge, India rubber, margossa, Cape yew, cotton, Barbadoes’ pride, tamarind, almond and banyans, and flowers. Looking in the far distance the Tourist descries a house perched, as it were, on the top of a ridge clothed with trees, which he passes as he journeys to the Tomb ; this is called the Alarm House. No doubt this ridge gives to the beholder an idea that it is the end of the Island, but when he gets there he will find out his mistake. By the side of the Garden stands the fine building in which the Duke of WELLINGTON slept on his return from India, and the first house in which NAPOLEON passed a night after landing on the Island ; but having been destroyed by fire in 1862, it has not since been restored. Next is the house lately used as the U. S. Consulate, and three other good buildings, Mr. Sheriff SOLOMON’S fine large Town residence, the capacious Counting House, Consulate and storerooms of Messrs. SOLO-
MON, MOSS, GIDEON & Co., and the Royal Swedish and Norwegian Consul’s residence. On the right from the Church upwards to end of Main Street are, first, three fine large buildings, which are Officers’ Quarters, next the Hotel (formerly the residence of the late much respected EDEN BAKER, Esq.,) the U. S. Consulate, the Colonial Engineer’s offices and Colonial Surgery ; then the Club, the Polytechnic Warehouse, Mr. JACKSON’S showy Dispensary and drapery shop, the commodious Officers’ Town Mess House, the fine shop called “The Star,” and a neat little shop ; to the left of which are the Lower Bazaar, Mr. M. GEORGE’S Dispsenary, in front of which are three peepul trees, under whose grateful shade auction sales are held, and a roofless building called The Canister. On the left of this the Tourist enters Napoleon Street and after passing a few good buildings observes a road on his left : this leads to Mr. E. THOMAS’ Stables, Messrs. SOLOMON, MOSS, GIDEON & Co’s storerooms, stables and workshops, the Blacksmith’s and Farrier’s shops, Sisters’ Walk, Munden’s and Rupert’s. Passing a few more substantial buildings he observes, on the right, two iron gates and railing, inside of which are two large banyans and the fine building called the Head School erected by General WALKER in 1824 and built entirely of cut stone. It has a spacious yard wherein the scholars frolic between the school hours ; after passing the railing two gates are seen ; these lead to the Undertaker’s shop, Mr. WOODMAN’S dwellings and the GUARDIAN Printing Office—in the yard formerly called the Lower Brewery, wherein are a few Bermuda cedars, a Cape yew, 2 peepul, a banyan, Kaffir date, plantain and red plum trees;—then Mr. WOODMAN’S neat looking shop, over which is the new Foresters’ Court. To the left of this shop is the Ragged School, and the Freemason’s Hall with upper windows stained. Then comes in view the Hussey Charity Town School sign over the gate which leads to this fine School, passing which the Traveller reaches “Sentry-box,” so called on account of a hole being excavated out of the red clay for a shelter for the sentry that used to be stationed there in the time of the captivity of NAPOLEON. On the right of this and adjoining the Hussey School is the commodious School of the Benevolent Society erected in 1865, in a line with which are the new Poor House and Lunatic Asylum and the Commissariat stables. Above these is a roofless building called Parade Cottage, formerly the residence of the Commanding Officers of the late St. Helena Regiment, but now converted into a slaughter house, with a date palm in front, and a fine
tamarind and margossa trees at the left of it. Adjoining this building is the residence and garden of the Photographer, Mr. W. O. BROADWAY. Part of this garden was washed away by the destructive flood of 1878. Here are to be seen two cocoanut trees, a cypress, eucalyptus, mimosa, loquat, pomegranate, fig, plantain, guava, and cotton trees, and neat little flower beds ; and opposite, plantain, margossa, banyan and thorn trees. The Tourist will notice, a few yards above this house, a vine trailing along the hillside ; this is the cactus (night-blooming cereus,) which presents a pleasing sight when in bloom, its handsome, bell-shaped flowers looking extremely beautiful on moonlit evenings and in the early morn ; but after 8 a.m. they fade away. About 100 yards above this are Mr. JUDD’S dwellings, near the flood-gates, where are a few margossa trees and flowers. As the Tourist journeys onward he espies the Officers’ Parade, in which are 20 banyans, the spire of the Baptist Church, the Infantry Barracks, the Botanical Garden, the Governor’s private residence, the Upper Graveyards, the Catholic Church, the Government Under School, the Female Hospital adjoining, (in the yard of which are a fine acacia, pomegranate, and plantain trees, flowers, and cactus trailing along the wall, St. John’s Church, St. John’s School hard by, the two fine Hospitals (the Civil adjoining St. John’s and the Military near the roadway with a wall and railing encircling it resembling the side of a huge coffin), and other good buildings. Above and adjoining the Hospitals is pretty St. John’s Villa. Then come the Gardens of the Valley—Well’s, Cambrian Cottage and Maldivia (upper and lower gardens), on the left of which is Escourt’s Cottage and garden, part of which was carried away by the destructive flood of 1878 ; and above all of them Chubb’s Spring residence—all which can be seen to advantage from Sidepath and present a beautiful view to a stranger who, if he looks upwards to the left, will see Sampson’s Battery, on which there are two old cannon (16 pdrs.) ; while looking to the right he sees, first, Ladder Hill, then the Officers’ Quarters, next the Observatory, and the Round Tower Magazine. The Tourist, as he journeys on this road, will not fail to observe numerous Nicotiana Glauca trees, aloes, prickly pear, semper vivens, samphire, and a stunted banyan tree on the hillside. As he nears the “Corner of the Wall” (end of Sidepath, where roads branch off to Chubb’s Spring and Town, and to the Briars and Longwood,) he observes a road to the left ; this leads to Sampson’s Battery and Rupert’s, and should the Tourist wish to return that way to
the landing place he can do so and would have an opportunity of viewing the neat buildings and fruit trees in the valley, and as he journeys thence to Town he can look on the deck of his vessel should she anchor near Munden’s Battery. Arrived at the Corner of the Wall he beholds in the valley Chubb’s Spring residence and garden, through the lower part of which runs a stream of water called “The Run,” which is converted into a torrent when heavy rains fall ; to the right of and above which, are five beds of rushes, similar in appearance to huge tails ; which are very pleasing to the eye. Looking to the hill above he sees High Knoll Fort and Signal Station, to the left of which is the Big Waterfall, then Francis’ Plain and Peak Hill, around which winds Barnes’ Road, and in the distance Plantation Forest and gate, the turret of St. Paul’s, and the Country School, Presently he comes in full view of the Briars Village, where, just under the road enclosed with a wire fence, are the Author’s cottages, around which are to be seen cotton, blackboy, Cape yew, Kei apple, margossa, willow, acacia, Kafir date, black olive, wild olive, and plantain trees, and flowers. Below is Mr. A. T. YOUNG’S residence with verandah in front and at side of it, where are to be seen young Bermuda cedars, date palms, weeping willow, and flowers growing in boxes. Next to this is a neat cottage, at back of which are to be noticed a beautiful evergreen, margossa, peach, banyan, and cotton trees, reed, and a wild olive in front of it. Two date palms, peach, banyan, and numerous cotton trees are to be observed in the vicinity ; while the cactus is to be seen trailing over the prickly pear in several places. Proceeding onwards the Traveller descries the Pavilion, the first house in which NAPOLEON resided after visiting, and before living at, Longwood ; then the Briars residence, the neat walk leading to which is hedged with pomegranate trees and pepper bushes. The Pavilion adjoins the Briars residence, and is connected thereto by a flight of stone steps enclosed. The grounds of this estate are very productive and contain thorn, cypress, Cape yew, Norfolk Island pine, black-fruited olive, wild olive, banyan, blackboy, cassia, acacia (Kafir thorn), pineaster, cherimoya, mango, rose apple, Kei apple, peach, fig, wild fig, orange, lemon, pear, China gooseberry (a 3-cornered fruit) the only tree of its kind in the Island, guava, loquat, pomegranate, shaddock, mulberry, Bussorah date, and plantain trees, bottle brush, and flowers. Here the Tourist may rest awhile and behold a lovely scene : a field of scarlet geraniums amidst thousands of prickly pear bushes, aloe, and
rocks. Presently he sees in front of him at the turning of the road a gate leading to the Briars ; this is called “Five all Gate” ; just above which are to be observed wild coffee and willow trees. Shortly after leaving this gate he arrives at Two-gun Saddle (1½ miles.) Here he will find the temperature very different to that he has just left and behold both wild and grand scenery. Glancing to the right, as he faces the Town, he espies the ruins of a house called Salt Spring—called so on account of a spring of saltish water which exists on this weird-looking place,—then Deadwood Plain, and Flagstaff Hill. An excellent view of the heart-shaped chasm called the “Big Waterfall,” can be obtained from this point. The Tourist will not fail to notice here the red and green creeper (Hottentot fig) trailing along the arid plains, which present a pleasing sight. On turning to proceed onwards a pretty scene suddenly arrests the eye—a dense copse of willow (about 200 yards long by 60 wide and the roads winding through it,) whose handsome foliage interspersed with that of the pineasters, contrasts well with the carpet of creeper and the various coloured marls (red, yellow and purple,) of Putty Hill, through which a byepath is observed leading to Gordon’s Post. Opposite this path is a house called Two-gun Saddle Cottage, by side of which a path leads to the main road, which may be used by pedestrians. From here may be seen Barren Hill and cottage, Woodlands’ forest, Francis’ Plain, Red Hill House and shop, Plantation forest and Signal Station, St. Pauls’ and the Country School, The Author would advise the Tourist to take the carriage road so that he may the better enjoy the scenery as he goes along this pleasant drive ; and not to ride down the bye paths. Arriving at the first angle after passing the cottage a path is observed leading through the trees : this takes the Traveller to the main road and is used as a short-cut by pedestrians. Reaching another angle a road is observed branching to the left leading to Willow Cottage and Foxe’s Folly. In two minutes we come to White Flank, where another bye-path is observed branching to the left, passing which we arrive at Gordon’s Post, where a road branches to the right leading to East Lodge, &c, Here a pleasing scene opens to view—Pounce’s forest (above St. Paul’s), the Ridge lands and upper part of Cason’s forest, together with the several houses and High Knoll Fort, presenting such a diversity of scenery never even dream’t of by Visitors. We now turn to the left and quickly espy two gates—that to the left leading to Varney’s, which is observed enclosed by a wire fence and containing
two handsome Norfolk island pines, many orange, peach, pear, apple, rose apple, loquat, mulberry, Kafir willow, and about an acre of arable ground where corn, potatoes and vegetable are produced;—the one on the right leading to a compact estate called Prospect, which is in one of the finest situations and commands a most diversified range both of sea and landscape. ‘It was for many years, until 1836, the residence of Mr. THOMAS H, BROOKE, the Author of the History of St. Helena, who spent large sums to improve it in the way of planting and building. A view of this pretty spot forms a frontispiece to BROOKE’S History of St. Helena published 1821.’ It contains 15 acres of arable ground wherein corn, mangold wurzle, potatoes, vegetable, and fruit of all kinds are produced. Here may be seen chirimoya, apple, Kei apple, orange, lemon, loquat, plantain, peach, pear, red plum, oak, Kafir date, coffee, sugar maple, white olive, eucalyptus, Cape yew, cedars of Lebanon, arbutis, cypress (the finest in the Island), shumach, spreading pineaster, American ash, beef-wood tree, mimosa, acacia, cassia, willow, budlea, cassuarina and Spanish cork ; also pine apple, a large quantity of blackberry, and flowers. Numerous trees were felled from the grounds of Prospect to furnish the Flax Works with fuel the whole time the Company’s Works were in operation. The ground thus cleared has been converted into a flax plantation. Here the Tourist will observe the telegraph poles and wire leading from Plantation to Longwood. Passing Varney’s another bye-path is noticed leading to the right, but the Tourist continues on the carriage road and after turning an angle observes a house and garden enclosed with a wire fence : this is the Alarm Cottage, to the left of which, on the ridge, a gun is to be seen with its muzzle pointing to the road, ‘being one of the guns formerly used to fire alarms to call the soldiers and planters under arms on the approach of shipping in war time, and hence the names of the adjoining places : “Alarm Cottage,” “Alarm House,” “Alarm Forest.” The Forest is well wooded, chiefly Botany Bay willow and pineasters planted, over 60 years since, during NAPOLEON’S captivity. A proposal to plant this ridge was made in 1716, but until 1815 it remained a naked ridge. The Alarm House, near this forest, is the picturesque building which is so conspicuous from the Harbour and the Town, perched as it is on the summit of the hill 1955 feet high, which forms the back ground of Jamestown.’ Concerning this place the Scraps from the Records says :—
“ALARM HOUSE—called so from two guns stationed there
prior to 1692 and which were fired as alarm guns whenever ships were signalized.
“In Records 12th September 1692 is an order that—‘The alarm of two guns from Prosperous Bay is to be repeated by the alarm guns on the Main Ridge of two guns. But if more than one ship then three or more guns on which not only the planters but their blacks also must attend.’
“Governor Pyke notes on 16th October 1716 respecting the change of the post from Two Gun Ridge to the Alarm House ‘that it was formerly built lower and nearer the Fort, but when that house decayed Captain Goodwin while he was provisional Governor (1707) built it here which is a better place.’ Governor Pyke further proposed to plant this ridge with trees being ‘of opinion twould greatly tend to make this Valley (James Valley) as healthy and fruitful as formerly,’ he says ‘we are confirmed in this opinion by a sort of experience. Those who best remember this place say that the fine Lymon and other fruit trees that used to grow in such abundance in this valley thrived till after the cutting away the wood on this ridge, and it is a sort of demonstration that Mr. Powell whose house stood on a Ridge exposed to bleak winds and rain, people used by way of derision to call it the stark naked house, yet Mr. Powell being obliged by a most useful law made in Governor Roberts his time to plant part of that land with wood, since that wood has grown up, everything under the shelter of that wood has flourished and he has now plenty of Lymons’.”
A strong guard was kept at the Alarm House from 1815 to 1821. It is now an excellent dwelling house and was used lately as a Hotel called “Traveller’s Rest.” It commands a magnificent view and contains apple, apricot, quince, bergamot, Cape, and common pears, peach, guava, loquat, red plum, plantain, fig, rose apple, pomegranate, chirimoya, orange, shaddock, lemon, spreading pineaster and thorn trees, privet, pineasters, budlea and flowers. Passing this gate highly picturesque scenery presents itself from the N. E. to the eyes of the gazing stranger, who descries Longwood Old House with its glass windows glistening in the sunshine, also the several buildings adjacent thereto ; and to the West of them Corker’s Cottage, Apple Cottage, and Northams’, ensconced with trees, and, towering above all, the grand promontory called “The Barn” ; while Sane Valley lays beneath his feet. As we journey on a glance to the bank on the right of the road will reveal several names cut in the marl, one of which is particularly noticeable—the letters are cut 1½ inches deep and about 1½ feet long by 9 inches wide. A signboard now arrests the attention, and reaching it, observe inscribed on it : “The road to NAPOLEON’S Tomb.”
Passing this we soon arrive at the gate and boundary hedge of privet (about ¾ths of a mile) almost encircling the Tomb land. A few yards after leaving the gate a bed of rushes is noticed just below the road ; passing this we come in full view of the residence of the sous-Gardien, in front of which are neat flower beds ; also kitchen garden, orange, peach, shaddock, apple, pear, loquat, coffee, and black olive trees ; also pineasters and thorn trees. In two minutes after passing the house the Tomb, surrounded by a neat iron railing, 5 fine Norfolk Island pines and 18 cypress trees, and a young weeping willow, an offshoot of the parent tree, which was blown down by the wind about two years ago, now meets the admiring gaze of the Tourist, who dismounts his steed, enters the gate and proceeds to view the spot where the remains of the Great Emperor lay for 20 years. On the left of the Tomb he will observe a little well in which the delicious water of NAP’S favorite spring trickles, and as he will no doubt partake of this invigorating, icy-cold beverage, we would advise him to wet the tips of his fingers before drinking so as to avert ill consequences (if he is walking) after a fatiguing journey. After viewing the Tomb and duly inscribing his name in the Visitors’ Book he will more leisurely notice the handsome trees in this vicinity ; will then remount his steed and continue his journey to Longwood, proceeding along the zigzag road until he reaches a little gate, after passing through which and traversing a grassy road notices a large hole in the bank on the right. Formerly a picquet was stationed here and this hole marks the site of what was once a small military outpost. On his left is the enormous gorge called Sane Valley, or sometimes the “Devil’s Punch Bowl”. This merges into Rupert’s and so reaches the sea. Away in the distance is Flagstaff Hill, at the base of which is Deadwood Plain. From this point Longwood may again be discerned, cosily embosomed in a dense mass of various tinted foliage. A few yards further and the main road is quickly reached, where is a cistern from which Longwood and most of the cottages in the vicinity are supplied with water. From this cistern are to be observed Longwood Gut—wherein are four cottages embosomed in willow trees—to the right of it Woody Ridge covered with flax and aloe, whose lofty spines on the crest of the ridge present the appearance of a stockade ; above which rise the two Stonetops ; while to the left of these is a plain covered with a carpet of creeper and Prosperous Bay Telegraph Hill ; and above, on the left of the Gut, four cottages and plots of ground ; then the majestic Barn,
Deadwood Plain, and Flagstaff Hill,—all which present a scene of rare beauty. As we travel along the road we observe several names and dates cut here and there in the marl, also numerous patches of creeper, which seems much more abundant in this part of the Island than in the Western district, where we find on the arid plains the ice plant (Iberis). The fruit of the creeper is eaten by children, but it has a peculiar taste. The flower is of a delicate primrose. A cottage is met with on the left of the road, passing which we reach Wood End Gate (so called on account of its being the end of the Great Wood of indigenous Gumwood found growing there on the first discovery of the Island). At the entrance gate is the Police Constable’s quarters. Passing through the gate the Tourist proceeds up the Avenue, observing on his left the “Observatory,” which retains that name because it was built in 1840 for Magnetic Observations, which were carried on first under the able management of Captain (now General Sir) HENRY LEFROY. Valuable observations were continued during a series of more than ten years, the results of which have been published. The “Observatory” now does humbler duty, but a pleasant one for the Traveller, who can find there good board and lodging at reasonable rates. Next Longwood New House and then Mr. DEACON’S residence ; while on the right are pineasters and gumwoods. The gate leading to the Old House is now opened and passing through the visitor meets the Gardien et Conservateur—Monsieur MORILLEAU—who politely conducts him to the room where the bust of the Great Conqueror stands in the exact spot where he breathed his last. Neat little flower beds and a kitchen garden are to be observed in the enclosure, which is encircled with privet. At the back of the house is the Emperor’s fish pond, a few yards from which is the Signal Station, from which almost every ship coming to St. Helena is descried and telegrams passed to all parts of the Island. Longwood Old House commands fine prospects. The Author would advise the Tourist (time permitting) to visit the hospitable and enterprising Mr. DEASON, who will cheerfully permit him to go through the fine fields of Longwood Farm, where he will have the opportunity of seeing fine horses and farm stock in general, also a female ostrich, the only one left out of four imported in 1880, and a few young trees lately sent to Mr. DEASON by Mr. FREDERICK E. GRANT of Boston, U.S.A., who, assisted by Mr. JACKSON DAWSON, of the Arnold Arboritum, has sent, during the past 18 months, nearly 2,000 trees and slips, and sufficient seed to clothe our naked slopes with useful and ornamental trees
and shrubs. Adjoining Longwood Farm, on the left, is Mulberry Gut, a rather productive estate, containing 27 acres of arable ground and fruit trees, such as mulberries, guavas, plantain, peaches, grapes, loquats of excellent quality, chirimoya, apples, and coffee, besides agricultural produce and garden vegetables in variety.
The Tourist having seen the chief objects of his visit now returns to Town via Hutt’s Gate, and on his journey thither notices the marked change in the scenery. After passing the cistern he obtains an excellent view of the highest ridge in the Island, containing Diana’s Peak and other lofty eminences, such as Cuckold’s Point, Feather-bed Hill, Taylor’s, and Halley’s Mount, covered with a rich profusion of the indigenous flora of the Island, growing in its native luxuriance, such as tree ferns, gumwood, cabbage tree, dogwood, blackboy, besides a profusion of undergrowth, chiefly roses, fuschia, gloxinia, and some 20 or more species of ferns, mostly of the asplenium species, of which some 8 or 10 are peculiar to the Island. The Botanist may revel to his heart’s content up these ridges, ever finding new delights and grand specimens wherewith to stock a herbarium. Glancing down the valley on the left he espies Willow Bank, the prettiest house in the locality, with pineasters ; by the side of it two cottages, and above, Teutonic Hail and farm ; to the right of which is Walbro’ Cottage, with small, well-kept lawn in front, whereon stand two grand specimens of the Norfolk Island pine. These grounds are celebrated for the fine bergamot pears and that curious shrub, called locally the “Bottle Brush,” they produce. Both these properties belonged to the late enterprising and much-respected Mr. JAMES LEWIS. His worthy sons now manage the estate. Above Walbro’ Cottage is Well’s ; to the right of which is Bates’—both of them immediately under the two loftiest peaks. Here are excellent pasture lands and cattle are to be seen browsing on them. Turning the angle we come in sight of the Hussey Charity school, Hutt’s Gate and a pretty church called St. Matthew’s. Entering Hutt’s Gate shop the Tourist is informed that he can be accommodated at the Hotel adjoining with every requisite, and probably he orders a repast, which will, no doubt, be thoroughly enjoyed after the ride from Town. It is a remarkable fact that the keen air of the Country whets the appetite, in which opinion no doubt the Tourist will concur after being 1¾ hours in the saddle, or “footing” the whole journey. Repast finished, the journey to Town is resumed. Passing the Vicarage, the residence of the Rev. J. C. HANDS,
Vicar of Longwood—in which are a vast variety of trees, amongst which are some handsome camellias—we wend our way through an avenue of pineasters, observing on the right of the road a hedge of privet and thorn extending (about 400 yards,) to the Tomb gate. Reaching the Alarm House and turning down the Tourist bids adieu to the Tomb and Longwood and quickly pursues his way to Town, reviewing the several scenes on his journey thither. Reaching Two-Gun Saddle cottage his eye is suddenly attracted by the dismal looking ravine below—a perfect region of barrenness. This is the upper part of Rupert’s Valley, where he espies a small cannon and ruins of a building perched on a knoll, and below it a black house called Rupert’s Well, and about 100 yards farther the ruins of Rupert’s Gaol. Arriving near Sentry Box he stops to view Mr. WOODMAN’S orchard, in the yard below the Benevolent Society’s School, filled with plantain (upwards of 200 trees, which bear well, producing bunches of excellent fruit, containing, on an average, 12 dozen, which are retailed at from 9d. to 1/ per dozen ; thus returning upwards of £60 per year), fig, orange, lemon, pomegranate, Kei apple, apple, chirimoya, and guava trees, also Bermuda cedars, sugar cane, yam, pumpkins, &c. This orchard was formerly a slaughter-yard, and is about 150 feet square. Opposite it are to be noticed banyan, peepul and thorn trees growing on the bank of the Run. Highly gratified with this pleasing object, the Tourist proceeds on, and in a few minutes reaches the Club, dismounts and proceeds to the Wharf and on board his ship, to recount the many wonders met with in the interior of our Island ; and in a few hours bids farewell to St. Helena, carrying with him pleasant reminiscences of his first and only tour to the Tomb and Longwood, probably soliloquizing :—
‘Thy rugged cliffs and rock-girt coast forbidding are ;
Yet still thy upland groves and glades are passing fair.’
Presuming that the Visitor intends remaining in the Island for a short time, we shall take him through the Town and from thence to the Tomb and Longwood via the Waterfall and Briars Village. Leaving the Consulate at 10 a.m., and passing the Lower Bazaar, he enters Market Street, observing on his right two substantial shops and residences. Turning the corner the spacious Market arrests his attention and he immediately repairs thither in quest of
fruit, &c. Having thoroughly viewed the building and regaled himself from the hanging bunches of delicious plantains, or with the rosy-yellow peaches, or the melting fig candied in its own sugar, or the juicy pear and refreshing loquat, or the sweet, fragrant orange, or the luscious mango and chirimoya, or may be a bunch of tempting grapes, or honey in the honeycomb, the Visitor orders a horse, and after making arrangement for the hire of it during his stay, jumps into the saddle and proceeds on his journey, viewing the several neat shops and substantial buildings en route. But as no doubt there are a few objects of interest to be met with on the journey we shall proceed to point them out, A few yards after leaving the Market the Burial Ground may be noticed and if the Visitor will look through the gate he will observe the effects of the disastrous flood of 1878 and a few vaults and tombstones which escaped the fury of that mighty torrent—the largest ever known within the memory of the oldest inhabitant (90)—and 12 fine banyans on the East side of it near the Run. The most conspicuous object therein is the monument erected by Governor PYKE in 1709, in memory of his wife and son, where he also was interred in 1733. ‘Built in the face of this mausoleum is to be found a large Rock containing the oldest inscription in the Island informing us that the “Ship Dolphin Willm Freemen commr & John Prowd mastr arrived in March & departed in May 1645.” Opposite the gate a road is observed branching to the right ; this is called Ladder Hill Corner, and is the commencement of the road leading to the Ladder and Ladder Hill. About a hundred yards further on the Good Templars Hall, with signboard over the entrance, catches the eye. This commodious building was for many years a tavern, called the “Heart of Oak”—a rather strange anomaly. The Visitor will not fail to observe a few respectable looking buildings just above this Hall. A few years ago they were mere hovels, but since they became the property of the late Mr. R. S. LEGG they have been converted into good substantial dwellings by him, thus greatly improving the appearance of this part of Market Street. Another hundred yards and the Middle Burial Ground, treeless, and therefore doleful looking, presents a sad appearance ; passing it he is cheered by observing the commodious building called the Mechanics’ Hall with signboard over the entrance and a showy wild olive in the small plot in front ; adjoining thereto is a neat residence, rendered pleasant by having a beautiful wild olive and a flower garden enclosed by rail in front of the building. Here (Scale’s Corner) a
road is observed leading to the Photographer’s, Commissariat Stables, Poor House, and Napoleon Street (or the Backway as it is generally called). Passing under an avenue of fine banyans the Baptist Chapel (in which are 300 sittings) and spacious school house are now observed. Shortly we arrive at the Officers Parade gate, and entering it discover the fine Quarters and the Parade, which is now used, by special permission, as a cricket ground ; at the back of the Quarters are good stables and outhouses. The Quarters are now used the staff sergeants. Another avenue of banyans is passed through and we arrive at the Barrack Gate, on the stone arch over which is inscribed the E. I. Company’s Arms and the following :—“Brigr General CHARLES DALLAS. A. D. 1832. Auspicio regis et senatus Angliae.” A few yards before reaching the gate the entrance to the Shortcut to Ladder Hill is to be observed on the right. Should the Visitor desire to do so he may obtain permission to view the Barracks, wherein are married men’s and staff quarters, and a good racket or ball alley. The Barrack Square is about 100 yards long by 30 wide. Leaving the Barrack Gate, we soon reach the Botanical Garden, just below which are staff quarters. In front of these are two fine margossa trees, whose handsome flowers, when in bloom, perfume the air with sweet odours. It is said the flowers of the margossa closely resemble the lilac. Looking through the gate of the Botanical Garden the handsome foliage of the numerous graceful trees and the pretty flowers meet the admiring gaze of the Visitor, who would be highly gratified by promenading through the shaded, well-laid-out walks. This garden contains a hedge of pomegranate (along the walk leading to the Governor’s private residence), peach, guava, Kafir date, Bussorah date, orange, chirimoya, rose apple, loquat, Kei apple, papau apple, Indian almond (1), Rambutan of China (2, called litchi here), cocoa nut palm, India rubber (1), acacia, margossa, mahogany (5), Indian fig* (Ficus Indica), tamarind, and cotton trees ; American hemp, vegetable and flowers. The upper part of this garden is about 100 yards long by 20 wide, and the lower (which was partly destroyed by the flood of 1878) about 100 yards by 15. It adjoins the Governor’s residence called “Palm Cottage,” deriving its name from a fan palm which grows in front of the building. Here may be observed a neat iron railing enclosing a small, tastily-laid-out garden, containing excellent and choice flowers, oleanders,
*‘This tree is a tripod, two of its branches having thrown down stems which have taken root and now rival the parent stem in size.’
grape vine (from cuttings sent by Mr. F. E. GRANT, of Boston, U.S.A.), guava, orange, shaddock, mango, avocado pear, mulberry, robal, and other trees. In about two minutes after leaving the Botanical Garden gate we reach the Upper Burial Ground, containing, in the lower part of it, several graceful trees—such as margossa, Cape yew, date and acacia, planted lately by Governor JANISCH ; also a fine thorn tree. A lane leads past this Burial Ground to the new road, part of which is cut through the upper part of this ground. Just here is Mrs. BELL’S neat, snug-looking house with a rail in front enclosing a nice little flower garden and shrubbery, and at the back of it, under the new road, plantain, peach, margossa and Kei apple trees, and flowers. This place is a pleasing object when viewed from the Sidepath. Adjoining this is a building recently erected, which is used as a shop and residence, and has added to the appearance of this part of the Town. Opposite Mrs. BELL’S is the entrance gate to the Governor’s private residence. We now cone into China Town, observing on our left an enclosure containing thorn, Kei apple, margossa, banyan, peach and cotton trees, recently planted by our present esteemed Governor. Formerly this enclosure was covered with huts. Shortly we espy the Roman Catholic Chapel with wall in front enclosing a few pomegranate trees and flowers, and at the back of it plantain trees, &c. On the left of the Chapel is a block of buildings—erected by Governor Sir E. H. DRUMMOND HAY in 1860—called Drummond Hay Square, in front of which are three handsome large thorn trees. Formerly the site of this Square was covered with numerous tiny huts occupied and owned by Chinese. ‘The original importation is now extinct, though the peculiar traits of the Mongolian features may occasionally be seen in some of their descendants—varied by intermarriage with Negro and European blood. Many curious tales are still remembered of the Celestials’ peculiarities, and should the Visitor get hold of some “ancient” he may hear some quaint stories. At one time the Chinese were so numerous as to have a Joss-House at Plantation. As gardeners they were unsurpassed, and it is to their labor and perseverance that we are indebted for so many of the fine fruit trees now flourishing on the Island. A branch road to the right between the Roman Catholic Chapel, Under School and Women’s Hospital, joins that leading to St. John’s Villa, Well’s, Cambrian Cottage and Maldivia. Opposite the thorn trees in front of Drummond Hay Square is the Government Under School and Master’s residence, and on the left three large Iron Tanks from which the Town and
Shipping are supplied with water. The Tourist will not fail to notice the Red Quarry situate to the left of the Tanks, Passing the School St. John’s Church attracts the eye, as also a fine acacia (Kafir thorn) growing inside the yard of the Women’s Hospital. Leaving the Church the Civil Hospital with iron railing enclosing it, comes in full view, the trees—Norfolk Island pines (2), Bermuda cedars (4), pomegranate, plantain, date palm, acacia, and thorn—and a few pretty flowers adding to the appearance of this fine structure ; to the left of which, but in the Military Hospital yard, is to be noticed a fine tree of the Malva species, which is almost always in flower, and presents a pleasing sight from Sidepath ; also a cork and several plantain trees. Glancing to the front is seen the spacious Military Hospital almost hid by two fine large banyans, on the trunks and boughs of which are inscribed numerous names dating from 1765. This Hospital is enclosed by an iron rail, by side of which are a poplar, numerous plantain, and two banyan trees. Passing along here will be noticed a building in the upper part of the enclosure. This is the contagious disease ward erected in 1881 on the site of the Hospital Sergeant’s quarters. Opposite this is an enclosure containing a few tenements and in the upper part of it plantain, peach, and loquat trees and sugar cane ; adjoining, a shop and dwelling, and to the right a lane leading to St. John’s Villa. This neat Villa, the property of our respected Clerk of the Peace, has recently been improved at a large outlay ; it is surrounded by a small garden, containing several trees, such as wild olive, orange, Brazilian Almond, and rose apple ; also black fig and plantain (some of the dwarf species) recently introduced from Madeira ; with flower beds, and flowers in pots along the neat walks. Formerly this garden produced fine grapes, but owing to the disease called “oidium,” the vines died off. The present proprietor, however, has introduced some other varieties which he believes will suit the climate of St. Helena. After passing the lane a snug-looking house is noticed on the right, in the back yard of which is a kitchen garden, flowers, plantain, orange, peach, and loquat trees. Above this is a gate, looking through which are to be seen mango, guava, fig, pomegranate, peach, loquat, English mulberry, plantain and chirimoya trees, and sugar cane. Twenty years ago this garden produced excellent grapes. Adjoining this, to the right, is Well’s garden containing vegetables, pomegranate, guava, peach, fig, loquat, orange, rose apple, and pear trees. On the left, above the shop, is a cottage and small garden,
where are to be observed oleanders, plantain trees and flowers. Passing a few buildings on the right and left we come to the New Bridge. It is hard to account for the appellation of this bridge. The present one is new and constructed differently to its predecessors, which were swept away (two in the Author’s memory) by floods ; but the cognomen has obtained since 1834, ‘when Governor DALLAS constructed a carriage road and bridge in place of the old foot-path.’ But, n’importe, we are at the New Bridge, and so will cross over it and proceed to view the effects of the late disastrous flood and the lovely Gardens of the Valley as we journey along. (If the Tourist desires to do so, be may pay a visit to either Cambrian Cottage or Maldivia, as the back entrances are only a few yards off and in view from the road.) After proceeding about 10 yards we glance to the right and observe Cambrian Cottage with neat walks adorned with flowers, stately cocoa-nut and date (Arabian) palms, peach, loquat, guava, fig, rose apple, orange (Seville and Mandarin,) plantain (3 kinds), mulberry, acacia, oleander and laburnum trees ; and a very productive little vegetable garden in front, and cactus trailing along the boundary wall. Here a Brazilian almond tree is to be noticed growing, as it were, on the top of the roof of a horse stable recently erected ; but on closer examination it will prove a delusion. Not wishing to destroy so scarce a tree, the proprietress of the estate, when the stable built around the tree was being roofed, caused the iron to be so cut as to allow the upper part of the trunk and branches full scope to enjoy existence in this mundane sphere. We wish all would have as much thought for the well-being of their trees instead of ruthlessly cutting them down and thus injuring their estates, as well as depreciating their value. Next comes Maldivia garden, by the back entrance to which stands a fine eucalyptus. This fine garden contains a great variety of fruit and ornamental trees, and shrubs, viz :—mango (3 kinds), orange, guava (3 kinds), loquat, peach, Brazil guava, bananas (various), rose apple, Kei apple, papau apple, chirimoya, pomegranate, fig, a fruit (Xanthochymus Dulcis) from Molucca Islands, date palm (2 kinds), Kafir date, tamarind, litchi, shaddock, Spanish mulberry, Otaheite gooseberry, granadilla, oleander, myrtle (2 kinds), hibiscus (4 kinds), bougainvillea (2 kinds), rose (white, and China), splendid ginger or cardamon plant, ginger (yellow and white), star-shaped lily (white flower), strelitzia (3 kinds), plumbago, China box, raphia palm, acacia, margossa, thorn, Indian fig (Ficus Indica), cotton,
cypress, bamboo (2 kinds), Madagascar creeper, and Cereus triangularis, which is to be noticed trailing along the wall. Arriving opposite a cottage we discover Maldivia residence surrounded with beautiful flowers and flowering vines. Maldivia and Cambrian Cottage estates are, at the present day, the best fruit and vegetable gardens in James’ Valley, producing, amongst others, excellent lettuces, radishes, brinjals, cucumbers, capsicums, and chilies. A visit to these fine estates would prove highly satisfactory. Above Maldivia residence is another building belonging to the estate, and beyond it a productive garden called Maldivia Upper Garden, the walks in which are bordered by fruit trees—such as pomegranate, orange, (Seville and Mandarin), peach, mango, pear, rose apple, guava, date palms, red plum, fig, loquat, plantain (4 kinds), mulberry, and acacia trees ; also granadilla, sugar cane, farinha, chili (4 kinds), and numerous clumps of reed. The orderly arrangement of the beds of vegetables demonstrate considerable care and perseverance on the part of the Tenant. A glance above this garden will reveal a few beds of dark green rushes, which are exceedingly picturesque on the red and brown rocks. As we proceed along the road our ears are assailed by the croakings of frogs in the Run, a few feet below. The frogs have only made their appearance this far during the past twelve months and are the offspring of six that were brought to the Island from the Cape by Miss MOSS, daughter of the highly-respected Hon’ble G. MOSS, of the Briars, and ere long will fill the streams that meander through the two ravines above Chubb’s Spring. The Visitor will not fail to notice the dilapidated state of the banks of the Upper Garden. This was caused by the flood of 1878 washing them away,as also the road under them leading to Maldivia, the entrance to which is to be observed above Estcourt’s Cottage, which we now discover ensconced in trees—plantain, peach, mango, loquat, orange, cedar, &c. Excellent flowers are to be noticed in front of the verandah and in pots on the step entrance to this snug cottage. Here may be observed the effects of the late flood—large rocks and debris around the fruit trees ; also watercress, castor oil nut trees and banyans, and on either hand jungles of prickly pear ready to give a “pricking” reception to intruders. The Author would strongly advise strangers not to attempt to pluck and eat the fruit off these bushes as many have often done ; for the little hair-like prickles with which they are covered will, should they get into the mouth, soon cause great uneasiness as well as pain. They
are bad enough when they get into one’s fingers ; but when one’s tongue is filled with them the sensation is indescribably irritating, and not soon forgotten. We now come to the road leading to the cottage and a small plot of ground above it containing vegetables, 2 date palms peach, loquat, English mulberry, and guava. Passing it we observe a bye-path leading to the left, but we continue on the broad road, observing a cottage just below, reed, and nasturtium and pumpkin vines trailing over the banks of the upper part of Maldivia Upper Garden, of which we here get a closer view. Turning the angle we soon reach another road branching to the right. As it is a much shorter route than the carriage road and leads to Chubb’s Spring, we will proceed that way. Arriving at the gate of Chubb’s Spring—the small cottage buildings we regret to say are roofless—we peep through and view the numerous plantain trees on each side of the walk leading to this substantial residence, which is situated in a healthy spot, where the health-giving breezes their revels daily keep, sometimes sighing, sometimes howling deep. Jogging along a zig-zag we soon come into the level, main road, whence a road branches to the left leading to the “Corner of the Wall,” and also to a house called Robbin Island—embosomed in jungles of aloe and immense prickly pear bushes, which look like so many grotesque trees—with two margossas. A good view of Chubb’s Spring house can now be obtained, in front of which is a small kitchen garden, and a couple of banyans and margossas near the boundary wall. As we proceed along the road we glance at the valley below and notice the great damage caused to this once best fruit-producing garden in St. Helena by the destructive flood of 1878. The Author, when a youth, oft times promenaded under the grape vines in this garden, and as oft was wont to snatch at the numerous tempting bunches of fine, luscious grapes (both white and black) as he passed under them ; but the innate dread of the old gardener twigging him was the only preventive to his appropriating a few of the “best” to his then peculiarly capacious “larder.” This garden up to 1878 was enclosed by a high wall, and, its having stood for ages, no one ever dreamt that it would some day be swept away ; but, alas, the day came when not only the wall, but nearly the whole of the garden ground was destroyed in the space of half an hour. The Rev. J. C. LAMBERT, F.R.G.S., the proprietor, who had then recently arrived from India, planted over 350 young gutta percha trees and India rubber and
vanilla vines, which he had brought especially for trial in this garden, not very long before the flood ; but they met the same fate as the wall and were all swept into the sea. There are, however, yet remaining in the lower part of this once noble garden some grand fruit trees—date palms, pomegranates, peaches, loquats, plantains (5 or 6 varieties) pears, figs, oranges, rose apple, besides some well grown specimens of the acacia (Shittim wood), willow, margossa, blackboy, etc. But the grape vines however disappeared long before the flood, having been destroyed by the oidium, which killed nearly all the vines in the Island. We now reach another angle, whence we observe Chubb’s Spring, which supplies the Town with water. This never-failing, invaluable spring gives 1,500 gallons of water per hour, To the right of it, under the cliff, is a reservoir in which water from the streams (which meet here) is collected for the use of Jamestown. Here may be observed a small grassy flat ; this is called Fiddler’s Green, where many pugilistic encounters and duels formerly took place. In two minutes after passing this point we arrive at the picturesque little cataract called the Little Waterfall, where we observe acacias, rock-rose, dock, celery and rushes ; also nasturtium with its beautiful variegated (yellow and red) flowers trailing over the boulders ; and watercress, which abounds in this and the valley on the opposite side. A bridge spans the stream here, leading to Peak Hill road. After viewing the Waterfall and the numerous prickly pear bushes (opuntia cochinillifera) which literally cover the hillside above it, we turn to the left and proceed on our journey, and in a very short time come to an angle called Drummers’ Point—‘called so on account of the drummer boys of the garrison having been trained there in order not to disturb the Town with their rub-a-dubs.’ Here we rein in our steed to view the wildest, though picturesque, scenery yet presented to our gaze—viz : the chasm on the right, called the Waterfall ; while to the left the eye is relieved by trees and mountains clad in verdure green—a striking contrast to the wild scenery up the Waterfall Valley, over which towers High Knoll Fort and huge cliffs—bare and sombre indeed—and Francis Plain, presenting the appearance of a round table placed between a wedged-shaped ravine ; while Peak Hill looks like the top of a mis-shaped “cottage loaf.” As we turn to proceed we catch sight of the Pavillion, a bye-path leading to which is observed to the right a few yards after leaving Drummers’ Point. The hill through which this bye-path leads is called “Devil’s Backbone” ; but why, we are unable to
conjecture—save that the person who gave it the name must have seen the backbone of his Satanic majesty DIABOLUS. In a few minutes we come in sight of the Briars Village, obtaining as we journey along good views of the snug cottage-buildings and trees in the vicinity. Arriving near a gate leading to a thatched roof cottage—in front of which is a small kitchen garden, date palm, peach, plantain, and cotton trees—a road is observed branching to the right ; this leads to the Briars. A slip of ground, about 100 yards long by 20 wide, is to be noticed above the cottage. This belongs to the Briars’ estate and yields, in the winter months, good crops of potatoes. Turning to the left and passing the several habitations we reach the “Corner of the Wall,” where we turn to the right and continue our journey. Reaching Two-Gun Saddle Cottage the Tourist rides up the path leading to the left, passes by the side of the Cottage and, taking the old disused carriage road, soon arrives at the brow of the hill, whence he can obtain a fine view of the Town, part of Rupert’s Valley, Deadwood, North’s and Apple Cottages, and the numerous pineasters below them, and, to the right, Willow Cottage and a fine copse of willow, besides good scenery. Having enjoyed the view he jogs along the old road, which is partly covered with creeper, and in about a minute reaches the main road and proceeds on to the TOMB and LONGWOOD, reaching the latter place about noon.
A trip to the summit of Flagstaff Hill will well repay the sight-seer’s trouble. A brisk canter of five minutes over the level plains of Longwood and Deadwood brings the Visitor to the terminus of the comfortable riding part of the journey, though it is quite feasible to ride to the summit of this hill, if nerves are to be depended upon. On arriving at the top, probably the first object to attract the attention is the surging surf dashing against the rocky beach 2290 feet below. The side of the hill to the Northward is not very far removed from the perpendicular and very little exertion is requisite to pitch a stone into the sea. Looking Eastward the gigantic mass of the Barn comes well into the scene, but apparently dwindled to less than a quarter of its dimensions. This is caused by its being seen “end on” ; therefore only the width is observed, its length being foreshortened. Turk’s Cap, Prosperous Bay and Plain, Level Wood and Great Stone Top occupy the left ; in front is the whole of Longwood, the fine wooded slopes and grassy uplands of the “Peak” forming a grand background. Somewhat to the right is Hutt’s Gate and Sane Valley : then
the Alarm-House, and away in the distance High Hill. A little more to the right there is High Knoll, then Ladder Hill, and in the immediate foreground rocks, apparently just about to tumble into the ocean. From this point an almost unbroken sea-horizon is obtainable and ships may be seen approaching the Island 60 miles distant, or as much on their homeward course.’
As the Visitor will no doubt remain in the Country—either at The Observatory or Hutt’s Gate—for the night and the next 24 hours before proceeding to Town to make arrangements for his board, &c., during his stay on the Island, we would recommend him to take a walk next morning through Longwood Farm, Mulberry Gut and Deadwood, where he will be sure to find sufficient to interest him, and as he returns may view Northam’s—containing apple, pear (Cape and common), loquat, peach and guava trees—and Apple Cottage, in the grounds of which may be noticed several apple trees, ‘which yield an abundance of fine fruit, but not of very first-class qualities, owing to the trees having no annual rest,’ and a few other fruit trees ; also the several cottages and trees in the vicinity.
Having returned to his temporary abode and ate a substantial dinner, the Visitor enters into conversation with “mine host”, and solicits information concerning the Island and its nice drives, and probably is recommended to go to Sandy Bay Ridge and thence to Town as the best route. However, as the Visitor intends starting betimes and has a good horse which has been resting for a whole day, we propose taking him (providing the day is fine, if not the tour bad better be deferred,) to Man and Horse via Grape Vine Gut, the Ridge and Cason’s, returning to Town via the Churchyard, Fairy Land and Ladder Hill. It is a rather long ride, but we feel assured it will prove not only a pleasant, but highly interesting and gratifying tour, one of the best we have to offer. Agreeing to our proposal he determines to have a good look round and see for himself whether or not the beauties of St. Helena are as they have been represented to him. Before retiring to rest and as the evening is yet young, he takes a stroll outside—when perhaps Luna may have risen to illumine the sombre hills with her silvery light, which is so bright at times that one can see to read a book—or the innumerable stars brightly scintillate—and is highly delighted ; the sweetness of the breezes as they blow over the lofty tree-clad peaks, and the delightfully cool air, adding new pleasures to the admiring Visitor, which cause him to feel loathe to return. But Morpheus interposes and he
feels he must do so, and in less than an hour finds himself in bed, there to remain until aroused by the lowing cow, or the bleating lamb, or the braying ass, or the gay chanticleers’ shrill notes heralding the break of day.
A RIDE TO MAN AND HORSE VIA GRAPE VINE GUT, SANDY BAY RIDGE, CASON’S,
AND WEST LODGE ; RETURNING TO TOWN VIA THE CHURCHYARD, FAIRY
LAND, PLANTATION, AND LADDER HILL.
The sun has risen, and the birds are sweetly singing their morning carols among the trees and bushes, but the Tourist still slumbers and does not awake until aroused by the servant at 6:15 a.m. Breakfasting at 8 he orders the horse to be in readiness by 9 and at 9:15 mounts and proceeds on his long tour. Passing St. Matthew’s he soon reaches the brow of the hill—whence he gets an excellent view of Longwood and the locality—and in a few seconds arrives at Halley’s Mount gate. Passing through, he is suddenly assailed with one of, probably, the prettiest scenes his eye may rest upon in his tour through the Island. Here the road winds round the brow of the hill rendered famous by being the spot selected by the Astronomer HALLEY for his observations of the Southern stars in 1676. A few yards up the grassy slope, to the left, a heap of stones covered with briars, fuchsia, &c., marks the exact spot where the Observatory was erected,—in fact the stones are the ruins of that building.* Three minutes will suffice to reach this interesting spot, and from this eminence a grand panoramic view of hill and dale may be obtained. Acres upon acres of excellent grazing land, with fine herds of cattle and sheep, and many a thatch-covered cottage combine to make up a truly rural landscape. Up the various gorges thickets of indigenous vegetation luxuriate in their native home ; whilst down the valleys sparkling streams of purest water gently
*‘It is exceedingly to be regretted that this highly interesting spot is not rescued from oblivion by having some simple, well constructed and durable monument to the man whose love and devotion to science has achieved so much for the advancement of Britain’s Commerce. A plain Obelisk, with date and name, would perpetuate this gifted man’s memory and would also be a most conspicuous and interesting memorial. The Great HALLEY deserves this small recognition : and a very few pounds would suffice to carry out this well-earned tribute to Genius.’
meander,—now passing through some garden and anon tumbling over some rocky fall.’ Shortly we reach a ravine where we notice tubs, into which the water trickles from the bank a few feet below the road, granadilla vine, and weeping willows, and above several trees whose clusters of pretty blue flowers and silvery-white leaves are extremely pleasing to the eye ; while to the right a row of these trees are observed along the boundary fence of Brookhill, which may now be perceived to the right embosomed in trees. Glancing down the ravine we descry Hunt’s Gut house and grounds, and to the West of it the desirable residence Rural Retreat surrounded with handsome trees. Above Rural Retreat is Vaughan’s, a near view of which we shall obtain as we pass by it on our journey. Nearing an angle we discover a little rivulet on the right trickling through a narrow bed of yam and rushes. Viewing the numerous indigenous trees and bushes with which the ridges are mantled as we jog on, we soon come to another ravine called Grape Vine Gut, where a fine stream of water passes under a small bridge. Here the Tourist may dismount and proceed to view the several handsome indigenous trees, &c., and partake of the limpid water as it trickles from its rocky beds. Here a vine with pink bell-shaped flowers is to be observed climbing over the stones and trees, and looks very pretty ; while the several rivulets’ silvery spray, and the snow-white flowers of the yam, add additional charm to this well-wooded gorge. Several fine weeping willows are growing along the banks of the stream. Shortly after leaving this gut we notice a bye-path to the left leading to Swampy Gut, and a few yards farther on a small gully, where there is a small stream which passes through the road, also weeping willows. Glancing to the right we espy a waterfall (about 40 feet high) over which the stream just passed tumbles, passing through Rural Retreat on its journey to Town. This stream is the source whence the Briars Village and Rupert’s are supplied with water. On each side of this waterfall are to be seen numerous blackberry bushes, watercress, and the pink-flowering vine, and at the foot of it weeping willows. In a minute we reach a gate, just below which we observe Vaughan’s house and grounds, which produce good crops of corn and vegetables. Here may be seen buddlea, thorn, pineasters, and many other trees. Passing through the gate we come to the ruins of a cottage, in front of which are a few thorn and peach trees ; also numerous pineasters. In a few minutes we arrive at an angle where the road branches off to the right to Woodlands.
Looking Eastwards we obtain excellent front views of Brookhill and Prospect. As we shall bring the Tourist by this route in his next tour we defer entering into detail of the houses, &c., to be observed from this point. Turning to our left we pass through the “Dungeon,” where we meet with a gate. Why this place should have been so called the Author cannot say,—except that passing between the high banks is extremely dismal at night ; but there is an old tradition that ghostly processions have been met here. The Author cannot vouch for the truth of this, as he has never met with such or any other ugly spectre while passing through the Dungeon at night in his youthful days ; though be must confess that he often felt ‘kind o’ scared’ when doing so. The reader may rest assured that a considerable degree of speed was put on. A sudden start of a rabbit or sheep out of a bush was sufficient to cause a certain peculiar feeling to pervade as if one could fly—which the Author thinks he nearly did on one occasion. One thing is certain he never passed through the Dungeon 26 years ago at his “own sweet will.” Mais revenons a nos moutons. Passing through the gate the Tourist again beholds lovely scenery,—the ridge lands to the South—Knollcombe Church, Oakbank, Plantation, St. Paul’s, St. Paul’s Villa, cottages, and the copses of pineasters and numerous oaks and other trees to the West—together with the romantic High Knoll Fort to the North-West—furnishing a highly picturesque scene. As we journey along the road we notice to our right two thatched-roof cottages, and Woodlands, observing therein, in the gut, bamboo, numerous plantain and fruit trees, and a hedge of blackberry (about 200 yards) on the boundary fence. Shortly we reach Lemon-tree Gut, deriving its name from a solitary lemon tree which grew there some years since. Here we notice a hedge of thorn and a gate. Passing through we come into Long’s, where we observe a thicket of indigenous trees and tubs of water in the gut. Travelling on a few yards we come to another gate. Looking to the left we discover the fine pasture land called Beale’s, hedged with thorn trees. In this land is a spring, whence Woodlands is supplied with water. About 25 years ago the late highly respected and enterprising Mr. JAMES ELLIOTT, of Woodlands, at great cost laid a leaden pipe (about 1200 yards long), the end of which he inserted in an earthen jar, sunk near the spring in order that the water might trickle therein, so as to obtain a continual supply of pure water. Passing through the gate we come in sight of Lung’s cottage, where we notice a few pineasters, Cape yew,
and pear trees, moon plant and buddlea, and on the right a hedge of thorn trees along the side of the road. We are now passing through a good pasture land called Stiche’s. Meeting another gate and riding through, we come into Swampy Gut, called so on account of there being a continual swamp in the middle part of it. Here we meet with thickets of dogwood and cabbage trees, ferns and blackberry bushes, wherein the St. Helena nightingales (beetles, crickets and grasshoppers,) perform their nocturnal melodies,—indescribably shrill chirrups intermingled with a continuous-tremolous-piercing swizj—which, though deafening, are harmonious to the ear ; yet causing a peculiar sensation to one travelling along these lonesome roads on a dark night, when everything save these songsters is silent. Reaching the angle we observe a little stream of water running between the banks of soft marl, whereon several names are inscribed. Passing a road on the left leading to Taylor’s, Diana’s Peak, &c., we soon reach Sandy Bay Ridge gate. Little dreaming that there is anything to create surprise after gazing upon the unique scenery he has just been regaled with, the Tourist passes through the gate, and before proceeding twenty yards reins in his steed instanter on beholding the vast volcanic amphitheatre called Sandy Bay, 2224 feet below him, and is amazed at the grand scene which thus suddenly breaks upon his astonished eyes :—here Helena’s loftiest peaks (Diana and Actaeon) covered with a wildering forest of indigenous trees, ferns, shrubs and flowers—there pretty houses embosomed in trees—yonder chaos—and in the far distance the vast expanse of Atlantic’s Ocean, whose waves lave the rocky shore with white foam—while lofty cones of dusky hue and most fantastic shapes, such as Lot, Lot’s Wife, the Asses Ears, etc., and ravines dotted with clays of various beautiful colors are observed in all directions,—the whole forming one of the most truly sublime sights the eye may have ever fallen upon, and one certainly never even imagined. Recovering from his surprise the Tourist touches up his steed and proceeds, viewing the several nice residences, especially admiring Mount Pleasant, where may be seen chirimoya, loquat, orange, peach, pear (Cape and common), rose apple, coffee, pineaster, Norfolk Island pine, stone pine, Scotch fir, redwood (young), Cape yew, camellia (red, white and variegated), oak, olive, cypress, thorn, cedar, weeping willow, dogwood and cabbage trees ; also granadillas (3 kinds), bamboo, hedges of fuchsia, and other pretty flowers. Passing through a gate we observe a road leading to the Bay. A few yards further on we descry a road branching
to the left leading to Mount Pleasant and another fine residence called Rose Cottage, also situated in a retired spot. A visit to the latter would amply repay the Tourist, as we feel assured he would be delighted on passing through the avenue of fine camellias as he journeys to this desirable place, and especially with the romantic and rural scenery with which it is surrounded. Here may be seen fine trees, such as pineasters, Brazilian annulated pines,* sweet olea, numerous camellias (with red and white flowers), with hydrangeas growing between magnolia trees, several varieties of fruit—peach, chirimoya, &c.,—and a flax plantation. Rose Cottage is now the property of the esteemed Surgeon B. W. FOWLER, A.M.D., a native of St. Helena, whose skill as a physician, together with his urbanity and kindness, are too well known to need further mention in these pages. Suffice it to say that St. Helena may well be proud of her son.
In a few minutes after passing Mount Pleasant we reach a gate ; passing through the Visitor bids farewell to Sandy Bay and its delightful charms. We now pass through the Ridge lands, observing on our journey a cottage and enclosure (called Doctor’s Garden) with buddlea, moon plant, and flowers, and several ravines with thickets of indigenous trees, ferns, and blackberry, in three of which are tubs into which the limpid water trickles from the banks just under the road. These little rivulets meet together in Oakbank and form part of the stream which meanders through Francis Vale and the Town. As we travel along this exceedingly pleasant drive we are regaled with lovely rural and romantic scenery,—the barren pudding-shaped hill East of Ruperts, Flagstaff Hill, Deadwood, and the sombre Barn to N. E., and High Knoll to the N. W., forming a striking contrast to the beautifully green hay lands and the varied handsome foliage of the numerous indigenous and other trees and shrubs now in view. The Ridge lands are clad in the greenest verdure all the year through, and herds of cattle browze on them six months out of twelve. Good crops of hay are obtained from these lands annually, and three or four fine haystacks are generally to be observed thereon, This part of the Island seems also to be shut out from the Western district, a ridge hiding it from view. Reaching an angle where roads branch to the right and left, the Tourist takes the latter and in a minute or two reaches a gate, and passing through comes into Harding’s. Now
* Two fine specimens—the only other at Plantation was cut down about 2 years ago to prevent the foundation of the house being destroyed by the roots.
a portion of the South-West and Western sides of the Island is revealed. As he journeys through the Tourist notices tubs of water a few feet below the road, and, if he desires to do so, may partake of the delicious, icy-cold water as it trickles from the bank. A dense thicket of indigenous trees and ferns, and blackberry, are to be observed above the tubs ; also numerous trees—Cape yew (young), Scotch fir, oak, and pineasters—in the upper part of this good hay land. Turning another angle we descry a road to the left leading to Cason’s Signal Station (now in ruins) enclosed with buddlea. An excellent view can be obtained from this Station. Passing it we reach Cason’s gate, whence we catch sight of Woodlands—a fine estate where good crops of corn, potatoes, &c., are grown annually—with pineasters, thorn, and a few fruit trees ; then Horse Pasture (a fine sheep run) where there are 2 cottages and gardens enclosed with buddlea, blackboy, and a few fruit trees ; and to the South of Woodlands High Peak (2636 feet high) ; while to the West is the huge mass of basalt called High Hill (2328 feet high). Passing a few pineasters and cabbage trees with their pretty clusters of beautiful white flowers, and blackberry bushes, we meet with another gate, called Boyce’s gate. Here a road branches to the right leading to Bevan’s, Myrtle Grove, &c. Passing through we come into Lemon Valley Head fine hay lands, wherein we notice, in the gut, a flax plantation. A road branches off here to the left leading to an excellent estate called Fairy Land. The Tourist now obtains a good view of Broadbottom Farm (in front of Woodlands) filled with crops of grain, &c. Turning an angle we observe a hedge of flax growing by the side of the boundary wall. Here we obtain an excellent sea view—in fact all through our journey we obtain an extensive marine prospect, as well as highly romantic scenery. Reaching an iron gate, called Middle Pasture gate, and passing through we notice to the right a cottage with a few trees in front of it. As we near an old gate jam (where earth of a deep rich carmine is to be seen in the road) a breeze is felt, which increases until reaching a very green ravine. This is French’s Gut, where the wind blows in gusts—quite a gale at times—almost all the year through ; yet a few yards beyond it hardly a breath of air is to be felt. This passed, a road is descried branching off to the right ; this leads to Broadbottom, Prospect, Head of the Vein—where there are to be seen cottages and gardens enclosed with buddlea and a small flax plantation—Half Moon (which cannot be seen from the road), Woodlands, Horse Pasture, &c. Looking from the road leading
to High Peak, Myrtle Grove, a fine estate where vegetables and other crops grow luxuriantly, is to be seen to the East of Broadbottom Farm, partly surrounded by pineasters and other trees. High Peak gate is now reached. Glancing below we espy Prospect, where are to be seen pineasters, camellias (with red and white flowers), privet, buddlea, &c., and 4 cottages enclosed with buddlea. Shortly we reach High Peak House, the ground in front of which was used as a camp (numerous tiny huts having been erected there) for the troops stationed there in the time of the captivity of Napoleon, from which sentries were furnished for Thompson’s Wood Hill and Man and Horse. Below this is another house, which some years ago was used as a school by the Benevolent Society. Still lower is a square of ground called Camp Ground, formerly used as a drill ground by the soldiers encamped above it. The people of the district now-a-days play cricket there in the holidays. Glancing towards the North-West, Egg Island Battery presents itself to view, then the sombre hill near it resembling a huge lion crouching (and a rock on the top of it looking as if it were a crown) with a small dyke at its side similar in shape to the back of a cathedral chair. These are to be seen after passing the Peak House. Around are excellent hay lands, some 41 acres in extent. Here we obtain a good view of High Hill (partly covered with gobblegheer trees), by the side of and near which are cottages and gardens surrounded with buddlea, pineasters and fruit trees. The soil on which these cottages are built is a bluish marl, and is therefore called “Blue Hill.” In a few minutes after leaving the Peak House we reach a bank of red marl, called Red Rock. Looking to our left we espy High Peak covered with a wildering forest of cabbage and dogwood trees, ferns, &c., and on which a cannon stood for several years ; but it now lies buried on the South side of the Peak. The Tourist would do well to dismount here and walk to the top of the Peak, whence he can obtain a most magnificent view. Turning the angle we come in sight of Red Rock gate, and passing through discover Swanley Valley estate (the house, called “Canterbury,” is in ruins), where are a few pineasters and other trees. To the West of this once good dwelling house are Mace’s and other cottages and gardens surrounded with buddlea, and to the North-West 3 cottages and gardens enclosed with buddlea and fruit trees. Down this valley meanders a fine stream of water, in the midst of which yarn is to be seen growing. Numerous furze bushes are also to be observed growing on the sides of the ravines to within
500 yards of the sea. As we journey along we notice patches of buddlea above the road and ruins of huts here and there. Reaching a plot of ground—enclosed by a wall—called Girling’s ground, we espy the ruins of a dwelling, around which are a few fruit trees and blackberry. Glancing to the ridge immediately above these ruins are to be seen those of another house, called “The Depot,” where provisions were stored for the use of the troops formerly encamped at High Peak. From this place one can get a splendid view of Sandy Bay and other parts of the Island A road branches off here from the main road ; this leads to West Lodge estate, which is enclosed by a wall and trees ; and is 150 acres in extent. In this fine estate are to be seen apples, sweet oranges, pears, peaches, rose apples, handsome camellias (with red and white flowers), magnolias, white olives, Cape yews, oaks, pineasters, willows, and a fine cedar ; also granadillas, privet, balm of Gilead, moon plant (numerous), bamboo, buddlea, hydrangea, cabbage rose, multiflora, heliotrope, fuchsia, and other flowers along the walks. Several dead pineasters are to be observed in the upper part of West Lodge. Following on the main road Windy Point is reached, which will soon be known if one’s hat is not a tight-fitting one. Looking down from here are to be seen a house and garden, and a plain under cultivation : this plain is called Lower House Plain, where large crops of potatoes are raised annually. Glancing to the South of these is chaos, only Sandy Bay Fort is to be seen to remind one that it is not altogether a desert ; but the view is highly romantic ; while to the East the upper part of Sandy Bay is seen to perfection, Diana’s and other lofty Peaks towering high in the clouds, and Rock Rose house peeping through the copse of tall pineasters, with which the lower part of this high ridge is covered. A few minutes walk from Windy Point brings the traveller to a road branching off to the right. This leads to Blue Hill, High Hill cottage, Ebony Plain and Thompson’s Valley. A gate is now close by ; this is the last gate to be met with on the journey to Man and Horse. Passing through, Thompson’s Wood Hill is soon reached, where our eyes are again suddenly assailed by highly picturesque scenery. Here are to be seen the remains of the old picquet house and a magazine—the latter in good order considering the number of years it has remained open and exposed to the weather. That it was waterproof three years ago is presumed from the fact that a man, wife, and two children lived in it for a few months, The Author saw the
mother and the children there on a very bleak, rainy day ; but how they managed to sleep in the magazine no one but themselves know, for it is only about five feet long and four feet high. On the East side of this hill are to be noticed beds of rushes, and numerous pineasters (about 15 years old) which have grown from seed deposited there by the wind. A road branches off here, to the left, leading to Luffkins and Horse Ridge. Turning to the right and jogging along a steep zig-zag we reach Thompson’s Wood, an estate of 100 acres enclosed by a wall, where we observe stone pine, pineasters, evergreens, and oaks ; also fruit trees, among which are three chestnuts (old trees) ; and in front of the house flower beds and flowers. The grounds of this estate yield good crops of potatoes, corn and vegetables, and has a good stream of water running through it. To the right of Thompson’s Wood we notice 5 cottages and Bard sis enclosed with buddlea and fruit trees. These cottages are ,situated on a place called “Wild Cattle Pound” ; passing which Botley’s Lay is reached. Here a fine view can be obtained of “Speery,” an immense rock which, seen at sea, looks like a large ship under sail near the shore, and I believe is oft mistaken for such, and Manatee Bay. After passing Botley’s cottage and garden, where the Shepherd of the Lay resides and where there is a row of pineasters growing in front and a sheep pound where sheep are impounded every other Thursday, a narrow path offers for travelling to Man and Horse, and after a quarter of an hour’s ride the undulating plain is reached and shortly after the guard-house—now in ruins. Here the long journey to this out-of-the-way but picturesque place is at an end, and no doubt the Traveller will exclaim “Thank goodness.” A luncheon and something to refresh the inner man would now be very acceptable, so the Tourist dismounts and tethers his horse to have a bite of grass before setting out on the journey homewards, while he himself can roam over the plain and “view the landscape o’er,”—Speery, Castle Rock (both a whitish color), and Black Rocks (2) presenting a pretty sight and standing some distance from the shore—and if he has a gun with him may have a hunt for game, especially rabbits. Botley’s and Man and Horse Lays are Government property and leased by sheep farmers ; they are the finest sheep runs in the Island. Several beds of rushes grow at Man and Horse, also furze and a few gumwood trees ; and all about the cliffs are to be observed the scrubwood, which bears pink and white flowers resembling those of the daisy. The leaves of this evergreen shrub
resemble the gumwood, but are smaller. Tea bushes with pretty flowers are also growing near the scrubwood. These look extremely pretty among the blackish crags which overhang the sea. To look over these perpendicular cliffs, with the sea rolling under them, is very trying, and requires a very firm nerve to attempt it. Yet men actually go down them (where one would hardly believe a goat could travel notwithstanding its fame for climbing rugged rocks) to drive sheep up to Botley’s Pound on impounding days. Under the cliffs, but hid from view, is a fine plain, about an acre in extent, called Shepherd’s Hole, where sheep mostly graze. To get to this plain is a very difficult matter and requires a firm nerve to attempt it, as the path leading to it is so narrow that neither man nor sheep nor dog can turn on it without being precipitated into the sea. It is said that the reason of the appellation Man and Horse was owing to an accident which occurred there in the earlier days. A man was galloping his horse at great speed and reaching the edge of the cliff both were precipitated into the sea, 600 feet below.
Having had a good view of this romantic spot and surroundings, the Tourist mounts his steed and begins the return journey at 2:30 p.m. Arrived at the main road after leaving Botley’s a path is to be seen branching off to the right. This leads to the Churchyard, where are to be seen strewed about the field a large number of boulders of all shapes and sizes, giving to the place the appearance of a graveyard ; hence its name. Following on this path the Tourist comes to the Ball Alley, the appearance of which will at once suggest the reason of its being so called, (on the right of these are two similar but smaller places). Passing the Ball Alley the South side of the Island comes in full view. Lot’s Wife can now be seen to advantage, and if there is time to go through Lot’s Wife Wood (a productive estate where potatoes, &c. are raised, and where are willow and other trees, flax and aloe,) to get a nearer view of this wonderful dyke—on the top of which a tree is to be seen growing—and appendages, it would be advisable, as from here a good view can be obtained of the immense circular ridge, enclosing the district called Sandy Bay, which begins at the Asses Ears and ends at the Sandy Bay Barn. In fact the view itself is grand indeed, unequalled even by that presented from Sandy Bay Ridge. Having enjoyed the view the journey is continued along a narrow path, all along which may be seen clays of the most beautiful colours interlaced, and presenting the appearance of a carpet. Looking
down the slopes from the middle of this path one has the opportunity of seeing the effects of denudation, most of the hills and ravines being deprived of almost every particle of soil, so that nothing but clays of surpassing beauty and sombre rocks present themselves to view. A cottage and garden surrounded with aloe and a few willows, are noticed below the path ; passing which a good road is reached, to the right of which is a large enclosure with a hedge of buddlea of about 800 yards in length, several pineasters, numerous willow, gobblegheer, Cape yew, myrtle, fig, plantain, peach, and mulberry trees, and flax. This is Horse Ridge estate (12½ acres in extent), one of the finest potato-producing (in regard to quality) farms in the Island, the soil imparting an excellent flavour to the potatoes. Fine and well-flavoured figs and peaches are produced here, as also pumpkins and other vegetables, among which I may mention the parsnip, which attains a large size. A fine chestnut tree grows here, and although it blossoms and bears well, yet the fruit does not come to perfection. This estate is in a remarkably healthy situation,
O’er which wafts purest, Heaven-bore breeze, from wide Atlantic’s main ;
Where clouds distil the evening dews and drop refreshing rain.
Horse Ridge commands an extensive marine prospect—whence ships are descried when approaching the Island from the South and South-West—is romantically situated, and cannot be seen from any other part of the Island.
The Visitor should by no means miss seeing some of those quaint masses of rock debris locally known as “Boulders.” A little to the left of Horse Ridge and within a circuit of a few yards these rocky fragments (having the most fantastic shapes) are strewn about in the most lavish manner. Very little if any stretch of the imagination will suffice to recognize in one an immense nine-pin close by another having the form of a colossal bale of wool, on whose upper surface rain has washed furrows fully two inches in depth. Near by stands a fine chestnut tree, a rather rare sight in this neighbourhood. Should the traveller’s eye pick up this object it will be a good guide to him for finding the locale of many curious and interesting geological features. Continuing along the pathway to the left, one of the grandest and most majestic, and perhaps best known of our local lions, meets the Tourist’s gaze—viz : the vast columnar pile called Lot. A short turn to the left discloses more of the so-called “Boulders.” Here may be seen lying about in every con-
ceivable way heavy masses of dyke rock, and the imagination can easily fancy that some Titanic monsters have been playing a game at quoits and had left them standing in the ground whilst resting from their Herculean labors, or that the sight seer is standing in the Cyclopean workshop : here the anvil and hammer—there the mis-shaped mass of metal—here an almost perfect cone standing 30 feet high and 200 in circumference—there the door of a work-box 6 feet by 2 feet—here the pattern for a haystack—there the design for a “beaver,” and so on in endless variety, leaving full scope for the imaginative Visitor’s fancy. A few minutes should certainly be spared to examine some fine specimens of “cheese-rings,” which are a few yards above the road. On closer inspection these extraordinary formations are found to consist of veritable plates of stone 2 to 4 inches thick and 15 to 20 feet in circumference, piled one on the other to a height of 2 to 10 feet, looking like piles of “genuine stone” ware. On the left a small consignment of patterns, say half-a-dozen, to the right a dozen or so. The remaining portions of these mammoth “dinner services” lie all round, and one feels like a Lilliputian in a Brobdignag pottery shop. Speculations are rife as to how, why, and when these strange forms got into their present positions ; but the Tourist will be more gratified in noting the wondrous beauties of this charming and romantic spot than in entering into speculation, which at the best must prove unsatisfactory and ephemeral. But time presses and onward we go, Pursuing the same path for some 100 yards there is seen another path branching off to the right which leads to a very commodious and comfortable farm residence called Luffkins—containing pineasters, fig trees, and kitchen garden—well known locally for the fine quality of its potato crop. As the Visitor proceeds he will not fail of being charmed with the surrounding scenery : fine masses of red, blue, orange and purple rocks contrasting with the sombre green of the pine and the brilliant foliage of the cabbage tree with its clusters of snow-white flowers, and the sober, sage-green leaves and grey lichen-covered stem of the gumwood ; whilst the grassy slopes of upland pasture and the masses of gorgeous colored wild flowers present a tout ensemble never even dreamt of by the passenger, who only views our Island from the deck of his passing ship. A good view of Lower House Plain and the Bay can be obtained from this road. Looking upwards to the left is “The Depot,” where we notice gumwood and cabbage trees, A little further on is the estate called Peak Gut,
where we observe apple, quince, lemon, peach, pear, fig, plantain, fir and oak trees ; also grape and granadilla vines. Good crops of potatoes and other vegetables are generally raised here. The house is in a good situation. After passing this and glancing upwards to the left is High Peak, the sides of which are clothed with gumwood, dogwood, and cabbage trees and tree ferns, and just under it a square of blackberry bushes, which present a very pleasing sight. Front the Peak runs a deep ravine, through which a stream of water meanders and passes through the road. Another turn of the road and Bounce’s Ridge is seen running towards Sandy Bay, then the estate called Rock Mount, which in former years was very productive, potatoes, pumpkins, and other vegetables yielding abundantly. A glance about this place will reveal several plots of ground, enclosed with low walls, formerly cultivated, but now covered with grass. The house itself is not in good repair, nor is the enclosure. Several pear and peach trees are noticed here ; also pineasters, oaks, and pepper bushes. Travelling on we come to another ravine, down which a fine stream of water runs and passes through the road ; this is called Rush Hollow, where are to be seen, above the road, beds of rushes, thorn trees, and the ruins of a house ; and, to the right, Chestnut Cottage, a snug looking house but out of repair. The Author, on his journey round this road on 24th July, 1882, went to this place to see if out of four or five trees growing there any were the chestnut, but he could not find one;—but there were, a cork, an evergreen, and oaks, which latter seemed to be of great age, though not of great size. No doubt chestnut trees grew there, formerly, hence the name. It may be remarked here that almost every place in the Island has derived its name from some peculiar circumstance. This ravine commands a good view of the columnar pile called Lot, which is about 350 yards from the road, and if the Traveller has any desire to do so he can walk to it. A quarter of an hour’s ride now brings the Tourist to Fairy Land, a beautiful spot, whence a pretty view of most of the several fine estates and groves, and fertile spots in Sandy Bay can be obtained. Fairy Land is well wooded and contains several handsome trees, among which are magnolias, camellias, a fine large eucalyptus about 90 feet high by 12 feet in circumference, Norfolk Island pines (2), stone pine, mimosas (numerous), willows (2 kinds), pineasters, Cape yew, thorn, and other forest trees ; also fruit trees—such as bergamot pear, common pear, peach, mulberry, &c.,—bamboo and privet.
A Dairy was erected on this estate some 30 years ago by the late Hon’ble GEORGE W. EDWARDS, for several years Colonial Auditor of this Island, who also planted most of the trees along the walks (4) ; but it is out of repair, This must have been a pretty place a few years ago—in fact its beauty is but slightly tarnished even at the present day. Here may be seen the raspberry trailing along the ground with its red berries shining brightly in the rays of the morning sun, and excellent flowers. Having enjoyed a good view of this enchanting place and the delightfully romantic and rural scenery about it, the Tourist leaves Fairy Land and proceeds onwards, when he descries a little path branching from the main road ; this leads to Sandy Bay via Cole’s Rock. Looking to the right a pretty house presents itself to view. This is Rose Cottage. Travelling on the zig-zag path the main road is soon reached, and after passing through Boyce’s gate a glance down the valley will discover Bevan’s embosomed in trees ; whilst above it are thickets of cabbage trees, blackberry and furze. Passing through Cason’s gate Sydenham, situated to the North, is to be seen amid trees. Reaching Bates’ Branch gate and passing through the Tourist bids adieu to the delights of the South-Western and North-Western sides of this really picturesque and wonderful little Island to behold less grand though lovely scenery. Leaving Sandy Bay Ridge to the right we proceed on our journey until we reach a gate, called Bliss’ gate. Here we rest awhile to view the Ridge lands and the Peaks, and are struck with the different aspect they now present, Passing through the gate we ride by a piece of land and the ruins of a house, called “Davy Simon’s”, enclosed with buddlea. Turning the angle we observe Luffkins, almost hid by trees, just below the road. A few yards above the house is the spring from which Plantation is supplied with water. An almost unbroken line of pineasters extends from here to end of Plantation Forest, a distance of about 1200 yards. As the Traveller nears Church Ground Point gate he sees to the right a fine looking house ; this is Oakbank, an excellent, well-wooded estate, with shaded walks, fine hedges of privet, bamboo, &c., and beautiful flowers. (See Appendix). This is the residence provided for the Bishops of St. Helena. To the right of this is Rose Bower, another fine estate where flax and hundreds of coffee trees are to be seen growing luxuriantly, and, in the field in front of the house, six handsome young Norfolk Island pines. Both these buildings resemble each other in structure. Looking to the East is to be seen, first, Woodlands (Blenkin’s), with a porch in front,
and to the left of it, standing out boldly, is Barren Hill Cottage ; then in a line with this in the distance is the pretty-looking residence Prospect, a few yards beyond which is the Alarm House. After having a good view of these fine estates and the dense copses of pineasters above and below this road (those below having come up from seed within the last 16 years) and the exquisite, rural and romantic scenery, the journey is continued, when Church Ground Point gate is reached, by side of which, to the right, is the comfortable residence called St. Paul’s Villa, built in 1868, where the eucalyptus is to be seen growing in the hedge among willow, thorn and fir. After passing through this gate Ahing’s Cottage and enclosure are observed to the right, with a hedge of multifiora through the middle part of the ground, a eucalyptus, margossa, and a few fruit trees also buddlea and flowers. It was here the finest cabbages ever seen in the Island were produced, two of which were sufficient for a donkey load. To the left of this is the Government Country School surrounded with buddlea, oak, fir, and a few fruit trees ; also flowers ; next the entrance to the Roman Catholic Burial Ground, and then the gate leading to St. Paul’s pretty Cathedral and Cemetery, where the beautiful cypress and other stately evergreen trees waft sweet melody over the peaceful dead which lie slumbering beneath them ; while numerous lovely flowers dot the walks and graves, emitting delightful odours. After passing St. Paul’s a road is observed branching to the left, leading to Scotland and other fine estates to be mentioned hereafter ; while to the right a road leads to a cottage and garden surrounded with buddlea and containing a few fruit trees, and Oakbank. Within two minutes we reach Plantation Gate and Signal Station. Resting a few minutes to view the several houses dotting this noble panorama the Tourist observes a road leading to the right ; this takes him to Knollcombe, Rose Bower, and the Eastern side of the Country, or to Town if he wishes to go that way. From here are to be seen to the East, Harper’s, where we observe a row of oaks just above the house, yew, and pineasters ; Francis Plain Cottage and Militia Officers’ Mess and the fine plain itself, where perhaps a game of cricket may be going on ; and in the valley below it is Francis Vale, a good estate where plantains and other fruit trees grow luxuriantly, as also yam and good vegetables. Below this is a cottage and small garden, at the head of the Waterfall. Through Francis’ Vale a large stream of water meanders gently along ; this is the stream which is to be seen tumbling over the Waterfall
from the Sidepath and passes through the Town. To the West of Harper’s is Willow Cottage, once a good residence, but untenanted at the present day ; and at the end of Plantation road (about 500 yards from the gate) Red Hill House and Shop, from which a road leads to Francis Plain and to High Knoll ; also 3 cottages below the road ; and, in the distance, the Briars Village. A visit to Plantation will reveal to the Visitor the finest house he has seen in his travels through the Country, with a beautiful lawn where cricket and tennis are often played and other sports engaged in, and as he can ride through the grounds it would be advisable to do so, for here are to be seen trees and shrubs of many kinds as well as beautiful flowers. (A list of trees now growing in Plantation will be found in the Appendix). Governor Sir CHARLES ELLIOT caused a great improvement to be made to this delightful place in the matter of planting valuable trees and shrubs. Governor JANISCH, too, has also caused 200 valuable trees—lately received from Mr. F. E. GRANT, of Boston, Mass U.S.A.,—to be planted in these grounds. Journeying onwards the Traveller observes fine Cape yews along the walk, planted there 11 years ago by the Government gardener, Mr. CHALMERS, by order of Governor PATEY. After passing these trees Plantation House is lost to view and in a few minutes the Tourist comes in sight of a good house, with porch in front, to the left of the road : this is Red Hill Cottage, which has lately been reconstructed by the Hon’ble and Right Rev. T. E. WELBY, who has resided there for the past three years. Here we notice a hedge of plumbago, eucalypti (young), wild olive, cedars (young), cypress, willow, and other trees. Presently he reaches the Sanatorium, by the side of which is the Cistern whence the district and Ladder Hill are supplied with water ; to the left of this is the gate leading to Red Hill Cottage. Passing this is another gate to the left ; this leads to an excellent house called Prince’s Lodge, with verandah around it and enclosed with a wall. In these grounds are fine eucalypti, willows, white olives and Bermuda cedars, and flowers. This is the residence of our much esteemed citizen SAUL SOLOMON, Esq. The grounds of this estate yield good crops of grain, the soil being of a stiff clayey nature. A lawn tennis ground is to be seen in front of the house. To the right and a few yards above this gate is the road leading to High Knoll and a fine residence called Enfield Cottage, with a verandah in front of it and enclosed by a wall, which we notice as we pass by. Several trees are growing inside the enclosure, chiefly blackboys. To the left
is another neat-looking dwelling with verandah in front of it ; this is Kent Cottage, the residence of Mr. MATTHEW GEORGE, the well known and oldest established Chemist in St. Helena, and who may well be styled Doctor GEORGE, since he is often called upon to attend sick persons and more particularly children, when medical practitioners are engaged out of Town, and his advice at all times is valuable. The whole of these estates are in remarkably healthy situations. Travelling on Half-Way House is seen to the left. Here the Traveller may dismount and refresh the inner man, for no doubt a glass of good gingerbeer or lemonade would be acceptable after a long ride. Looking up from here we espy High Knoll Fort and the few pineasters growing at the side of it. The house close to Half-Way is the Hussey Charity Half-Tree-Hollow School, a couple of hundred yards below which is a road, to the left, leading to Kent Cottage and other places. Mounting his steed the Tourist proceeds to Town via Ladder Hill, and on his journey thither views the several cottages about Half-Tree-Hollow, the cemetery, the rifle ground and butts, and the telegraph poles and wire, which extend from High Knoll to Ladder Hill and thence to the Signal Station in the Castle Garden. Reaching an angle where roads branch off, we espy the Round Tower—used as a magazine—surrounded on the North, West and South by massive stone walls, and on the East flanked and protected by the natural escarpment of the rock. The pathway to the right leads to the Observatory (now used as the Officers Mess) which is easily discerned by the dome, it being enclosed by a wall., inside of which are poplar and margossa trees and reed ; the Officers Quarters ; the Colonel of Artillery’s commodious quarters enclosed by a wall, where may be seen a few fine large acacias, commonly called Kafir thorn, which bear pretty little flowers, emitting delightful fragrance when in full bloom ; the Royal Engineer new store, workshop, and theatre,—lately converted into a temporary Garrison Chapel, the cost of which has been borne by Lieut. TURTON, R.E.,—and to Ladder Hill Fort : while that to the left—the main or carriage road—leads past the back of the Colonel’s quarters and through a large gate ; after passing through which the married men’s quarters and Engineer offices are observed to the left. Reaching Ladder Hill gate the Tourist reins in his steed, dismounts, and proceeds to view the Fort and Barracks, whence he obtains a good view of Munden’s, Banks’ and Sugar Loaf. After a stay of 10 minutes, he leaves the Fort and goes to the top of the Ladder, and, but for having a horse, would descend
it. However, he defers doing so to some future day. Jumping into the saddle he proceeds on his journey. Glancing to the far distance he espies Two-Gun Saddle forest, Deadwood and Northam’s Cottage, which are exceedingly picturesque. Passing through a gate the Tourist comes in sight of the Town, a good view of the buildings in the lower part can be obtained as he journeys onwards, In Mr. JACKSON’S yard below the Mess House are to be seen orange, loquat, peach and plantain trees, grape vine, tomatoes, granadillas and flowers ; and in the yard of the U. S. Consul’s residence, above the Hotel, orange and plantain trees, and flowers. When under the Observatory a glance over the road will reveal a large cliff called Emilie’s Jump, on account of a man of that name having committed suicide by jumping off it on to the rocks below, and a few yards further on an immense rock, with a hole through part of it, is to be observed just above the road, looking as if it were about to topple over on to one’s cranium : this rock is called Pierie’s Revenge—called so, I believe, from the fact of a Major PIERIE being so frightened lest it should tumble down and crush him, that he always galloped at full speed past it to escape so direful a calamity. Looking to the middle part of the Town he espies an enclosure filled with plantain and other fruit trees, and Bermuda cedars. This enclosure was once a slaughter house and is situated at the back of the Guardian Office, through which the trees waft cool breezes to the delight of the compositors. Mr. WOODMAN is the owner of this and adjoining yard (where are to be seen a grape vine in front of Mr. WOODMAN'S residence, and several trees) ; he has converted ruins into good dwellings and an orchard, and deserves honorable mention for his endeavours to beautify the middle part of the Town. Shortly after passing Pierie’s Revenge the Long Turning is reached. Here the new road branches off. This being a very much shorter route than by the road leading to Market street, the Tourist would do well to ride down it and so get a good view of the upper part of the Town. Passing St. John’s Church and the Civil Hospital he observes a green painted door on the left ; this is the front entrance to St. John’s Villa. Arriving opposite the entrance to Well’s, he is within a few minutes walk of Cambrian Cottage and Maldivia—at either of which no doubt he will put up during his stay in the Island. Reaching these (at 6 p.m.) his long journey is ended. He now dismounts his tired steed fully satisfied that it has executed a good day’s work and sends it to its stables to enjoy repose until next day. The Tourist
now repairs to a good repast, after finishing which and musing over the delightful scenery he has enjoyed, he no doubt feels inclined to throw himself into the arms of Morpheus to recoup his mental faculties for another tour in the morning, and so retires to bed with the intention of rising betimes to witness the glories of an early sunrise.
A RIDE TO HUTT’S GATE VIA LADDER HILL, SUNNY SIDE,
COUNTRY CHURCH, KNOLLCOMBE, AND RURAL RETREAT.
The beautiful sights in the early morn as the rising sun lights up the sombre mountain tops are beyond description, and must be seen to be realized. ’Ere the sun has begun "his daily course to run,” the numerous gay chanticleers of the neighbourhood of the "Gardens of the Valley” loudly herald the advent of early dawn. But the Tourist is comfortably ensconced between sheet and blanket in deep reverie, dreaming of pleasant vales, beautiful homes surrounded with trees, romantic and rural scenery, and hears not the morning summons to prepare to arise. Morning breaks in its wonted loveliness, but the perfect quiet that reigns in this part of the valley, only broken by the whispering winds of summer, or the louder winds of winter, or the crowing of cocks, causes the sleeper to sleep on oblivious of the morning glories, until a rap-tap-tap sounds on the door of his bedroom, when he suddenly awakes and exclaims, Who’s there? What time do you wish to breakfast sir, is the response? What’s the time now? Half-past seven o’clock, sir. (Zounds, he mutters, I have lost the very sight I wished to see ; besides I should have been preparing for my tour to the country.) What time do you generally breakfast here? 8:30 sir. Allright, I will breakfast at the same time. Order the horse I rode yesterday to be here not later than 9. The servant hurries off, while the Tourist leaps out of bed and into a bath as fast as he can, dresses and goes out into the garden to view the flora, fruit trees and vegetables, and stroll about the lovely shaded walks. While delighting himself with the scenes around him, the bell announces the hour for breakfast has arrived and he now repairs to the dining room to lay in a good store for his day's journey. Breakfast finished and a fragrant weed indulged in, the horse is ordered to the gate and the Tourist jumps into the saddle and proceeds on his day’s tour, and as he will require a guide, it is herewith appended.
Leaving the head of the Valley at 9:30, the Tourist rides
through the Town, reviewing the substantial private dwellings and neat shops en route. Reaching Ladder Hill Corner he touches up his steed who, yielding to the spur, canters as far as the road leading to the Ladder, when it breaks into a steady pace, which is continued all along the journey. Ladder Hill gate is reached within a quarter of an hour and the Tourist, taking the road to the left, rides past the new Chapel, and reviews the several houses he saw the previous evening, getting a good front view of most of them. On his journey up Half-tree-Hollow he observes a great quantity of prickly pear (opuntia vulgaris), and a pretty little green plant with minute globules of water on the leaves which glisten like silver ; this is the ice plant (Iberis), which is highly pleasing to the eye on a sunny morn, and seems to be a tit bit for the cattle which graze now and then on this arid place. Looking to the right he will observe a fair-sized plain stretching towards the sea ; this is Horse Pasture, which the Tourist saw on his journey the day before, but it has a different aspect now. This may be said of all the scenery in the Island, it changes its appearance so from different positions that one sometimes can scarcely believe it is the same. Wending his way along the steep road he comes to a drain where two roads branch from the main. Here he stops to view the Cemetery below the road. While doing so a boy is passing, whom the Tourist accosts and naturally enquires : “Where do these roads lead?” “Dat one dere sar to Bargo’s yarnder, and dis one up to dem places dere and dat house yarnder long walls called de Reedan, sar.” “Redan!” exclaims the Tourist ; “why is it called the Redan?” “Why sar, cos wy meany yars ’go wen de ole saints was yar dems had sham fite long de lishee and wolluntiers, and de lishee tilderry wuk em by bringin’ dems big guns roun de back of de Knoll—dat place yarnder sar, and den de wolluntiers charge dems out long dem baynits. Den dems all ’ead to give up cos wus bin big fiar down teyown. Dat’s wy wus coil de Reedan, sar.” “Thank you my boy,” says the Tourist, feeling in his pocket for a small coin, which he hands to the lad, who makes a polite bow and says “Tank you sar, werry much debliged to you sar.” This information of the boy is correct, as the Author was a participant in the sham fight, being a Volunteer, and well remembers the circumstance, having nearly come to grief through placing three cartridges of powder in his minie rifle to see if it would kick much ; but it made such a report alongside the ear of his front rank man that so frightened him as to cause him to fancy his head was blown
off, and the menacing attitude assumed caused. the young offender to be very cautious in loading his minie for that day at all events. The statement anent the gunners of the Militia taking the field pieces round the East side of High Knoll is eminently true, for they actually brought them safely over a dangerous place accessible only to goats and the country lads, who are proverbially rock scalers ; and the stratagem of Captain KENNEDY in taking them round the Fort was so clever that it called forth the commendation of the Commanding Officer, who found that the guns were so brought to bear on the rear of the attacking party that they must have been, in actual warfare, completely annihilated. The Major in command of the attacking party, however, being outmanoeuvered, was very much displeased, and would have “wheeled” Captain KENNEDY, had he (the Major) been Commandant of the Troops. The St. Helena Regiment and Volunteers formed the attacking party and the Militia Infantry held the Redan, while the Militia Artillery took up their position under High Knoll Fort. After about an hour’s skirmish the Militia moved out of their entrenchment, being charged by the Volunteers. This sham fight took place 23 years ago. A fire having taken place in Town brought the day’s proceedings to a hasty termination. The Tourist now proceeds onwards and in five minutes reaches Gingerbread Wall, the appearance of which will assign the reason for its being so called. Here a road branches to the right, which is followed. Glancing below we descry Breakneck Valley. Presently we notice a dilapidated old building and enclosure, called the Penitentiary, and, to the left, the entrance gate to Mr. M. GEORGE’S neat-looking residence, a good front view of which we now obtain, with two Norfolk Island pines and a few other trees and a flower garden, also arable ground where corn is raised annually. Presently the top of the hill is reached, to the left of which is Miss SHORTIS’ snug little cottage ensconced with trees, and to the left the road leading to the Chinese burial ground and the R. E. butts. It would be well to rest here awhile to view the exquisite scenery : a line of cottages extending from High Knoll to Ladder Hill and presenting the appearance of a fair-sized village, while Sugarloaf Hill stands out boldly in the distance in majestic grandeur. The marine prospect is magnificent. An excellent glimpse of Prince’s Lodge, Enfield Cottage and High Knoll Fort can also be obtained, the fir trees around the latter creating a curious effect. Continuing the journey New Ground, where there are a few cottages, is arrived at. This is where the
Royal Engineers encamp once a year for practice in field operations. Here the Tourist is wonder struck on suddenly beholding a most magnificent scene : Cleugh’s Plain with stately cypress trees in front of the house and Friar’s Ridge, where stands a rock exactly like a cowled friar, a few hundred yards beyond it. Four cottages are to be observed to the right of the road with neat little flower beds. Passing these we come to Young’s Valley ; a glance from here through the numerous fir trees will reveal Black Square, where there are several cottages with gardens attached. In two minutes Goat Pound Ridge (the brow of the hill) is reached. The scenery here is highly romantic and the marine prospect excellent. Passing slowly on and viewing the trees on his left and the picturesque scenery on his right he reaches Cleugh’s Plain (20 acres), which is under cultivation—containing probably corn, potatoes, or vegetables. Several fruit and other trees are to be observed in the enclosure. This is a very healthy spot and commands a most magnificent view. The Tourist will notice several small plots of ground, to the left of the road, which were at one time cultivated but now fast being covered with prickly pear, hedges of which extend from Cleugh’s Plain to the turn of the road (about 100 yards), putting one in mind of the hedges round the East side of the Briars and Pavilion. Presently he comes in sight of Friar’s Valley, where he sees a mantling vegetation of aloes, whose lofty spines covered with flowers, interspersed with acacias, blackboys and poplars, contrasting with the dark foliage of the pineasters on the left and the barren sombre Friar’s Ridge to the right, form a picturesque view. Here an excellent view of the ‘Friar’ can be enjoyed, being almost within a stone’s throw from it. The Tourist’s attention being taken up with this really wonderful pile of rocks, standing as if it were the model of a man hewn out and placed there by “cunning workmen,” he little dreams of the charming rural scene which awaits his admiring gaze. The bracing air wafted from the numerous lofty trees carrying sweet odours to the Tourist’s olfactory organ and the sweet melodies of the birds and trees, cause him to feel loath to proceed ; but as “time and tide wait for no man,” he jogs on, when suddenly a vista opens up to his astonished gaze, and he exclaims after a pause :
Lo, what wondrous scenes I here behold ;
Each glade and glen new beauties still unfold.
This is indeed a charming spot and considered to be the Belgravia of St. Helena, The locality is delightfully rural,
independent of its grand attractive feature—Friar’s Ridge. Here are to be seen genteel-looking residences situated in well-chosen positions. A road is observed branching off to the left leading to Sunny Side and other cottages, passing which, to the right, is Mrs. EDEN BAKER’S residence Southern’s, with neat flower garden in front of it and several fruit and other trees, and below this Friar’s Lodge and garden, situated under the Friar Rock ; while to the left, up the valley, is pretty Trap Cot, where hundreds of plantain, fruit and ornamental trees flourish. Just here is a little stream of excellent water running through the road, and the Visitor would never dream that in very wet seasons it is converted into a torrent. In February 1873 a heavy flood passed through here, setting huge boulders in motion and carrying a house and its inmates—a father, mother and 7 children—into the sea, two of whom (mother and daughter) were rescued, while the father and 6 boys and girls perished. Going along a steep zig-zag road we pass Belle Vue, a neat little residence, which does indeed command a noble prospect. A little further on the fine residence Terrace Knoll, embosomed in coffee and other valuable trees, attracts the eye. A great improvement has been effected here by the Rev. J. C. LAMBERT, F.R.G.S., who has erected a Greenhouse and has already planted out 900 trees, including coffee, grapes, mulberries, &c.,* since be became proprietor. This enterprising resident is daily expecting a consignment of mangoes from India and an assortment of grapes from America,† having engaged the services of Mr. F. E. GRANT, of Boston, (who is only too willing to lend his valuable aid in advancing the material interests of his native home,) to superintend the selection and exportation. In the grounds of Terrace Knoll may be seen a very fine collection of the Lily tribe, gathered from all parts of the world, some handsome specimens of the indigenous “Redwood,” now a very scarce tree, and one of the only two curious plants called “Traveller’s Joy” (Urania specosa) growing on the Island. Sunny Side, Trap Cot and Glen Cot have also been greatly improved since they came into the possession of Mr. WOODMAN, and contain orange, chirimoya, and other fruit trees, Nearly the whole of these residences have verandahs and good gardens attached. Continuing on we pass by the side of Guinea Grass Field, on the right, where there is a good dwelling partly surrounded with oak and other trees.
†Since writing this the grape cuttings have arrived and are thriving excellently well.
Large crops of corn and vegetables are produced in this fine field, which is 21 acres in extent. Presently the gate leading to this place is observed on the right. Looking from here to the East of Terrace Knoll the Tourist descries a very comfortable looking residence called Scotland partly hid by trees ; this is the country seat of our highly respected citizen, H. J. BOVELL, Esq., who has thoroughly repaired the house since its having become his property and ranks as one of the finest dwellings in the locality. Several valuable trees, lately received from America through Mr. F. E. GRANT, of Boston, have been planted at Scotland. Below this is the cottage called The Retreat, with excellent pasture land attached. Ascending the brow of the hill the Tourist discovers, to the right, another fine residence called Farm Lodge, with 5 acres of ground attached filled with corn and vegetables, and with a noble avenue of oaks bordering the walks.* In the rear of this substantial and comfortable dwelling is the only specimen on the Island of the “Lodoicea Palm,” which bears and ripens its fruit, tho' not in such perfection as in former days. It is situated at
*If time permits, from the brow of this grassy hill a little detour to the right will bring us to the top of the upper or Southern end of the Friar Ridge : this particular summit being known as “Mount Eternity”, which derives its name from a walk, which makes a complete circle round the knoll of the hill, and thus forms an endless walk. There are two or three graves with head and foot stones, having nearly illegible inscriptions, near its highest point. The name “DIANA” is clearly traceable on the largest upright standing slab. But who this personage was, or when and why buried in such a strange locality, seems lost in oblivion. After descending from Mount Eternity and before continuing the main route, a bye path leading down the valley may be followed, passing a small cottage with rude stone enclosure fence called “Crack Plain,” doubtless from the strange appearance of the ground hereabouts, it having apparently been split in various directions by subterranean agency. Vast piles of boulders and lamina strew this wild spot. Passing another small ruin called Ewings, the road winds round to the West leading to High Point. The natural contour of the hillside is at an angular slope of about 75°, and as the footpath is scarcely more than 2 feet wide, the Adventurer is recommended to insure his life, make his will, and go before lunch, or perhaps a slip may send him down a little further than agreeable. Nearing the bend of the road a view of High Knoll over the Friar Ridge is obtained, and, as it were, just under foot perched on a precipituous knoll are the remains of a fort. How the builders got there is seen plainly enough, there being the vestiges of a kind of goat track upon this knife-edged range ; but how they intended to get the guns there is a mystery, as a false step would have sent them down headlong some 700 feet into the yawning valley beneath.
the head of Sarah’s Valley, a road leading to which is observed to the right, also to a mount clothed with fir trees called Thompson’s Hill, where there are several cottages and gardens, and to Lemon Valley. Should the Tourist elect to have a day’s fishing he can go down either of these valleys, where he will be sure of meeting with good sport and securing a fine view of the houses and gardens, and the Fort in Lemon Valley ; but lemon trees, from which the Valley derived its name, he may not see, though there are several fruit trees, especially guavas ; also banyan and a few other trees. It may safely be asserted that the lanes and hedgerows in this vicinity remind one most forcibly as being counterparts with their congeners in the rural parts of Devon and Cornwall, but having the additional charm of masses of geranium, fuschia, rose, buddlea, mallow, nasturtium, &c., growing in the wildest profusion and tended only by the hand of Dame Nature. Proceeding on, to the left, Rosemary Hall, with a verandah in front of it and surrounded with trees and flowers, arrests the attention. As the Tourist passes by the side of this estate he observes a gate leading to it and will be highly delighted with the handsome trees on each side of this pleasant drive Several eucalypti are to be observed in the land below. A road is now seen leading to the right, turning up which he meets with a gate, and passing through he is on his way to Bevan’s, and as he jogs along sees a mantling vegetation of furze above the road, which presents a refreshing change, especially when in flower, and has the opportunity of obtaining birdseye views of Rosemary Hall and Farm Lodge grounds. To the left of the road and immediately above Farm Lodge is an enclosure (about an acre ; filled with corn, which together with the growing crops and the numerous furze bushes on the left, and the sombre ridges to the right, are extremely picturesque. Here a gate is espied leading to Farm Lodge. Proceeding onwards we pass through a ravine called “Molly’s Gut,” and reaching the brow of the hill Myrtle Grove gate is observed to the right, Here a pretty view crops up suddenly : Broad Bottom farms and house and Woodlands furnishing a pretty scene. A little further on and we come in full sight of Bevan’s house embosomed in trees. After having a good view of the surrounding scenery the Visitor retraces his steps and, repassing through the last gate in the locality, comes to a little stream of water running across the road. This is the source of the stream seen near Southern’s. Journeying on hedges of pepper bushes, alternating with privet, are ob-
served each side of the road. Presently a gate is noticed on the right, looking through which the Tourist sees the fine residence called Oaklands, with porch and good lawn, bordering which are two handsome stone pines, several eucalypti and hedges of pepper bushes. A neat flower garden is also to be observed in front of the house. This estate contains pineasters, oak, pear, coffee, and other trees. To the left are cottages and gardens where several fruit trees are to be seen. Jogging on we meet with hedges of privet, then moon plant and ginger. The Hermitage now comes in sight, by side of which a stream of water meanders and passes across the road. Numerous cork trees are to be noticed about here. Passing the Hermitage hedges of pepper and moon plant are again met with, on the left of the road, extending up to Scotland gate. Here pretty, neatly-trimmed hedges of this shrub are to be observed each side of the walk leading to this excellent estate. Inside the gate is a spring (called Powell’s Spring) of delicious water, said to be the best in the Island. A few yards to the North of Scotland is the residence called Sydenham. To the right of this house is Green Gate, which leads to Plantation, also a road leading to Rock Cottage (“St. Paul’s Vicarage”) and another dwelling below it, both of which are surrounded with trees. As the Tourist wends on he views the numerous trees in Plantation, some of which with those on the right of the road form an arch over it. Another turn of the road and Constantine’s cottage is observed above, where are excellent flowers and pretty evergreen trees and coffee. From this place to the West gate of St. Paul’s extends a fine hedge of buddlea, enclosing two little cottages and gardens. Arrived at this gate the Visitor obtains a good view of the pretty Cathedral Church and Cemetery. A few yards further on he espies a door on the left and opposite it a gate leading to the Cemetery, which are used by the occupiers of Plantation. After passing these the Tourist notices several English blackberry bushes on his left. He now arrives at the East gate of St. Paul’s, and dismounting his horse he walks through the beautiful Cemetery and Church and views the many pretty trees, monuments and tablets. Having enjoyed himself with the several interesting objects therein the Traveller remounts his steed and when within a few yards of Plantation Gate turns to the right and in a minute or two reaches a gully, where is a thicket of poplar. Shortly we reach a gate and passing through observe, on the left, Knollcombe Church and Cemetery, inside which are a few tablets and monument
surrounded with pineasters, cedars and oaks. Presently we observe a gate on our right : this leads to Oakbank. A few yards further on is the entrance to Knollcombe Church and Cemetery, and the residence of the much respected Baptist Minister, the Rev. W. J. COTHER. Here we notice cultivated ground hedged with flax ; thorn, white olives, oaks, Norfolk Island pines, peach and other trees ; also a few bee-hives, a fountain, and flowers. Jogging on we come to another road leading to Knollcombe ; passing this we reach a wooden bridge, under which a large stream of water runs. The original bridge of arched stone was swept away by the flood of 1878, evidences of which are still to be observed. Here may be seen a rustic gate leading to Oakbank, a hedge of prickly aloe (Agate pinnata), numerous oaks and fir trees. Further on is another but more substantial bridge arched over with stone, a large stream of water passing under it, where the moon plant is to be seen growing among the yam, whose elegant white flowers with yellow petals look extremely pretty. These streams of water unite, pass over the Waterfall and through the Town. A little gate is noticed here leading to Rose Bower. A hedge of thorn, inside the wall enclosing this estate, extends from this gate to Brown’s Hill gate. Passing the Bridge we come into the W road (called so on account of its being shaped like that letter,—thus : ). Shortly we espy a road branching to the left. Along this road is a brick drain used formerly for conveying water to Francis Plain, but it is now useless ; the road is therefore called the Watercourse, and leads to Town. A gate with a Norfolk Island pine each side of it is observed on the journey leading to Rose Bower. In five minutes we reach Brown’s Hill gate, and passing through observe, to the left, Brown’s Hill Cottage and enclosure. A few years ago this place contained several fruit and other trees, and flowers ; but they have all disappeared—probably cut down. Passing this we soon reach Lemon-tree Gut gate. (The Author would here remark that in his Guide to Sandy Bay Ridge he called this Long’s gate, whereas the gate above it is Long’s.) Turning to the left we proceed on our journey and in a few minutes reach the Dungeon gate. Passing through we are regaled with lovely rural and romantic scenery, the Peaks popping their heads above the ridge encircling Grape Vine Gut, while Brookhill and Prospect estates present themselves to the full gaze of the admiring Tourist, who feels as if he could live at either all his lifetime. Turning to the left we espy East Lodge, another genteel-looking residence, a nearer view of which
we shall obtain as we pass by it. We are now journeying through Barren Hill, observing on our left Woodland’s forest, and on either hand numerous furze bushes and everlasting flowers (yellow). Reaching an angle we observe roads branching from the main,—that to the left leading to Barren Hill Cottage (a near view of which we now obtain) and Woodlands ; the other leading to Woodcot gate, which we shall presently discover. Turning to the right we proceed. From this road we enjoy exquisite rural, romantic and marine prospects, the Briars estate (an excellent view of which we now obtain,) and Village adding fresh charms to the scene ; while on the left of these towers High Knoll Fort and Signal Station, the citadel appearing like a huge monitor when lying becalmed on the bosom of the sea ; and in the distance stately ships in full sail gliding along the quiet waters which lave our rocky coast, or lying at anchor in our safe harbour. As we jog on we notice a road branching to the left, leading to Francis Plain, and to Town, &c. A few yards further on is a road to the right leading to Vaughan’s. Turning an angle we espy another road to the right leading to a comfortable residence called Rural Retreat, the walk leading to which is bordered with pepper bushes and fine trees. This estate contains fine Cape yews, eucalypti, oaks, poplar, gobblegheers, weeping and Port Jackson willows, &c. ; also orange, shaddock, peach, plum, fig, mulberry (China), Kafir date, and plantain trees ; and bamboo. Shortly after we observe beautiful large thorn trees growing on the left side of the road, which together with the noble Cape yews on the right, form an arch over it. These thorn trees are often laid under heavy contributions to furnish food for the cattle browsing on Rural Retreat land in time of drought. We now come to an angle where there is a small stone bridge, under which a large stream of water passes, from which the Traveller may refresh, using a yam leaf to drink out of, but taking care to fold the leaf in the shape of a bag and keep it perfectly upright, otherwise the water will run out of it like quicksilver does off glass, and as the leaf holds about a quart he can have a good drink at once of the refreshing beverage. Here is a little gate leading to Rural Retreat house, and to the left of it a small cottage sheltered by fine large Cape yews. Handsome weeping willows, ginger and yam are observed growing in the middle of the stream and flowers along the banks. Passing this cottage we soon reach an angle, and looking over the bank to the left we notice numerous pear trees, also loquat and peach trees ; and on the right oak and other
trees. We now come in sight of Hunt’s Gut gate, under which a stream of water passes, and, bounding over a fall, unites with the stream just passed. Reaching the gate we peep through and obtain a birdseye view of Hunt’s Gut residence, with a row of fine stone pines on the right of the walk leading thereto. Here we notice roses growing amidst blackberry bushes. The grounds of this estate yield vegetables, potatoes, &c., and contain several fruit trees—such as chirimoya, orange, loquat, pear, plantain, rose apple, &c. ; also granadilla, privet, boxwood, oleander, plumbago, and a variety of flowering plants. Glancing to the right we notice about 30 young cedars growing by the side of a field in Prospect land and below Brookhill. This estate contains orange, peach, pear, red plum, Kafir date, cypress, white olive, eucalyptus, camellia (red and white), thorn and fir trees ; also buddlea and privet. Presently we espy the road leading to Brookhill, a cottage and Prospect house. Looking to the left we descry a waterfall about 20 feet high, with weeping willows and yarn growing above and under it ; and a few yards below, above the stream, a cottage, by side of which we observe a few evergreen oak, mulberry and Cape yew trees. As we journey along we notice several wild coffee trees with yellow flowers growing amid furze and everlastings. Glancing to the left we espy Mosquito Cottage with young cypress, pear, guava, peach, poison peach, and fir trees, and moon plant ; and beyond beds of rushes and plantain trees. Below this cottage is another waterfall, near which are to be seen weeping willows, Port Jackson willows, Cape and common apple, Cape and common pear, loquat and guava trees. Presently we discover the road leading to East Lodge, a good view of which we obtain as we pass by. Here are to be seen lovely flowers, cypress, a row of stone pines along the walk, fine eucalypti, Cape yews ; and fruit trees, viz : peach, pear, chirimoya, loquat, pomelo, shaddock, apple, rose apple and plantain. Glancing above we descry (in Prospect land) a cottage and enclosure, where potatoes are raised, with hedges of privet, peach and willow trees. The grounds of East Lodge extend to Gordon’s Post and if the Tourist will look over the wall he will notice a large piece of cultivated ground, probably filled with sweet and Irish potatoes, or corn, or vegetables. Reaching Gordon's Post, we turn to the right and proceed to Hutt’s Gate, enjoying the lovely scenery as we journey thither. Arriving at his journey’s end, the Tourist dismounts and calls for the boy to take his horse to the stables. Looking at his watch he finds he has completed the tour in 5 hours.
He now repairs to the substantial repast provided for him, having enjoyed which, he intimates to the host his intention of remaining at the Inn for a day or two, so that he may have a ramble down the valleys and among the trees before returning to Town.
A RIDE FROM HUTT’S GATE TO ROCK ROSE HILL AND SANDY BAY,
RETURNING TO TOWN VIA THE RIDGE, RED HILL, AND LADDER HILL.
The Tourist having thoroughly enjoyed himself roaming about Sane Valley, Foxes Folly and the Alarm Cottage, during his short stay in the neighbourhood, decides on having another jaunt. Turning out next morning he beholds the sun rising, and is delighted beyond measure—the gradual lighting up of the huge Barn causing it to appear like a mountain tipped with gold, while the beautiful variegated colors of the clouds and sea, and the several clays, caused by the solar rays, furnish a scene of surpassing beauty—the Visitor thinks “beyond compare.” The keen morning air, however, whetting his appetite considerably, he orders breakfast early, and after partaking of a hearty meal of some of our finny tribe and yarn, he calls for the servant to saddle the horse, and at 9 a.m. starts on his journey.
Passing St. Matthew’s on his right the Tourist meets with a gate and riding through observes a cottage and enclosure, to the left, in the field called Hutt’s Gate Field. In a few minutes we espy, on the left, the gate leading to Walbro’ Cottage—a good view of which we now obtain where we notice lovely flowers and a hedge of those silvery-leafed trees, called wild bilberry, interspersed with buddlea. To the East of Walbro’ Cottage is Teutonic Hall, with its well-cultivated grounds, tall pineasters, Cape yews, eucalypti, oaks, &c. Meeting with another gate we pass through, observing on our right the cottage called Bates’, with a variety of ornamental trees only recently planted ; a few yards to the right of which, above, is Halley’s Mount. Presently we observe a gully ; this is called “Ten Bottle Hollow.” Shortly we come to an angle called Fig-tree Gut, where we notice the pipe which conveys water from Well’s to Longwood and the district, laying snugly under a clump of fig trees. A fine hedge of buddlea extends (about 400 yards) from here enclosing Well’s estate. Turning another angle we descry Well’s house, with fine Cape yews and a few other trees. Meeting with a gate, to the right of
which we espy the gate leading to Well’s,—and passing through we come to a ravine called Green Gut, where we observe a stream of water, which passes under the road. Glancing above the Tourist is amazed on beholding the rich carpet of indigenous trees and shrubs which cover the uplands and Peaks, especially above Well’s. In a few minutes we reach another ravine called Leg’s Gut, where a fine stream of water meanders from Diana’s Peak and passes through the road. Looking up we obtain a good view of lofty Diana,* who proudly rears her majestic head above her neighbours, with her night-cap of lovely foliage and flowers completely hiding her brow from the most searching eye or powerful telescope. The scenery one enjoys while riding along this pleasant drive is charming indeed, and should be seen to be appreciated,—Longwood and the several cottages and gardens on the slopes, together with the creeper-carpeted plain and Woody Ridge with its mantle of flax and aloe to the East of them, presenting an extremely fascinating picture. Nearing two thorn trees,—which seem to have been planted so as to serve for gate pillars,—we notice a road to the left leading through Rose Hill to Arno’s Vale and Diana’s Peak. Passing the thorn trees we observe the road leading to Teutonic Hall, Glancing at the valley below this we descry Willow Bank and a few cottages and enclosures. A few more yards and we come to an angle where roads branch to the left and right—that to the left leading to Sunberry (or Pledger’s), where may be seen a fine large cork tree, Cape yew, camellias, margossa, flowers, flowering vines, fine hedges of buddlea, privet, &c.,—and to Woody Ridge. Taking the road to the right we come to a gate, called Alarm Hill gate, and riding through discover Arno’s Vale, embosomed in trees,—above which towers the next highest Peak in the Island,—and in the distance George Island. We now descend a rather steep incline, observing as we ride down a fine hedge of privet along the boundary fence of Arno’s Vale. Passing this we soon reach Shark’s Valley, where
*The Author has called this Diana’s Peak because it is marked so in modern Maps. But there is some confusion in the nomenclature. There are two principal Peaks on the Ridge within 300 yards of each other. The one to the East looking down Arno’s Vale was called Diana’s Peak ; the other, to the West, Cuckold’s Point. Modern measurements show that the Western Peak is the highest of the two (2,704 feet), and our modern Map makers have either resignedly or accidentally changed the names so as to retain the historical designation of “Diana’s Peak” for the loftiest point in the Island.
there are two cottages and enclosures,—the first called Pink Grove and the second “Julio’s,”—where we observe numerous plantain and a few fruit trees ; also flowers, and probably crops of potatoes, barley, or vegetables. Below is a fine bed of rushes, and a cottage and garden. Turning an acute angle we espy a waterfall, about 30 feet high, with a small stream tumbling over it. Passing this we come to another angle. Here we observe the source of the Stream just noticed bounding over the little cataract—meandering through Arno’s Vale. Jogging up a rather steep road and passing a cottage surrounded with pepper bushes, in front of which are a cypress and oak standing as if they were sentinels placed over it, we soon reach Red Hill, whence we discover a ravine called Level-wood (or “Pleasant Valley”), wherein we notice a few cottages and gardens containing several plantain, fig, and a few other trees, potatoes, &c. ; and above the road an enclosure surrounded with pepper bushes, where potatoes are raised. Reaching an angle we observe a little rivulet passing across the road. Passing this we again ascend a rather precipitous acclivity, and in a few minutes arrive at Silver Hill, where we see a romantically situated cottage called “Shipway's,” but it is out of repair, though tenantable. Here we notice pretty flowers, a young date palm, and on the right a few fruit trees, cypress, and small garden hedged with pepper bushes. We now obtain a good view of Little and Great Stone Tops. The white-looking cone between them is Shore Island, on which guano has lately been collected for exportation. Passing a few fir trees on the right we soon reach the brow of the hill and come into a ravine called Taglate, where we discover, just below the road, Alexander’s cottage and neat garden, and in the out a few cottages and gardens, with plantain and a few other fruit trees. A road leads to “Bell Stone” from hero. Reaching the angle we are now within a few minutes walk of “The Acre,” enclosed with pepper bushes, &c., where potatoes and corn are raised. Glancing to the left we behold exquisite romantic scenery. Arriving at the gate by the side of “The Acre,” we pass through and are regaled with a mantling vegetation of furze, buddlea and blackberry, and hedges of privet, which look extremely pretty, growing near the roadside. Looking to the East,. we discover the fine residence called Rock Rose Hill. We are now travelling through Deep Valley. Reaching an angle we observe a large stream of water which passes under the road and meanders through the valley on its journey to the sea. Reaching another angle we notice a
hedge of cluster roses (locally called multiflora), interspersed with blackberry, extending to a gully, where we perceive water trickling into tubs ; also flowering vines enclosing a piece of cultivated ground : while in the valley below is chaos. In a minute or two we arrive at the entrance to Rock Rose House, the walk leading to which is bordered with wild olive, magnolia and other trees, privet, flowers, &c. On the lawn Stands a handsome Norfolk Island pine about 60 years old and from 70 to 80 feet high, and numerous camellias (red, white and variegated.) This house is 100 years old, having been built in 1783. Here are to be seen fine eucalypti, Cape yews, oaks, Chili fir, white ash, evergreen oaks, willow (3 kinds), numerous chirimoyas, apples, rose apples, pears, plums, and fir trees,* besides clumps of fine large bamboo. A few trees, lately received from America, have been planted here. The house is romantically situated and commands fine prospects.—If the Tourist desires to do so he may pay a visit to Rock Rose, where he will meet the proprietor, Mr. L. W. KNIPE, who no doubt will be pleased to take him through the grounds to view the noble trees and the excellent scenery with which this fine estate is surrounded, as well as giving him much information of the several places in the locality. Presuming that the Visitor will prefer doing this we shall leave him with Mr. KNIPE for an hour or so.—Having had a good view of this charming spot the Tourist proceeds on his journey. Passing through very high banks we soon reach a cottage just below the road called Benjamin’s Cottage. Here we rest for a moment to view Sandy Bay Barn, “Billy Birch” (a huge rock with a piece, as it were, hollowed out of it), and “Hencock” dotted over with furze bushes. Just over this is White Hill (called so on account of clouds of white dust which are frequently to be observed there in windy weather). Having had a good look at these huge masses of basalt we proceed on
*In these tall trees the white (sea) bird builds its nest and hatches its young! This remarkable fact is vouched for by Mr. LEWIS KNIPE and sons, whose veracity dare not be impeached. Mr. KNIPE has informed the Author that he frequently observed these birds catching and bringing up fish, and alighting on the fir trees ; but was not aware that they had young ones there, until a fledgeling was picked up under the trees and brought to him by one of his sons, who informed him that he had seen white birds nests (made of fir droppings) in the trees. Mr. KNIPE also states that he is made aware of heavy winds corning by the flocking of great numbers of these birds to the far trees growing on Rock Rose Hill, which is at an elevation of some 2,000 feet and a mile inland.
our journey and in a few minutes reach a ravine called “Wash-house Gut.” Here we discover a stream of water tumbling over a fall about 20 feet high, yam and blackberry. The land above this fall is called “Purgatory.” We are now travelling through Powell’s Valley, observing on our left the ruins of a cottage, and bilberry, blackberry and furze bushes. Turning an angle we espy the ruins of a cottage. Lifting our eyes to the West we catch sight of the Asses Ears, Lot’s Wife Wood, and part of the ridge which encircles Sandy Bay. Reaching the brow of the hill the Tourist is assailed by a most beautiful, aye grand scene, (combining lovely rural, highly romantic, and marine prospects,) especially in the lower part of the Bay : to describe it is impossible. Suffice it to say that it is one of the most beautiful sights yet witnessed. Here we obtain a good view of the Asses Ears, Lot’s Wife and Fritus. We are now on Green Hill. Passing two cottages and enclosures on our left, we jog on and soon espy in the lower part of the valley the Lunatic Asylum, then Bay Cottage, and a few other cottages, with numerous fruit and other trees. Perched on a mound mid fir trees is “Writing Stones” ; beyond it Lot, Bamboo Grove and other fine estates embosomed in trees ; and above them, to the West, Fairy Land, the sombre foliage above presenting a pretty picture : to the right, amidst umbrageous shade, is the genteel-looking residence called Wrangham’s, and above it the tree-clad Peaks. Just below the road we observe Green Hill House surrounded with cassia, whose lovely yellow flowers are very conspicuous at a distance, oak, thorn, rose apple, &c. Nearing a gate am we descry the road leading to this house. Passing the boundary wall of Green Hill we observe below a cottage and a productive garden filled with vegetables and surrounded with buddlea, thorn and fruit trees, and flowers. Glancing upwards to the right we espy a neat cottage called “Old House.” Reaching a ravine we notice tubs on the right into which water trickles, and to the left yam, cassia, blackberry, plantain and thorn trees. In a few minutes we reach another ravine, where is a small stream of water, also thickets of moon plant, &c. A few yards to the right are two neat cottages and small. gardens, with plantain trees and yam. Here we get a good view of a snug residence called Elder Cottage (or Perkins’) with porch in front, embosomed in eucalyptus, fir, thorn, coffee and other trees, with flowers in front and along the walks. Shortly we come to Point Gate, where a road branches off to the left leading to Elder Cottage and a nice looking residence with verandah
in front called Bay Cottage, a good view of which we now obtain, also a few other cottages and gardens. Bay Cottage is surrounded with trees, among which are apple, fig, peach, orange, loquat, plantain, &c. ; also numerous coffee trees in a thriving condition. Passing through Point Gate we turn to the left and proceed to the Beach. Reaching an angle we perceive the gate leading to a fine estate called Bamboo Grove, enclosed with buddlea, thickets of bamboo, fir, eucalypti, willow, coffee, oak, teak (very small), and numerous fruit trees. Nearing a ravine we observe a good stream of water which passes under the road and meanders through Bamboo Grove. here we notice thickets of ginger, yam, buddlea, &c. Passing this we espy the gate leading to the Benevolent Society’s School, where we observe several eucalypti, a young Norfolk Island pine and thorn trees, &c. Turning an angle we come to another ravine where we discover a fine large stream of water, which passes through Bamboo Hedge. Here we are again regaled with thickets of ginger, yam, buddlea, and fruit trees. Passing this we come in full view of a fine estate called Bamboo Hedge, with stately cypress trees, hedges of bamboo, buddlea, flax, privet, numerous fine eucalypti, thorn, oaks and pineasters ; also numerous fruit and coffee trees. On the right of the road is a plantation of flax. Presently we espy on our left the gate leading to Bamboo Hedge ; passing which we meet with another gate, by side of which are the ruins of a small building : this was formerly used as a shop. Here a road branches off to the right leading to Bay House (which we now observe with a date palm in front, oak, coffee, and fruit trees), and to Fairy Land via Cole’s Rock. Riding through the gate we observe Coffee Grove, embosomed in fruit and other trees. As we pass by this estate we obtain a good view of the well-cultivated grounds, and the several crops growing therein, among which is to be noticed coast yam. A hedge of fine thorn trees is observed on our right, while on our left are oaks, eucalypti, and thorn, through which a road leads to Writing Stones, where there is a shop. In the valley below Coffee Grove we descry a cottage, called “Virgin’s Hall,” and enclosure, where are produced fine peaches, figs and plantains. In almost all the places in Sandy Bay vegetables thrive well ; also yam and hundreds of plantain trees. As the road is so very steep here the Tourist had better dismount and walk to the Beach. Passing the hedge of thorn we are regaled with chaotic but lovely scenery,—beautiful clays of varied hues presenting themselves to the Visitor's gaze, Shortly we discover the neat
Baptist Chapel called “The Tabernacle,” situated in a truly romantic spot, with “Old Lot” about 100 yards to the right of it. Here we get a splendid view of this wonderful dyke and the few trees growing on it. Jogging along the very steep zig-zag we are again regaled with verdure and cottages, and soon espy Four-Gun Battery, on which stands a cannon in good order ; to the left of this is a snug-looking house with verandah, called Rock Farm, and enclosure containing vegetables, yam, guavas, figs, plantains, peaches, &c. Passing this we notice numerous stunted guava trees, and on our right a cottage and garden called Lemon Grove, containing guava, peach, plantain, and other fruit trees ; but no lemons. Moving on we soon reach the Lunatic Asylum. Here we observe a few peepul and banyan trees, also numerous guava and pomegranate trees. A large stream of water passes through the garden. The Asylum is the residence of Mr. WILLIAM LAMBE, who for 41 years had the care of the lunatics. Glancing to the hill above we notice a green flat : this is called “Devil’s Garden.” Leaving the Asylum we come to a fine bridge of arched stone (red) called “Blarney’s Bridge,” under which passes a large stream of water which, uniting with that (in Mr. LAMBE’S garden) from the valley on the West, forms the largest stream of water in St. Helena. Turning an angle we notice a cottage, called Lower House, and enclosure hedged with prickly aloe and filled with fruit trees, mostly guavas and plantains, and a few banyans. This is the last place in the Bay where fruit trees grow. As we journey along we observe several rude cottages—most of them hedged with prickly aloe—each side of the stream called “The Run,” and here and there a couple of banyans. Passing the two last cottages in the Bay, where we notice 4 banyans (Ficus Indica) which have been blown over by the wind, with their bright red berries glistening in the rays of the evening sun, we are within a few minutes walk of Beach Hill, reaching the summit of which we come in full sight of Sandy Bay Fort. Lines and guard-rooms are built across the Beach so as to close the mouth of the valley. The portcullis, which was torn away by the great flood of 1878, has been strongly rebuilt so as to resist the enemy from within as well as without. But the best defence is in the lofty precipitous hills which enclose Sandy Bay. There are some singular remains of old works in the flanking batteries. The remarkable point called the Horse’s Head is a beautiful basaltic formation, appearing from some points like a lofty thick wall artificially built.
On the top are a couple of old guns, magazine, &c., and the width at the top barely affords room for the narrow pathway on which “the sentry walked his weary rounds,” but without a parapet of any kind to keep him from toppling over the precipice on either side during his sleepy moments at night. Sandy Bay Beach is the widest in the Island, with a large extent of sand, on which turtles have frequently deposited their eggs, but are seldom allowed to do so undisturbed. Being on the windward side of the Island it is fully exposed to the heavy swell of the South Atlantic, which frequently rolls in grandly, bringing with it shells, sea weed, sea horns, Portuguese men-of-war and a number of the pretty purplish shell “Ianthina fragilis.” A large brown bean is often picked up, called the Sea Bean, brought by ocean currents from some distant shore on the West Coast of Africa or, as some suppose, even from the East Coast or Mauritius, which would include a voyage round the Cape of Good Hope.
Having had a good view of the Fort and surroundings, the Tourist remounts his steed and begins the return journey, reviewing the several houses, hursts, &c., until he reaches Point Gate. Passing this we observe on our left a cottage, called “Beale’s,” and garden filled with vegetables, and surrounded with fruit and thorn trees, &c. On the right is Wrangham’s estate, which contains several fine trees—such as Cape yew, thorn, oak, fir, willow, gobblegheer, camellia, Bermuda cedars, coffee, rose apple, pear, peach, fig, lemon, mulberry, plantain, and sago palm ; also grapes, granadillas, raspberries, clusters of bamboo, privet in hedges, with violet beds underneath magnolias, and a good flower garden. Reaching the angle we espy the gate leading to Wrangham’s, and on the right a building called Sandy Bay Shop, which is now used as a stockhouse, and belongs to Wrangham’s. This fine estate is the property of the highly respected and benevolent Mrs. L. S. THOMPSON, and is her country seat. Turning to the left we pass under the delightful shade of a few noble thorn trees, and soon reach the upper gate. Passing Mount Pleasant the Tourist bids adieu to Sandy Bay and its lovely charms, and proceeds to Town via the Ridge, reviewing the several houses and exquisite scenery on his way thither. Arriving at St. John's Church at about 5:30 p.m., the Tourist delivers up the horse to the groom, and leisurely walks to his place of abode.
A RIDE TO DIANA’S PEAK VIA PEAK HILL, FRANCIS PLAIN AND BROWN’S HILL ;
THENCE TO HIGH KNOLL VIA THE WATER-COURSE AND FRANCIS VALE ;
RETURNING TO TOWN VIA LADDER HILL.
This is the last tour we have to suggest to the Explorer’s notice, though he may go where he wishes during his stay, or may revisit the whole of the places to which we have taken him from the day he first landed on our healthful shore. Indeed a second jaunt through the Island would be advisable—say a ride through the several districts on a moonlit evening, when the feathered songsters have gone to rest and the six-legged nightingales of St. Helena chirp their melodious strains ; or on a starry night when the numerous etoiles du ciel scintillate brightly to show the wayfarer the pathway on which to travel. No stranger can fully realize the delights of a moonlit evening in St. Helena unless he will personally promenade the pleasant Country drives, enhanced by the balmy odours exhaled by luxuriant tropical vegetation ; nor the beauties of a starlit night, when all human sounds are hushed, and nought disturbs the profound silence save the crickets’ chirp, the beetles’ hum, and the sighing of the wind amid the trees, causing them to emit everchanging sounds, which fall pleasantly upon the listening ear ever eager to catch Dame Nature’s unwritten notes of harmony ; while the solemn mountain peaks add their indescribable charms—charms peculiarly St. Helena’s own.
Let us start from the New Bridge at 9:30 p.m. On the right towers the massive High Knoll mountain, 1903 feet high, with sides almost perpendicular—in front the level plateau of Francis Plain—on the left an almost impassable barrier of rock,—the whole scene rendered more sombre and grand by the charming glows of the Sun’s rays. Arriving at the Bridge at foot of Peak Hill, we slowly ascend, observing on the left, as it were, a hill of aloes. Turning the first corner we come in sight of peepul, thorn, mulberry, and kafir date trees (4) growing amid prickly pear bushes. Passing these we slowly wend our way along the steep zig-zag, observing a road to the left leading to the Pavilion, &c., until we come into a level, where a road is perceived branching to the left ; this is the old disused road. Here we rest awhile to view the scenery which presents itself from the South. Glancing below we espy a beautiful Kafir date tree growing near a jungle of prickly pear about a hundred yards long by twenty wide, over which trails the
“THE BRIARS,” SHEWING THE “BIG WATERFALL” AND BARNES’ ROAD,
FROM A SKETCH BY REV. J. C. LAMBERT, F.R.G.S.
passion flower vine, and up the valley descry the dam from which the Briars and environs and Rupert’s are supplied with water ; while a few yards beyond it we observe a little waterfall, which is exceedingly picturesque, the water bounding over it appearing, in the distance, as though it were a streak of silver, and a weeping willow bending over this mimic cataract as if to mourn the loss of the hundreds of gallons of delicious water which daily run to waste, while near neighbouring trees thirst for the cooling stream. Above this waterfall is Mosquito Cottage, and to the left of it East Lodge ; and in the distance Halley’s Mount,—all of which, with the tree-clad ridges, present a very pleasing scene. Continuing the journey and looking to the right we notice the upper part of the Briars estate and gardener’s cottage—around which are thirty or forty of those beautiful black-fruited olive trees, mango, peach, pomegranate, guava and loquat, and about an acre of ground under cultivation as a kitchen garden. Reaching an acute angle in the road we notice an excavation in the side of the hill to the left ; here was once a shed in which Major BARNES tethered his horse while directing the prisoners in cutting the road through the rocks,—hence it is called “Barnes’ Stables.” Here the Pavilion, surrounded by beds of many-hued flowers, is a conspicuous feature, and our present position furnishes an excellent view of the house in which the Great NAPOLEON spent the happiest hours of his exile (from Oct. 17 to Dec. 9, 1815,) where he frolicked oft with the piquant BETSY BALCOMBE, concerning whom the Scraps from the Records says:—
“Miss BETSY has since, as ‘Mrs. ABELL,’ given the world her Recollections of the Emperor NAPOLEON, in a book containing numerous anecdotes, many of them well remembered by some of the old ladies in the Island, cotemporaries with Miss BETSY, who was always spoken of as a very lively young lady brimful of fun and frolic. Witness her pushing her sister JANE in the descent of a steep walk so as to bring her with such force against Count LAS CASES that to the horror of the old Count it made a catapult of him on to the back of NAPOLEON, who was leading the way ; this was in revenge because NAPOLEON had held her the day before while young LAS CASES kissed her,—or again for another retort on a subsequent day pinning NAPOLEON with a drawn sword in the corner of a room. NAPOLEON’S mode of punishing her was to pinch her ear and call her Mademoiselle BET-SEE, and on one occasion when she expected to make her debut at a Castle Ball in a handsome dress he ran away with her Ball dress and kept it until Miss BET-SEE thought in despair she must either go in a plain dress or not go at all. Her father’s mode of punishing her NAPOLEONIC frolics was rather more severe, for he locked
Miss BETSY up in a dark cell colonized by Rats and literally gave her fits."
Around the Pavilion are to be noticed acacias (Kafir thorn), banyans, plantains, pineasters, yew, date, and many more grand trees, the names of which are given elsewhere. The scenery about here is charmingly rural, heightened by the enormous aloes, prickly pear, flowers and. shrubs which abound ; and the serpent-like stream meandering through the valley below adding to the effect of this delightful locality. As we jog on we obtain a good view of the East side of High Knoll Fort and the yawning chasm immediately below it ; while the numerous large opuntias, the beds of sombre-green rushes and the stately aloes, together with the fairy-like Waterfall (300 feet high) and Francis Plain, present a, picture which the pencil of a skilful Artist alone could faithfully depict. A margossa tree, about 27 years old and almost covered with gray lichen, is perceived below the parapet wall. It is rather small for its age, but this is owing to the shallowness of the soil in which it grows, though it blossoms and bears its fruit in its season, Just above this tree several tiny streams of water are to be noticed trickling through the rocks and water-cress growing here and there along the drain. Soon we reach a good stream and we instinctively pause to take breath and quench our thirst. The water has a sweetish taste—doubtless caused by its running through beds of rushes ; 25 years ago this stream was a mere drip. However, within the past ten years it has increased to its present volume, and what is a peculiar circumstance, it has a larger flow in dry weather than in wet, If the Tourist will look over the wall opposite this stream he will observe a fine bed of wild celery growing amid the water-cress. This is frequently cut and sold to calling ships, The Author may add en passant that if any person had told him 20 years ago that beds of water-cress and celery would grow on this arid hill, he should have been inclined to think his informant rather given to hoaxing ; yet this little stream has wrought this wonderful change. It may also be added that that patient but ill-treated, valuable animal—the donkey—quenches its thirst from this stream, and it presents a pleasing sight to one to notice the poor thirsty animal holding its head up to sip the water as it falls. In a minute after passing this rivulet the summit of Peak Hill road is reached, and no doubt the poor steed is grateful for having surmounted the most trying part of the journey. Here we meet with an iron wire railing, looking over which we discover the chasm called “Cat Hole,” where are to be
seen a profusion of wild celery, a few ferns and several beds of rushes, and if the Tourist here feels inclined to exercise his vocal powers he may do so, and he will soon hear what he has said re-echoed back to him. How arose the name of Cat Hole the Author is at a loss to say. Although he has passed the place morning, noon and night for several years, yet he never saw a cat, or the ghost of one. It has every appearance of a waterfall—and is not unlike that on the opposite side—for during six months of the year a small stream of water is to be seen flowing over it. In 1878 a very heavy flood passed over this fall, evidences of which are to be seen above it. It is about 220 to 230 feet high. Passing Cat Hole we soon reach a gorge, where we begin to feel the keen Country air, so extremely grateful and. refreshing after a brisk and warm ascent. We are now passing through Francis Plain Gut and shortly reach a road which branches to the left leading to Woodlands, Rural Retreat, &c., and just above it a bye-path leading to Woodcot, some of the numerous trees and bamboo about which are now to be seen. Passing through a gate we reach the top of Francis Plain at 10:10 a.m. This Plain may well be called the Hyde Park of St. Helena ; for it was here in. years gone by that almost every review of the troops—Militia especially—was held ; besides it is the principal resort of holiday-seekers and the scene of many a fine game of cricket, and will no doubt continue to be so as long as the Island exists. (It is the Author's firm conviction that St. Helena will exist as long as the world lasts—the opinions of the learned,—“That it is only standing on a small rock, and when that gives way the Island will sink in the unfathomable depths of Atlantis!”—notwithstanding. Almost every week there is a game of cricket played on the Plain, and in the holidays (Easter and Christmas especially) it is literally thronged with all classes, from the youngest child to the gray-headed old man. ‘During NAPOLEON’S captivity it was the camp ground of the 66th Regiment and. the “Mess House” was built for the officers of that corp’s ; since then it has been the drill-ground of the St. Helena Militia and contains, at the upper part of it, an Armoury, Mess House, and Sergt-Major’s and Adjutant’s quarters. Several trees—such as peach, pear, orange, Kei apple, Kafir date, margossa, thorn, coral (1), cassia, &c.—and flowers are to be noticed in the enclosures, wherein vegetables and corn are produced ; while above and at the side of these enclosures are numerous pineasters, several of which have lately sprung up and will ere long make a dense copse ; also
wild olives. The butts, though not used for the past ten years, are still standing as well as the target. But where is the Militia now-a-days? The Island is too poor to keep such a useful corps in clothing and rations for about eight days in the year. ‘The scenery to be obtained from Francis Plain is very varied, not being confined to any one style, but being composed of mountain and plain—barren rocks and smiling gardens—arid wastes and pastoral glades—frowning precipice and gentle slope—treeless plateaux and sombre forest—land and sea,—each person according to individual taste selecting the kind he likes best, doubtless feeling bow the contour of the one class enhances the outline of the other—as the eye wanders restless—scarcely knowing which to admire most.’ About 150 yards off is another similar but smaller plain. This is called Peak Hill Plain, and it is a generally received opinion that these plains formed one at a remote epoch, but separated subsequently by immense floods. ‘From this point the most prominent features are : Deadwood Plain, Flagstaff, the Barn, Rupert's Hill, High Knoll, Plantation Forest, Woodcot, and the Central Ridge lands—the whole forming a vast panorama of unique scenery not even dreamt of by those who never leave the deck of their passing ships.’ After having enjoyed the view, whilst taking a necessary rest after having climbed a gradiant of about 1 in 16 for the last mile, we leave the Plain. Arriving at Francis Plain Cottage (formerly the Militia Sergt.-Major’s quarters) we notice a road to the right : this is the Watercourse road—sometimes called “Fir-tree Walk.” It is a very pleasant road, being level and shaded by pineasters. Just below this road we observe the snug “Adjutant’s Quarters,” surrounded with plumbago, wild olive and fir trees, and flowers. We now pursue our course along the road skirting the ridge (Brown’s Hill) in rear of the cottage—that is in a direction nearly due South. On the left is the commodious house called Woodcot, tie residence of the esteemed Vicar of St. Paul’s and Chaplain to the Forces, surrounded with numerous trees, viz :—pear, peach, loquat, chirimoya, rose apple, cedar, fir, oak, &c. ; also bamboo, and a variety of flowers. Next is the productive estate called Woodlands (“Blenkin’s”), containing apple (English and Cape), orange (Mandarin and sweet), chirimoya, quince, peach, pear, loquat, fig (2 kinds), red plum, white mulberry, numerous plantain, and about 2,000 coffee trees which yield abundantly ; also pandanus, calodendron, cedrela, ailanthus, aralia papyrifera, acacias, pineasters, oaks (African and English), cypress, Norfolk Island pines (3),
cork, with several others, besides canthium, box, bamboo (3 kinds), and flowers. Fine vegetables, especially cabbages, are produced in the grounds of this estate. As we ride along we obtain a good view of Knollcombe, and Oakbank embosomed in trees, among which we notice some fine eucalypti, one of which, growing near the house, is about 60 feet high and 13 feet in girth. Leaving Brown”s Hill gate we reach Swampy Gut in 20 minutes, and nearing Sandy Bay Ridge gate observe a road on our left, turning up which we are on our journey to the Peaks. After jogging up a very steep zig-zag, we reach Lower Taylor’s gate and in 5 minutes arrive at Upper Taylor’s gate. Riding through we observe a road branching to the right—on which is an old cannon embedded in the ground and serves as a gate post. This leads to Newfoundland. If the Visitor should feel thirsty he may proceed to this place, where he can procure a glass of the coldest water,—like ice itself,—in the Country. Dismounting and tethering his horse on Taylor’s Flat—which is the finest pasture land on the Island—the Tourist proceeds down the road leading to Hutt’s Gate, &c., and shortly discovers a small path to the right, turning up which he soon reaches the foot of Actaeon, where he notices a flight of steps hewn out of the marl thickly covered with moss ; ascending these he soon arrives at the summit of this pretty eminence. Here he stops for a moment on beholding the Briars, Sidepath road, and the exquisite scenery to the North. Leaving Actaeon he descends about 20 or 30 steps and walks along a very narrow path (about 18 inches wide) which is hedged on each side with lovely fuchsias. Proceeding about 200 yards he comes to the foot of another Peak, where he again meets with a flight of steps which are rather wide apart, and in a minute reaches the top of Diana, where he is regaled with beautifully grand scenery, the whole of the Longwood and Sandy Bay districts coming well into the scene which, with the dense mass of foliage covering the sides of these pretty Peaks and the almost unbroken sea horizon (being intercepted only by High Peak and The Depot), furnish a grandly imposing view, one which should on no account be missed. After enjoying the sight from this the highest point in St. Helena he proceeds down another flight of steps—some of them about 3 feet apart—and after a walk of about 250 yards arrives at the foot of the last Peak, which he likewise ascends by means of steps. Reaching the summit the Tourist seats himself on the brow, which is about 5 feet wide, and partakes of a luncheon which he has brought with him ; viewing at the
same time the grand panoramic scene to the North-East, South and South-West, and listening to the sweet carols of the lovely canaries and averdevats—now and then noticing the white birds alighting on the cabbage trees. After remaining here for about an hour he begins the return journey (at 2 p.m.), and as he walks slowly along notes the innumerable indigenous trees, the long grasses, the pretty gloxinias and fuchsias, and other flowers with handsome butterflies flitting around or alighting on them ; also the precious cinchona, whose broad leaves are easily discernible between those of the cabbage, dogwood, and tree ferns. (On the lichen around the stems of the latter may be seen growing young cabbage trees and gloxinias). Several young cinchona trees have lately been planted around Diana's Peak (Cuckold’s Point) by Governor JANISCH. The Author firmly believes that cinchona will thrive well in the locality if the stems of the trees are kept free of moss, which seems to have destroyed a few of the larger ones. A healthy young Norfolk Island pine and a few willows are growing among the indigenous trees on this lofty Peak. Below, to the left, is a slate-roofed house called Newfoundland, surrounded by a dense thicket of buddlea ; also flax and blackberry. Walking along the narrow pathway a sensation of a kind of springiness is experienced in the ground, caused by the lichen and decayed vegetable matter which abound here in vast quantities. This path is somewhat narrow and not by any means suited to persons of nervous temperament. Some of the steps, especially those on the East side of Diana, are very wide apart, and requires a rather long leg to compass them ; whilst in many places the marl has crumbled away and courtesy alone allows us to call them steps. A visit to the Peaks on a wet day, or shortly after heavy rain, should not be attempted ; owing to the ooziness of the marl and saturated condition of the moss, &c., the excursion is rendered unpleasant, not to say dangerous. Retracing the road to Act eon, thence onwards to Taylor’s Flat, the patient steed may be again requisitioned and a canter in the direction of High Knoll will quickly dispel the chilly sensation experienced on Diana’s lofty summit. Arriving betimes on the ridge immediately facing Oakbank, and taking a glance to the left and downwards, the neat, comfortable residence called Rose Bower is seen basking in the midst of diversified vegetation, including Norfolk Island pine, Bermuda cedars, oak, thorn, coffee and many others. Bordering the lawn are fine oleanders, cedars, privet and a good specimen of the double white hibiscus. This genteel cot-
age-residence is the country seat of the highly respected and benevolent Mrs. NOBLE, the wife of our worthy Postmaster. Ere long we come to the Watercourse road, on which we proceed, catching a glimpse of Harper’s just below the road, and a tract of cultivated ground filled with vegetables, &c., to the right of Knollcombe Cemetery. Passing the Adjutant’s quarters we turn to the left and ride past them and the Mess House, getting a good view as we jog along of Willow Cottage and enclosure, which is surrounded by a wall and contains a few trees—Cape yew, date, and margossa, Crossing over the stream in Francis Vale we notice Francis Vale house and grounds. Ascending a steep zig-zag we soon reach Red Hill, and shortly arrive at the road leading to High Knoll. As the Tourist rides along this pleasant road he views the Scotch firs which shade it. Entering the gate of the Citadel he dismounts and hastens to the Tower, which he ascends by means of steps. Arrived at the top he is astonished on beholding one of the most diversified scenes his eyes may have ever rested upon ; while the inland and marine prospects are magnificent. Next to the grand scenery of Sandy Bay and the Peaks, the Author thinks this is the most beautiful in this wonderful and picturesque little Island, where the everchanging loveliness of the scenery cannot fail to entrance the lovers of Nature's unrivalled beauties. It has been said that, “The cultivated parts of the Island, especially in the neighbourhood of Plantation, as seen from High Knoll, remind the stranger very much of England, especially parts of Devonshire.” Having had a good look around from the Tower, the Tourist proceeds to view the Citadel, and after obtaining all the information he requires, remounts his steed and starts for the Town, which he reaches at 5:15 p.m.—more than delighted with the grand sights with which he has been regaled, and expresses his intention of revisiting the Peaks, Sandy Bay Ridge, High Peak, and High Knoll before leaving St. Helena.
Having conducted the Tourist through the Island and pointed out the several objects of interest, the Author bids him adieu, trusting his feeble efforts will meet with the approbation of all who read this the first “Descriptive Guide through St. Helena” that has been published.
Notes about this version of Grant:
The title page and text were scanned from an original copy of Grant. OCR software was used to generate a text file which was carefully proof-read against the original.
Contributed by Barry Weaver.
Details of the original:
Grant, B. A Few Notes on St. Helena, and Descriptive Guide ... Grant, St. Helena, 1883.
Text: pp. v, 6-127.
Last updated: 19 December, 2011