The new house built for Napoleon at Longwood - a mid nineteenth century view.
Longwood House was always intended to be a temporary residence, and on 17th May 1816 Sir Hudson Lowe told Napoleon that the materials necessary for building a new house had arrived. Napoleon, uwilling to accept his permanent imprisonment on the island, would not discuss it with him.
Sir Hudson Lowe prevaricated as to where it would be built, but eventually, in 1818, began construction on a site next door to Bertrand's cottage. It was pretty well completed by the end of 1820.
The house was pre-fabricated by John Bullock in London. Construction was under the command of Major Emmet. Among those working on the project were Mr Paine, a painter and paper hanger sent out from London, and Mr Darling, who served as undertaker at Napoleon's funeral and also assisted at the exhumation.
Napoleon watched the house being built, and once secretly visited it, but he always maintained that he would never live there. Shortly before his death he strongly objected to the iron railings that were placed around it, which to him had the appearance of a prison. These were removed and later used to fence off his grave.
In the last hours of Napoleon's illness Lowe and his assistant Major Gideon Gorrequer waited there for news.
No trace of the house now remains. It was demolished in 1947 and agricultural buildings now stand on the site.
Longwood House itself came very near to a similar fate around the same time.