Sunday, 17 February 2008

Half Tree Hollow St.Helena

Today just a little about an area of St. Helena that is not a tourist attraction, and certainly has no Napoleonic associations, but
virtually everybody passes through at some point.

Although arid and unattractive at first sight, it has some of the most beautiful sea panoramas, and spectacular sunsets.

When the island was first discovered the area was covered in trees.

The trees were damaged by goats and pigs, and doubtless by the need for timber for building.

The loss of tree cover led to soil erosion and the aridity of the current landscape.

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 fir trees still exist at no great distance.

Benjamin Grant, 1879 - A Few Notes on St Helena


To get there you either have to walk up the 699 steps of Jacob's Ladder from near the museum in Jamestown, or you take Ladder Road which twists up the mountain from upper Jamestown.

On the way up you will pass Frenchman's Turn - so named because a former French Consul was driving down the road and presumably failed to turn; he ended up at the bottom of the valley, apparently unscathed apart from a few scratches and maybe a hangover! The accident happened over 50 years ago, but like much else on St. Helena, the name lingers on.

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