Sunday, 25 February 2018

Teutonic Hall - an update

Teutonic Hall, formerly Mason's Stock House

The country houses of St Helena are a very important part of the island's heritage. One of those that has been recognised to be in great danger for a number of years is Teutonic Hall, known during Napoleon's captivity as Mason's Stock House.

It was here that Lieutenant George Horsley Wood and his fellow officers used to pray for the Emperor Napoleon, to the disquiet of the Governor Sir Hudson Lowe.

The house was later bought by Georg Wilhem Janisch, a native of Hamburg, whom Hudson Lowe had brought to the island as a secretary. Janish stayed on, married a local girl, and his son became the one and only Saint Helena born Governor. At some point the house acquired the name Teutonic Hall.

I have recently been contacted by a member of the Janisch family with the good news that the house has been saved. It has been acquired by the Thorpe family, and restoration work is taking place under the direction of Henry Thorpe.

Apparently the house is very unstable at the moment, and at one point is being supported by scaffolding. Hopefully it will not collapse! My understanding is that it will probably be turned into a guest house.

What a lovely location for visitors to the island, within easy reach of Longwood, and particularly attractive for those who wish to explore the area around Fishers Valley in which Napoleon used to ride. I should also add that restoration is further advanced at Rock Rose, which also has some connection with the captivity of Napoleon.

My thanks to Henry Thorpe for permission to use these photographs.