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‘Heritage damaged’ as Trust calls for new law

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Heritage exposed: work outside New Porteous House in Jamestown (March 2012)

Historic cobbles have been exposed in St Helena’s capital, Jamestown, but there’s concern that the work of island craftsman has been damaged.

This picture shows how some cobbling in Main Street has survived being covered in concrete in the past, but some patches of stone have been broken up as a result of resurfacing work.

The picture was taken days after the St Helena National Trust repeated a call for a new law to protect the island’s historic fabric – and force ‘those in charge’ to listen to the concerns of islanders.

The Trust is understood to be greatly concerned about the use of concrete paving slabs outside New Porteous House, near the entrance to the Castle Gardens.

In a column in The St Helena Independent of 2 March 2012, it warned that the historic fabric of the island was under continuing threat – though it did not refer directly to the paving issue.

It said: ‘Today, Saints are losing their heritage at an alarming rate with virtually no say in
the process. The protection of the island’s historic assets relies on the judgement and goodwill of a small number of people, operating behind closed doors.

‘These people may have good intentions now, but often have no long-term stake in the island’s future.

‘The island needs a new law that puts Saints at the centre of decisions about protecting their heritage; one that makes those in charge listen, no matter who takes over at the top.’

The island’s Heritage Society has also written to the Independent expressing concerns about the use of concrete paving outside New Porteous House.

‘Such materials fall short of what we hoped for in renovating our Georgian town,” it said, in the same issue of the paper. ‘We feel the enhancement should be not only be practical but tasteful.’


St Helena National Trust
St Helena Independent (2 March 2012)
Story: Lamps will give Main Street an old-fashioned glow
Story: Castle stair tower must come down, says Trust

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