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Writer praises reprieve for historic St Helena house

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A fresh call has been made by a writer on St Helenian heritage to protect what remains of its grand country houses.

John Tyrrell also praises executive councillors for refusing to lift some of the protection from Wrangham’s in Sandy Bay, to allow it to be sold by St Helena Government.

“These fine Georgian country houses, reflecting the aspirations, life styles and aesthetic tastes of St Helena’s elite, are a vital part of the island’s heritage, and an unique part also of British colonial history,” he writes.

“Wrangham’s has in the past had some unsympathetic alterations, but it could be restored to something approaching its original state, and it is encouraging that the new crop of councillors are sensitive to such issues.

“I do hope that the means to save Wrangham’s will be found before it is too late.”

His article is illustrated with photographs from a return visit to the island in early 2013.

He highlights the “beautifully restored” Oakbank and also Farm Lodge, now a boutique hotel.

“But Rock Rose, and sadly now Teutonic Hall, look to be past the point of no return.”

And Rose Cottage, the home of the late Tony Thornton until he was ordered to leave the island, had become so swallowed up by plants that it was not visible until he reached its walls.

“This provides a graphic illustration of what can happen quite quickly to houses that are neglected on St Helena,” writes John, in his Reflections on a Journey to St Helena website.

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