Heritage Projects

Jacobs Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a run of 699 steps up from Jamestown in the floor of the valley to the Ladder Hill Fort on the western valley slope. It has twice been voted one of the Seven Wonders of St Helena and is a significant heritage  site on the island.

The Cable Railway

 

Jacob’s Ladder is a Grade I listed monument adjacent to Jamestown, St. Helena. It runs from Jamestown up ‘Ladder Hill’ to the village of Half Tree Hallow at the summit. What survives today are the remnants of a horse-driven cable railway installed in 1829 by the Saint Helena Railway Company designed to carry materials from Jamestown to Ladder Fort at the summit. The railway was designed by J.W. Hoar, a local engineer, and the Royal Artillery Engineers under the supervision of Lt. G.W. Mellis. Cars would run on a pair of iron rails fixed onto wooden joists that were attached to the rock face. It rises some 603 feet above sea level, is 924 feet in length and comprises 699 steps–it has an average rise of 11 inches.

Restoring Jacob's Ladder

 

By 1871 the Ladder had fallen into disrepair and was dismantled with the central pedestrian stairways staying intact.

The British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust have surveyed the ladder and have developed a plan to preserve the site for many generations to come.

The

British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust

The British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust (BNBT) exists to promote public education on - and preservation of - the built heritage of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena.  In particular, we focus on the sites related to Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule (1799-1815) and subsequent incarceration on the island (1815-21).

The British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust © 2020 | Registered Charity Number 1185952

c/o St Helena Government, Alliance House, 12 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QS

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