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St Helena Penal Colony (13 May 2015)

contributed by mapoik
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Saint Helena Island Penal Colony Prisoners at work on St Helena Island

St Helena was a penal colony for many years at the end of the 19th century to early 20th century. There were no confirmed escapes from the Island as the bay was a haven for sharks. There was 'mining ' in the form of dredging in the late 20th century, but no mining on the Island itself apart from the stone cut to build the jail buildings.

Saint Helena Island Penal Colony Prisoners tombstones on St Helena

St Helena is arguably the prettiest island in the bay, with its dominant hill and huge pines visible from many miles away, and is now under the control of the Parks & Wildlife service who manage tourist trips to the island, and preserve the remaining penal colony buildings.

Saint Helena Penal colony Prisoners making rope on St Helena Island

There are graves of the prisoners who died there and the remains of a lime kiln which the prisoners worked, and some of the buildings have survived

Saint Helena Island National Park A small cruiser anchored off St Helena Island National Park

The island was basically self sufficient, the prisoners growing vegetables, hemp for making ropes, and a tailors shop, and other trades were carried on under the strict supervision of the warders.

Saint Helena Penal colony Chart of the times ,showing boundaries of the exclusion zone around the Island

If you are interested to see how life was in those days as a prisoner , St Helena is on the tourist map.

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