Monday, 22 April 2013

The Briars

Good morning my lovelies!
I am still trying to catch up with all the touristy things we did while J's Mum was here. I promise a crafty post soon - I have finished my summer blouse but need an accomplice to photograph it.
In the mean time one of the very fun things we did was to go for a trip on this 1929 Chevrolet charabanc. Top speed 20 mph down hill with a following wind and a fab way to admire the countryside. 

Some of you may already know that Napoleon was imprisoned on St Helena from 1815 until his death in 1821.

The day after he arrived he was brought to Longwood to view the house that was being prepared for him. 

 On the way back towards Jamestown he spotted the Briars in the valley below the road.

 He asked to be taken down there and introduced to the family who lived there.
He liked the Briars and the Balcolme family so much he asked if he could stay in the pavilion in their garden until the house at Longwood was ready.

He stayed for about 8 weeks, never returning to Jamestown.

The original Briars house no longer exists, but the pavilion with several more recent extensions is still there, set in a pretty little garden.

If I am completely honest, I was much more interested in the garden than in the pavilion, and certainly than in Napoleon who seems to have been a nasty little man.

But some of the furniture was rather pretty. Some is original, some replicas and some just appropriate to the period.

Some of the original pieces have recently been sent to Paris for conservation and to appear in an exhibition in 2015.

It is quite a tiny building so most of his entourage remained in Jamestown.

A marquee was erected in the lawn to accommodate his closest aides.

Seems a shame to spoil the vista.

All in all I should think the Balcolmes would have been pretty pleased when the Longwood house was ready and they all left!

You can just see the Briars tucked in its little valley right in the middle of this picture.



  1. Another really interesting post, I really enjoy these snippets of St Helena - thanks for sharing them.
    Have a great week,

  2. That car looks fabulous, I would love to have a trip in it.