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High Knoll Fort Lights Up St Helena Skyline

Official lighting of High Knoll Fort takes place at 7.21pm, Friday 16 December 2016. The moment is shared by small groups of people gathered at various viewing points around the island. Lighting High Knoll Fort, St Helena.

Official lighting of High Knoll Fort takes place at 7.21pm, Friday 16 December 2016. The moment is shared by small groups of people gathered at various viewing points around the island.
Lighting High Knoll Fort, St Helena.

THE MOTHER SHIP HAS LANDED | Sharon Henry

It looks like a spaceship has landed on top of High Knoll Fort with its new lights.  The island’s most visible landmark has a new feature of LED up-lights surrounding its base, glowing a rainbow of colours onto the thick, stone walls.

Where the light comes from - one of the 22 lighting strips installed around the base of the fort. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Where the light comes from – one of the 22 lighting strips installed around the base of the fort.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Gazeebos up, nearly dark, guests beginning to arrive - less than an hour to go for the lighting of High Knoll Fort on St Helena.

Gazeebos up, nearly dark, guests beginning to arrive – less than an hour to go for the lighting of High Knoll Fort on St Helena.

Governor Lisa Philips had the honour of switching them on, by first rallying onlookers into a five second countdown before pressing the button which instantly set off a small fireworks display to mark the occasion.  The group of invited guests who had been ferried up to the High Knoll car park gave an appraising cheer as they looked up at the illuminated walls and exploding fireworks.

New Ground Point is a great vantage point where numbers had congregated to witness the inaugural sight.  People across the island can see this spectacle from as far afield as Longwood in one direction and Horse Pasture in the other. The lights will now be on every night from 7pm until midnight.

A speech from Giselle Richards, before Governor Lisa Phillips (left) throws the switch to turn on the lights. Lighting High Knoll Fort, St Helena.

A speech from Giselle Richards, before Governor Lisa Phillips (left) throws the switch to turn on the lights.
Lighting High Knoll Fort, St Helena.

Opening night firework display. Fireworks are launched from both ends of the fort, the loud 'bangs' echoing up and down the valleys. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Opening night firework display. Fireworks are launched from both ends of the fort, the loud ‘bangs’ echoing up and down the valleys.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

The view from up close. Guests at the High Knoll car park gaze upwards as the first sequence of colours illuminates the old stone walls. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

The view from up close. Guests at the High Knoll car park gaze upwards as the first sequence of colours illuminates the old stone walls.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Originally built in 1790 by the English East India Company, the fortress of High Knoll is steeped in history and has many a story to tell.  Much of it dark, as it was once the gallows for hanging mutineers and punishing slaves.  Today it is a tourist attraction offering a 360 degree view of the island; it also houses communication antennae that include radio, TV and mobile.

High Knoll Fort Lights

The up-lighting project was funded by Enterprise St Helena and board member, Giselle Richards said, “History tells us that the fort was built to protect the island from outside threats.  Now it is our turn to protect High Knoll Fort, as part of our built heritage.”

After Jacob’s Ladder in Jamestown, the Fort has become the second major island landmark with lights bringing it to life at night.

With many homes already decorated with Christmas lights, High Knoll was tonight a glittering sight complete with fireworks just to make sure everyone looked up! This long exposure captures the road routes, traced here by the vehicle headlights. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

With many homes already decorated with Christmas lights, High Knoll was tonight a glittering sight complete with fireworks just to make sure everyone looked up! This long exposure captures the road routes, traced here by the vehicle headlights.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

The lights automatically change colours as they shine up onto the old stone walls. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

The lights automatically change colours as they shine up onto the old stone walls.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Merrill Joshua, the project manager said, “In May 2000 Governor Hollamby officially introduced the lighting up of Jacob’s Ladder, providing a proud spectacle that we are all now accustomed to.  Building on the past and setting a precedent for the future we illuminate yet another significant heritage-rich landmark.”

Reflecting that modern age, Darrin (who was strategically situated across the valley in Sapper Way) spotted a remote-controlled drone floating across the sky, watching the event from above.  It must have gotten some fantastic birds-eye footage.

The 22 LED lighting strips are mounted on specially built stone plinths, shining up onto the old fortifications. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

The 22 LED lighting strips are mounted on specially built stone plinths, shining up onto the old fortifications.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

In total 22, 30watt wall washer lights have been installed.  Up close the bulbs are tiny and it’s hard to imagine them being powerful enough for lighting large sections of wall.  They are ‘dark skies’ compliant which gives minimal light pollution, ideal for astronomers.  They also have the ability to change colours and on occasion will be used to visually support causes such as pink for Cancer Awareness.

The newly lit Fort is a welcome feature and already blends in well with the island’s nightscape.

Fireworks to mark the official switching on night. High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

Fireworks to mark the official switching on night.
High Knoll Fort lights, St Helena.

COMMENTS

  • Kenickz

    December 19, 2016

    Brilliant photos as usual guys! So exciting to see one of St. Helena’s 7 wonders lite up. Congratulations to everyone on an amazing project. Heart Shape waterfall next?!…

    • December 27, 2016

      Wow how great that would be to see Heart Shape Waterfall illuminated – brilliant idea Kenickz 🙂

  • Andy Simpson

    December 17, 2016

    Great pictures as always guys. Was watching from Two Gun Saddle last night and your pictures really do it justice, well done!

    • December 27, 2016

      Thanks Andy – might have to try another one from your angle 🙂

  • Patrick G Henry

    December 17, 2016

    Darrin and Sharon excellent photography, an extremely good document. I were privilege to witness some of the hard work Darren & his team undertake building the stone platforms for the lights. Good work well done to all involved.

  • Lawson Henry

    December 17, 2016

    Fantastic photography as always, what a wonderful sight it is too, I was honoured to have been present for such a poignant moment in our history. Congratulations once again to the team at ESH for delivering such fantastic project, adding to the attractions of our beautiful island.

    • December 27, 2016

      The lights have enhanced the Christmas sparkle of the landscape. It was a bit of a challenge photographing that transitional dusk light but love Darrin’s capture from Sapper Way.

  • John Clifford

    December 17, 2016

    Perhaps it will grow on me, but TBH not a fan right now!

    • December 27, 2016

      Hope it has started to grow on you John 🙂

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