Knockers, Knobs & Keyholes – Door Photography in Jamestown, St Helena

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Knockers, Knobs & Keyholes – Door Photography in Jamestown, St Helena

AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE ON ST HELENA | Sharon Henry

Inspired by a travel photographer’s amazing collages of doors from around the world, we decided to focus our lens on door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – which proved to be an interesting and fascinating project, showcasing the town from a different perspective.

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena

 

We all love that just-got-home feeling; shutting the door on the outside world, kicking off our shoes, flicking on the kettle and undoing those pesky buttons that’s been girdling us all day.  Utter bliss.  But who takes time out to appreciate those ‘key’ protectors; doors, those stoic guardians of our private sanctuaries that are often taken for granted?

Opening The Door To History, Culture And Style

Who knew there was such variety?  St Helena’s tiny capital is known for its Georgian architecture and although the facades are widely photographed, little attention is paid to doors in particular.  For some a lick of paint wouldn’t hurt but it’s all part of the charm of these functional, everyday barriers.

Jamestown doors are like front covers of sorts, reflecting the island’s history, culture and style.  They don’t conform to a standard size or shape which in itself conveys a timeless quality.  It’s probable too that a number of those remaining today have been ‘stepped through’ by notable people of the past; Halley, Darwin, Cook, Wellington, Betsy Balcombe, Napoleon, Lord & Lady Baden-Powell, Queen Elizabeth II…  Just thinking about it can give you goose bumps.

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door Photography, The Best Bit About It

With this door photography mission in mind, being on the prowl in town with camera in hand really heightened my sense of awareness and I ‘saw’ doors I’d usually breeze pass.  Small details caught my eye; knockers, brass knobs, worn doorsteps, rusty locks and cracked paint that often led me to wonder what’s inside…  But most of all, I loved capturing the people who stood, sat or walked into the frame, they instantly injected life and a personal connection to the photos.

On their own the doors can look quite unremarkable but shown as a collection they invite intrigue, admiration and discussion.  And I reckon those shown without the context of a building will even give locals a tough job pinpointing them.  This is our door photography project, a homage to the humble building entrances of Jamestown, St Helena.

This door photography article was originally featured in our Breeze 3 magazine and has been slightly modified for our blog.

 

Front door steps is a great place to watch the Jamestown comings and goings.

 

When is a gateway not a gateway? When it’s painted on the side of a house – Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – a hibiscus lined entranceway.

 

Colourful locks, knockers and shutters – Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – PWD yard entrance, part of the Castle complex.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena

 

Door photography - Romans Shop doorway in upper Jamestown, St Helena.

Door photography – Romans Shop doorway in upper Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena

 

Door photography – knockers and knobs of Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door photography, Jamestown, St Helena – the Pipe Store doorway has become a shrine of remembrance for the 325 skeletal remains stored inside, excavated from the African Burial Ground in Ruperts Valley in 2008.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – a splash of blue

 

Door no more! Easy to walk by without spotting it, a walled-up doorway in Jamestown, St Helena.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – The Salvation Army Hall and Association Hall Arcade entranceways.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – entrance to the Scout Hall.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – there are a few of these boarded or walled up entranceways around town.

 

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena

Door photography in Jamestown, St Helena – Freemason’s Hall doorway in Napoleon Street.

 

 

 

By |2018-03-26T01:28:36+00:00March 26th, 2018|Culture, St Helena|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Brian Isaac April 6, 2018 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Knock Knock!!!!

    • WTSDN April 21, 2018 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      Who’s there?? 🙂

  2. Manfred Rippich March 27, 2018 at 5:10 am - Reply

    A nice selection, indeed.
    Some buildings reveal that there is an urgent need to take some plaster and paint to hand… (Scout Hall picture).

    I tried to identify some of the locations of the pics:
    The blue one in the nine-picture-group could be “Chads” (Corker’s) in Main Street.
    Then there is “Cashem House”, Napoleon Street, home of Ferdie Gunnell.
    The brass lion head at the dark brown door could be taken from “Buckley’s”, Market Street, next to The Manse.
    The woman’s head door knob belongs to the grayish door pictured next to the Freemason’s Hall door. It could belong to The Vicarage, Napoleon Street, next to the “Emporium”.

    Some photos of Rupert’s and other areas would be welcome too.

    • WTSDN March 27, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

      Thanks Manfred. You have indeed identified the locations. The woman’s head belongs to the Vicarage. 🙂

  3. Chris Daniel March 26, 2018 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    A lovely collection! Doorways fascinate me too – each a mystery of what lies beyond, a hope, a disappointment, a world of untold stories…

    • WTSDN March 27, 2018 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Snap – same here! so many stories lie behind doors. Glad you enjoyed the post Chris. 🙂

  4. Malcolm williams March 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Very unusual and interesting guys…

    • WTSDN March 27, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Thanks Malcolm – we’re always on the lookout for the unusual! 🙂

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