7 Natural occurring national treasures on St Helena
1. The Bellstone
The large seemingly misplaced boulder sits among towering eucalyptus trees at the entrance to a lovely forest walk in the Levelwood region. It is a slightly longer drive to this unsuspecting attraction but a stop that is becoming more frequent on the tour route. When struck the boulder rings like a bell and of several chords if struck in different places. Legend has it that the ringer will be granted a wish.
2. The St Helena rock.
Located in the West country and sheltered between Blue Hill and Man & Horse is a lovely pasture land called Thompson’s Hill. For the majority of the year this tranquil spot is only busy with the grazing of cattle, but once a year on Easter, tradition has it transformed into one of the biggest family camping gatherings on the Island.
There are plumbed restroom facilities, and even a paved driveway on the main steep access road.
Special though it is, there is something else that lies here which can only be described as a volcanic marvel– a large rock with an uncanny resemblance to the outline of St Helena. This the locals named the ‘St Helena Rock’.
On careful examination there in one of the veins, too, sits a rock Jacob’s ladder. An extraordinary almost preemption to the structure that would connect Jamestown to Ladder Hill many centuries later.
3. Friars rock
A lone rock figure dominates a ridge leading from Mount Eternity to Isaac’s Hill overlooking a region called Friar’s valley. It is said this rock resembled a Friar ‘in his habit’ and so derived the name. This stone man blends into the barren landscape, but when the sun sets to the West, his silhouette comes alive to the most stunning backdrop.
G.H Bellasis made this landscape in to one of his St Helena illustrations that would later be published together in a book on the eve of Napoleons arrival.
4. The Gorilla’s Head
Next to Asses Ears and in close proximity to the very dramatically named Gates of Chaos is a rock formation resembling a Gorilla’s Head. Resembling a large head of a Gorilla, It is one of the most photographed rock formations on the Island and has an almost ‘surveillance’ feel as it watches down on to the popular swimming rock pools of Lots Wife’s Ponds, like a scene from Planet of the Apes.
5. & 6. Lot & Lots wife
Presumably named after the biblical figures who were turned into pillars of salt at the sight of God, these two rock pinnacles can be sighted in Sandy Bay – a district said to be the younger zones of the St Helena volcanic activity. They are a view to behold. Lot is the striking larger dominant rock and found further inland. Few adventure seekers have dared to climb to the summit, and a fair few more have ventured to the base – accessed by one of the St Helena 21 Post Box walks. In the distance further to the coast, can be seen a petite Lots Wife that is also accessed by a stunning trek dotted with nests of the large masked Boobie.
7. The Paint Pallet
The beautiful Paint Pallet is aptly named, offering up stunning fold upon fold of multi-coloured earth. It is tucked away beneath Bottom Woods, but only a quick hop off the main road.
This is a Photographer and Instagrammer paradise and sits where the great wood once stood. As goats were introduced to St Helena in the early years, combined with the local timber industry, deforestation of the area led to the Great wood being destroyed and the pallet being exposed.