Half Tree Hollow can be clearly seen as you approach St Helena on the RMS St Helena, just up Jacob’s Ladder from Jamestown, it is the island’s most populous district, with some 22% of the island’s inhabitants living here.
Being the most populous district on the Island it has various small local shops, the largest of which is ‘A & D’s, about half way up the hill. The Half Tree Hollow fuel station and two Solomon’s shops: a supermarket and a hardware store.
Two areas designated for small enterprise: the Ladder Hill Workshops and the Enterprise St. Helena Business Park.
The Community Care Centre, a residential home for the elderly, whose foundation stone was laid by Anne the Princess Royal in 2002.
The Godfathers Rock Club, an entertainment venue with bar and dining facilities. The Half Tree Hollow Community Centre, used for community events and public meetings.
Various churches, the most notable of which is the large New Apostolic Hall, which is the first building identifiable as the RMS St. Helena approaches Jamestown.
History of Half Tree Hollow
An old record from 1686 reads: “A thick wood occupied Half Tree Hollow, and some persons who advanced therein lost their way and perished.” In 1905 an old island inhabitant was reported as saying that the wood was full of monkeys, who pelted stones at passers-by. Sometime after that the woodland was cleared. In 1905 it is recorded that: “Passing through Half Tree Hollow, wholly destitute of trees except a few young saplings of recent planting, and continually ascending past clean little cottages, generally enclosed in a small patch of garden ground.”
This remained until the 1960s, when development began. The Half Tree Hollow area was ideal to meet the demand for land needed for the building of new homes. It already had water and electricity, so it was only necessary to make roads. It’s close to the quarry (across the valley at Donkey Plain), providing ready access to building materials, and Jamestown, where most people work and socialise, was easily accessible.
By the early 1980s a significant local communnity had arisen, development has continued even to the present day; it is unusual to drive through Half Tree Hollow and not see at least two houses under construction. Much of the development is in-fill; the construction of a new house by subdividing an existing plot, often so that children can have a home of their own.