The origin of the Museum of St Helena begins in 1854 with the opening of St Helena Museum; among its contents were a sea serpent and a flying lizard! Other the next century there was a development of a number of small museums around the island including at Plantation House where they exhibited items from Napoleon’s House at Longwood and eventually Longwood House was developed into a fully fledged Museum. It wasn’t until November 1979 and the establishment of the St Helena Heritage Society that a proper Museum of St Helena began to form, on the 23rd May 1980 the Heritage Society opened a museum at Broadway House. Over the next 20 years the Museum collection grew and eventually outgrew Broadway House, becoming rather cluttered and unmanageable. This led to the establishment of a new Museum appeal and eventual acquisition of the Old Power House building in Lower Jamestown next to Jacob’s Ladder.
In the Museum we provide vital curation and stewardship of sensitive historic items on behalf of the community with limited financial resources. The Museum also has an extensive physical and digital archive of images, video and documents all relating to the island’s heritage.
There are plans to incorporate the adjacent building, the former Public Works Department Store, into a greater Museum, Library and Archives and form a ‘Cultural Centre’ for the island of St Helena.