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History of Prince's Lodge

- Courtesy of Saint Helena Island Info) .

Often written as ‘Princes Lodge’, its date of origin is uncertain and in 1814 carried the name Knoll Cottage, due to its proximity to High Knoll Fort. According to the Records the land was leased in 1814 to W Brabazon, Master Attendant (i.e. Harbour Master). It then passed to Shortis, Superintendent of Works, then Barker the farmer, and finally to one Richard Prince, a member of the firm of W & J Prince, of London. However, a plaque set in the side of the house reads: ‘RICHARD PRINCE, 1808’. We assume the plaque to be a later addition and the Records to be correct. (Richard Prince himself is interesting - he came to the island in 1813 from Cape Town, to settle debts owed by Solomon, Dickson, Taylor & Company. He was ordered off the island in both 1815 and 1816, but in neither case did he actually leave and eventually acquired a number of properties, including Farm Lodge.) Prince’s Lodge was the residence of Governor Harper from 1925-1932, and owned by HW Solomon (the last country residence of the Solomon family) until April 1961 when it was bought by the Bishop of St Helena and used as his residence (‘Bishopsholme’) until 1999. In 1999 ownership passed to Robin Castell. It was refurbished and some more recent additions removed, and since April 2000 has housed the Castell Collection of historic prints of St Helena (claimed to be ‘the largest collection of St Helena pictures in the world’). The house is set in the upper reaches of Clay Gut, almost opposite the road up to High Knoll Fort. The house has two stories, five bay windows and has a two story back projection that runs the length of the house and projects at the sides. Following the recent refurbishment it now has 20th Century casement windows, and is surrounded by a spacious ground floor verandah and patio. The internal layout has the classic central entry hall and symmetrical reception rooms on the sides. The building and/or grounds can be hired for special occasions.

Prince's Lodge -

From Poems of St.Helena Island by Robin Castell

Long ago,cunning fellow Richard Prince,

Built he a great commanding Lodge of stone.

It stately was, and has been ever since

Lived here Bishops, and dignitaries known,

A stilly air and peace with time to think.

Soft and gentle coo of the ringnecked dove.

Old marble troughs, where honey bees can drink.

Sweet Island sounds, and blessings from above.

Pictures within,adorn the crowded walls,

Certain and consigned to a fearless fate.

History herein so perfectly enthralls,

From distinquished year of Eighteen-o-Eight.

This house of calm,this kingdom of the sea,

Such a resplendant home is free!


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