What is the ‘HER’?

The Heritage Environment Record (HER) has carried out an inventory and valuation of all heritage sites on St Helena; assessed their importance, condition, and potential for future tourism development; identified essential restoration/maintenance priorities and costs; created a new asset database and GIS maps; and produced tourist information.

Importance of the HER

The HER is integral to heritage planning and development and hence integral to tourism development… It will be an invaluable asset in producing tourist information, providing detailed and accurate maps and information for tours, signage and other interpretation.”

Tourism Development Plan, 2009

 Project overview

Objective: The creation of an HER for St Helena to underpin tourism development and facilitate preservation of the built heritage

Key outputs:

  • A comprehensive record of the built heritage resource on St Helena (including database and GIS mapping)
  • Tourist information about historic sites, including maps, interpretation and a new interactive website
  • An evaluation of the key historic sites, to include: existing condition; maintenance requirements; potential future uses (esp tourism investment opportunities); current value and future investment required to restore
  • An updated register of Listed Buildings to strengthen protection of the built heritage
  • Training on island to support the maintenance and future development of the HER

The HER has amassed under one programme an incredible amount of information on the historical aspects of the island as evident from its built structures and their remains. This ranges from simple field walls and built up tracks, through ruined and extant simple St Helena “longhouses”, through the “grand” houses of the island, many now neglected and in ruins, to the most complex military defences such as High Knoll Fort, Munden’s, Sandy Bay, and Banks’ defences.

In the process all structures encountered and recorded have been mapped into a GIS system and detailed information pages produced on many of them. These can be accessed at the HER Browser page .

It is intended that this record will become the starting point for all future planning and development related to the built heritage, such that cognizance will be taken of a structure’s past history and construction in looking ahead to its future use and management.

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