A risk assessment of Jacob’s Ladder has been carried out by Technical Services and the Rock Guards of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD).
During their assessment it was identified that the Ladder structure has deteriorated further and requires immediate repair to the handrails.
ENRD together with the St Helena National Trust have devised a repair plan for the handrails and a sequence of works to remedy these issues is due to start shortly.
It is anticipated that these repairs can be carried out without having to close the Ladder and we would appreciate the cooperation of the public whilst these works are taking place.
The public will be kept updated.
Notes to Editors:
The ladder ‘inclined plane’ was constructed in the 1820s – a horse-powered machine for hauling goods to the top of the hill on rails using pulleys. The ‘Ladder Hill Railway’ was in service from 1829 to 1871, and was particularly useful for carrying the large quantities of manure which accumulated in stables, stockyards, etc. out of Jamestown for the use of inland farmers. It was even suggested it could carry passengers but that was considered too dangerous.
Having fallen into disuse it was dismantled by the Royal Engineers in 1871. When the inclined plane was broken up the steps remained and today it is either a short way up or down the valley. The steps are around 11 inches (30cm) high and the same wide, giving it a 1:1 slope.
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5 February 2019