The sunken paths characterize a subtle rhythmic design of curved and straight lines within a hectare of French gardens. They are the very structure of the only gardens that Napoleon took the time to draw and design, during his lifetime.
The proposed project consists of reconstructing all the mortar edges of these sunken paths that are crumbling and collapsing through the gardens. Even the masonry of the ponds needs to be redone.
The project involves replacing existing curbs built in 1933 using reinforced concrete with mortar blocks resting on a solid foundation. The original design would, of course, be scrupulously respected. The work is to be carried out by the St. Helena National Trust.
The estimated cost of the work is £ 45,350
The St. Helena Charity "St Helena Napooleonic Heritage" wishes to launch it this winter given the validity period of the estimate by the "St Helena National Trust" and the climatic conditions. This project must be carried out in a single phase in order to limit transport costs.
Financing plan :
- The left overs from the previous public subscription (which was done on the Longwood House building restoration) (around £5.500)
- Through financing/subsidies applications of £20,000 to the "Fondation Napoléon" in Paris and/and other Napoleonic charities
- The St Helena Napoleonic Heritage must find from its own ressource £20.000 for the rest (hence this application).
With only 12 to 15 visitors a week and the fact the island is presently facing challenges (rising costs, increased freight, delayed flights and low tourist numbers to name a few) the site where Napoleon spent the 5 last years of his life is struggling to survive.
Yes we are facing a difficult period on St Helena… and moreover to preserve the Souvenir of Napoleon on the island.
The SHNH Ltd has been working on the restoration of Longwood House for years, here is what the site used to be in 1985 !