Jamestown is a small town on the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Jamestown was uninhabited until the middle of the seventeenth century, when English settlers arrived in the year 1659. Jamestown takes its name from James, Duke of York, who would later become the king of England. The island of Saint Helena is a very small volcanic atoll, measuring about fifty square miles and housing a population of less than five thousand residents. Although Jamestown was founded and Saint Helena was settled by the British, Portuguese explorers were actually the first to come across the island, in the year 1502. The extreme geographic isolation of Saint Helena is one reason why the British Empire regularly used the island as a prison for important prisoners. Perhaps the best known of these was Napoleon Bonaparte, who was imprisoned on Saint Helena after his escape from the island of Elba and subsequent recapture after the Battle of Waterloo.
Jamestown has a population of about seven hundred residents, and is no longer the most populous settlement on the island of Saint Helena, having fallen slightly behind Half Tree Hollow and Saint Paul’s. Jamestown has a warm to hot environment throughout the entire year, with the monthly median reaching its peak in April and its nadir in July. Jamestown boasts some examples of colonial architecture, which were constructed from locally collected rock into churches such as Saint John’s and Sacred Heart. Tourists who visit Jamestown regularly visit Jacob’s Ladder, a staircase which was constructed to connect Jamestown to Ladder Hill. Jametown’s port, which is the only way off or onto the island, is just steps away from the Museum of Saint Helena and High Knoll Fort.