Property History

The Moon And Beyond

 

Our buildings have an interesting history, dating back to the 18th Century.

Click for: Photograph of The Moon building (children on the steps) taken c1902 during the Boer War period by Rev. Tom Aitken, Baptist Minister (Click to see the full-sized image, opens in a new window or tab)
Photograph of The Moon building (children on the steps) taken c1902 during the Boer War period by Rev. Tom Aitken, Baptist Minister

In the 1760’s, THE MOON, fronting on what is now lower Napoleon Street, was built as a tavern in which, according to one writer of fiction, Maskelyn, Mason and Dixon wined and dined together on at least one occasion while Maskelyne was on St. Helena to observe the transit of Venus (1761) and before his companions left to survey the Mason-Dixon Line in America. Possible but unlikely, as the Moon may not have been built until 1763.

The property behind the Moon, bounded on the north by the Vicarage and on the south and east by Munden’s Lane, was divided by a high stone wall. Each lot had a building at the back which was separated from the Moon by a cobblestone courtyard.

In 1993 the derelict Moon was rebuilt for offices or a shop, and storage in the basement formerly used for household slaves.


THE COACH HOUSE and THE FORGE, to the south of the dividing wall, was a 2 storey utility building that garaged a carriage on the upper floor, with a small forge, an open grated cooking fire and stabling below.

In the early 20th century its courtyard was used to hold overnight the bullocks, dray horses and mules that had brought the flax fibre from the country mills to town for shipment.

In 1994 the ruins were rebuilt into two attractive holiday flats.


THE FERNS, to the north of the dividing wall, was a 2½ storey town house with many potted ferns, a tall date palm and pawpaw trees in its courtyard.

By 2000 the courtyard was bare and the fine old house had been severely riddled by termites. In 2005 it was remodelled into two pleasant apartments, the UPPER FERNS and LOWER FERNS.