Heritage & Monuments

Volcanic Park

Tristan da Cunha / Africa

Volcanic Park is on the easter of the settlement.  It was created to mark the 50th anniversary of the eruption on 10 October 1961, which caused the entire population of Tristan to be evacuated to England for two years.  A plaque records the opening by the Governor of St Helena, Andrew Gurr (born 1944).

There had been two months of earth tremors, and then a dome of lava grew to about 300 feet above its surroundings.  Between 20 and 27 October, the seaward size of the dome collapsed and mobile lava was emitted.  Activity ceased by the end of January 1962.  In February there was a lesser dome 130 yards wide and 320 yards long about 100 feet above the lava field.  That ended by March 1962.

Ships were available to take the islanders out of danger.  Two fishing boats took the islanders to nearby Nightingale Island and then the Dutch ship, Tjisadane, conveyed them to Cape Town.  The islanders were then taken to Southampton, arriving on 30 November 1961. Most of the islanders returned in August 1962.

The volcano is no longer active so there is now a path to the summit which tourists can visit on their own or on organised hikes. 

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