of Pitcairn is a steep road, known as the 'Hill of Difficulty', running
to the Edge. This road, which follows the
track used by the mutineers when they landed, rises upward for 70
metres hugging the side of the cliff. As in the days of the
mutineers all supplies must still be transported up this road, although
tractors and motorbikes make the task less onerous today.
The islanders live in and around Adamstown, the original home of the
mutineers. Adamstown is well situated on a northerly slope,
120 to 150 metres above sea level, and covers an area of 20
hectares. From the Edge, the main road runs for about 800
metres through Adamstown, roughly parallel with the
coastline. The houses are scattered along the main road and
Along from the Edge, just past Big Fence and 'downside' the main road,
is the Satellite
, which houses the island’s telecommunications system.
Further along the main road, the General Store
is situated on the edge
of the road. The side road beside the general store leads
down to the three public generators. 'Perkins', the main
generator, is larger (100 kva) than the other older Lister generators
which are 50 kva each. The generators operate for five hours
in the morning and five hours in the evening.
Continuing along the main road, The Square
'upside' the road, is the
heart of Pitcairn. The Courthouse, with a veranda running
along its entire length, takes up one side of the Square, and outside,
on a plinth, stands Bounty's anchor, which was recovered by Yankee in
1957. The hall serves as a meeting place for official
meetings and as a
focal point for social gatherings and public functions. The
internal walls are decorated with historical and official portraits and
Directly across the Square, from the Court House, is the
. The Bounty Bible, formerly stored in the church, is now in the new Museum
protected in its stand in a climatically controlled environment.
On the third side of the Square is a building containing the Island
Secretary’s Office, Library and Post Office and facing it, alongside
the main road, is a long bench where people sit and wait for church or
sit and idly gossip. At both ends of the long bench there are
two bells, which are rung on various occasions. A series of
strikes in ones and twos is the call for prayer; three strikes
signifies public work; four strikes is the signal for a share-out of
food from a passing ship (this is not common these days); and five
strikes announces the arrival of a ship.
Before entering the Square, a walkway 'downside' the main road leads to
the Health Centre
. The Health Centre, built in 1996, replaced
the old dispensary at the Square.
Further down the main road is Bob’s Valley, which by night smells of
the strong, sweet scent of the Queen of the Night flower.
Just past Bob’s Valley, is the road leading to the Mill (sugarcane
mill), the island cemetery, The Lodge and the Hostel
. During 1998 and 1999, the older hostels
(built in 1968) underwent major refurbishment and significant
improvements were made to the living quarters. The hostels
are magnificently situated under the
shadow of Gannets Ridge and the yawning cave in which Fletcher
Christian is reputed to have gone in solitude to survey his island.
Back on the main road, past the Banyan trees and Down Fence, the road
leads out to Pulau where the School
and the residence of the
teacher are located. Although not strictly speaking part of
Adamstown, the school and School house
sit below Christian’s Cave
the track leading up to the cave can be found just below the school.