He was buried there, where he used to go for walks amongst the geranium bushes on the way to see Dr Kay (doctor for the English East India Company) and Richard Torbett (shopkeeper and Longwood’s main supplier). In fact, Napoleon himself called it the Vallée du Géranium (Geranium Valley). He appreciated the spring water from the valley so much that he asked for it to be served at Longwood.
Once the Bertrand family had left Hutt’s Gate, he didn’t visit his Vallée du Géranium again, but five years later, he remembered when writing his will and confided in Bertrand.
Tomb of Napoleon I, print by F.J. Havell
Exhumation of Napoleon’s remains, print
The Emperor’s vault
The valley is now known as the Valley of the Tomb or Napoleon’s Valley. After numerous administrative and financial transactions, in 1857, the 14 hectares of land were bought by France.
However, this change in ownership did not stop the looting of the site by relic hunters: branches, leaves and roots were ripped up, and samples of stone, soil and pieces of fence were removed.
In 2000, the tomb was restored. The tomb’s original components were transported to the interior courtyard of Longwood House.
Vue actuelle du tombeau de Napoléon sur l’ile de Sainte-Hélène