Ascension Island

by supercarly

Learn more about Ascension Island, a real place of wonder and beauty, by reading this article.

Ascension Island is a British Overseas Territory, but not a part of the United Kingdom. The island, along with nearby St Helena and Tristan da Cunha, makes its own laws and has its own tax raising powers.

This guide will help you learn more about this wonderful island and how it works.


Resting in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean is the isolated volcanic island known as Ascension Island, named after “Ascension Day”, the day on which it was discovered. 

Unlike the Isle of Wight, Ascension Island is not part of England, nor of the United Kingdom, though it is technically ruled by the Queen.  

The Island can make its own laws, has its own currency and even collects its own taxes.  However, it currently uses the Union Jack flag, as it is yet to have its own approved. 

Ascension Island on the map...

Note how many times you have to zoom out before seeing Africa!!!

Living on Ascension Island


Ascension Island’s climate is sub-tropical with temperatures ranging from 20-31 degrees celsius.  It does rain, especially throughout January to April. 


The island was discovered by the Portuguese back in 1501, but this went  unrecorded.  The island was of little use as it was baron and dry, so no crops could be grown.  It remained inhabited. 

So it remained uninhabited until Emperor Napoleon I was incarcerated on St Helena in 1815 when a small British naval garrison was stationed on Ascension to deny it to the French. The island was designated "HMS Ascension", a "Stone sloop of War of the smaller class".

By Napoleon's death in 1821 Ascension had become a victualling station and sanatorium for ships engaged in the suppression of the slave trade around the West African coast. In 1823 the island was taken over by the Royal Marines. It remained under the supervision of the British Board of Admiralty until 1922, when it was made a Dependency of St Helena by Royal Letters Patent. It ceased to be a military only island in 1899 when the Eastern Telegraph Company arrived. From 1922 until 1964 the island was managed by the Eastern Telegraph Company (renamed Cable and Wireless in 1934). In 1964, in view of plans to establish BBC and Composite Signals Organisation (CSO) stations, an Administrator was appointed. (During the Second World War the St Helena Government was similarly represented on the island).


Ascension island is now home to families of employees working on the island.  There is no indigenous or permanent population.

Recorded on 31st March 2010:  884 citicizens, made up of 696 people from Saint Helena, 106 people from the UK, 70 people from the US and 12 other nationalities. 

Georgetown is the administrative capital, where there is a village and a school. 

Spearfishing on Ascension Island

Things to do on Ascension Island:

There are lots of things to do on the Island, Ascension is famous for its spearfishing for example.  

Regular trips, like the one depicted on video to the left, are run from Ascension, which promises to be the "wildest spearfishing playground on earth."

On the island itself, there are plenty of gorgeous places to walk and watch nature, plus you can enjoy scuba diving, squash, softball, golf and tennis all on the tiny island.

Updated: 02/22/2012, supercarly
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