Stanley, Falkland Islands

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Aerial photo Port Stanley.jpg
Aerial view of Stanley, Falkland Islands
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Map showing the Port Stanley area
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Stanley within the Falkland Islands
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Stanley (South America)
Coordinates: 51°41′40″S57°51′10″W / 51.69444°S 57.85278°W / -51.69444; -57.85278 Coordinates: 51°41′40″S57°51′10″W / 51.69444°S 57.85278°W / -51.69444; -57.85278
British Overseas Territory Flag of the Falkland Islands.svg  Falkland Islands
  Total 2.5 km2 (1.0 sq mi)
  Density980/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−3 (FKST [a] )

Stanley ( /ˈstænli/ ; also known as Port Stanley) is the capital of the Falkland Islands. It is located on the island of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2016 census, the town had a population of 2,460. [1] The entire population of the Falkland Islands was 3,398 on Census Day on 9 October 2016.


Stanley is represented by five of the eight elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, Stacy Bragger, Barry Elsby, Mark Pollard, Roger Spink and Leona Vidal Roberts.

Facilities and infrastructure

The Port Stanley post office, with British red post and telephone boxes. Post office (Stanley, Falkland Islands).jpg
The Port Stanley post office, with British red post and telephone boxes.

Stanley is the main shopping centre on the islands and the hub of East Falkland's road network. Attractions include the Falkland Islands Museum, Government House—built in 1845 and home to the Governor of the Falkland Islands—and a golf course, as well as a whale-bone arch, a totem pole, several war memorials and the shipwrecks in its harbour. The Falkland Islands Company owns several shops. Stanley has four pubs, 11 hotels and guesthouses, three restaurants, a fish and chip shop and the main tourist office. There are three churches, including the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world, and the Roman Catholic St. Mary's Church. A bomb disposal unit in the town is a legacy of the Falklands War.

The town hall serves as a post office, philatelic bureau, law court and dance hall. The police station also contains the islands' only prison, with a capacity of 13 in the cells.

The cathedral and whalebone arch WhaleboneArchCathedral.JPG
The cathedral and whalebone arch

The community centre includes a swimming pool (the only public one in the islands), a sports centre, library, and school. A grass football pitch is located by the community centre and hosts regular games.

Stanley Racecourse, located on the west side of Stanley, holds a two-day horse racing meeting every year on 26 and 27 December. The Christmas races have been held here for over 100 years.

Stanley Golf Course has an 18-hole course and a club house. It is also located to the west of Stanley.

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is the islands' main hospital, with doctors' practice and surgery, radiology department, dental surgery and emergency facilities.

Several bus and taxi companies operate out of Stanley.

Stanley is also home to the Falkland Islands Radio Station (FIRS), the Stanley office of the British Antarctic Survey, and the office of the weekly Penguin News newspaper.

A nursery and garden centre is also here, in whose greenhouses some of the islands' vegetables are grown.


The original capital of the islands was at Port Louis to the north of the present site of Stanley, on Berkeley Sound. Captains Francis Crozier and James Clark Ross were recruited by Governor Richard Moody in his quest to find a new capital for The Falklands. Both Crozier and Ross (who are remembered in Crozier Place and Ross Road in Stanley) were among the Royal Navy's most distinguished seafarers. They spent five months in the islands with their ships Terror and Erebus . Governor Moody (after whom Moody Brook is named) however, decided to move the capital to Port Jackson, which was renamed "Stanley Harbour", after a survey. Stanley Harbour was considered to have a deeper anchorage for visiting ships. Not all the inhabitants were happy with the change; a JW Whitington is recorded as saying, "Of all the miserable bog holes, I believe that Mr Moody has selected one of the worst for the site of his town." [2]

Settlement at Port Stanley, May 1849, by Edward Gennys Fanshawe Edward Gennys Fanshawe, Settlement at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, May 1849.jpg
Settlement at Port Stanley, May 1849, by Edward Gennys Fanshawe

Work on the settlement began in 1843 and it became the capital in July 1845. It was named after Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies at the time. In 1849, 30 married Chelsea Pensioners were settled there to help with the defence of the islands and to develop the new settlement.

The settlement soon grew as a deep-water port, specialising at first in ship repairs; indeed, before the construction of the Panama Canal, Port Stanley was a major repair stop for ships travelling through the Straits of Magellan. The rough waters and intense storms found at the tip of the continent forced many ships to Stanley Harbour, and the ship repair industry helped to drive the island economy. Later it became a base for whaling and sealing in the South Atlantic and Antarctic.

Later still it was an important coaling station for the Royal Navy. This led to ships based here being involved in the Battle of the Falkland Islands in the First World War, and the Battle of the River Plate in the Second World War.

Landslides caused by excessive peat cutting destroyed part of the town in 1879 and 1886, the second killing two people. At about midnight on 29 November 1878 a black moving mass, several feet high, was moving forwards at a rate of four or five mph. The next morning the town was cut in two; the only way to travel between the two parts was by boat. [3]

During the Second World War, a hulk in Stanley Harbour was used for interning the British Fascist and Mosleyite Jeffrey Hamm. [4] A minor player in the British Union of Fascists (BUF) due to his youth, Hamm moved to the Falkland Islands in 1939 to work as a teacher. He was arrested there in 1940 for his BUF membership (under Defence Regulation 18B) and later transferred to a camp in South Africa. Released in 1941, he was later called up to the Royal Armoured Corps and served until his discharge in 1944.

The 1982 Liberation Memorial, Stanley FalklandsMemorial.JPG
The 1982 Liberation Memorial, Stanley

Stanley Airport is used by internal flights and provides connections to British bases in Antarctica. It was opened by the Argentine Air Force on 15 November 1972 (previously, international flights were by seaplane from Comodoro Rivadavia). Flights to Argentina ended after the 1982 conflict. A weekly flight to Punta Arenas in Chile commenced in 1993, which now operates out of RAF Mount Pleasant. Scheduled passenger flights between the Mount Pleasant airfield and the UK are also operated twice a week by a civilian airline contractor on behalf of the Royal Air Force.

Stanley was occupied by Argentine troops for about 10 weeks during the Falklands War in 1982. The Argentinians renamed the town Puerto Argentino, and although Spanish names for places in the Falklands were historically accepted as alternatives, this one is considered to be extremely offensive by many islanders. [5] Stanley suffered considerable damage during the war, from both the Argentine occupation and the British naval shelling of the town, which killed three civilians. After the British secured the high ground around the town the Argentines surrendered with no fighting in the town itself. The beaches and land around it were heavily mined and some areas remain marked minefields.

Since the Falklands War, Stanley has benefited from the growth of the fishing and tourism industries in the Islands. Stanley itself has developed greatly in that time, with the building of a large amount of residential housing, particularly to the east of the town centre. Stanley is now more than a third bigger than it was in 1982.


Stanley is named after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who never visited the islands 14th Earl of Derby.jpg
Stanley is named after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who never visited the islands

A number of variants of the town's name have appeared in both English and Spanish. Stanley Harbour was originally known as "Port Jackson", and this name would have applied to the area before the town was built. Although the town is officially known as "Stanley", it is frequently referred to as "Port Stanley", especially in British reports about the Falklands War. This is in line with various other settlements around the islands, e.g. Port Howard and Port Stephens. However, "Stanley" without the "Port" prefix was established long before the war, and on 2 August 1956, the Officer Administering the Government of the Falkland Islands reported to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London as follows:

There is some difficulty over the correct name of the capital. Early despatches contain reference to both Port Stanley and Stanley. Port Stanley was accepted by the Naming Commission set up in 1943 to consider the names then being included on the War Office maps. Local opinion differs on the matter, but there is no doubt that Stanley is now common usage and has been for some considerable time. The capital is defined as Stanley in the Interpretation and General Law Ordinance. In the circumstances I would advise that the correct name for the capital is Stanley. [6]

Spanish and Argentine names

A message issued by the Argentine Military Governor during the occupation in which the capital is referred to as "Puerto Argentino (ex-Stanley)". Military Government message from the Falklands War (5612267360).jpg
A message issued by the Argentine Military Governor during the occupation in which the capital is referred to as "Puerto Argentino (ex-Stanley)".

The situation with the Spanish version of the name is far more complicated. Stanley, unlike Port Louis, the former capital of the islands, was a new settlement founded by the British, and therefore did not have a Spanish name of its own. Many Spanish speakers use "Puerto Stanley", as a neutral translation of the British name but it is disliked by supporters of Argentine sovereignty who refuse to recognise English language names. Supporters of the Argentine claim have used several different names, none of which are accepted by the islanders themselves –

During the 1982 occupation, Patrick Watts of the islands' radio station used circumlocutions to avoid using Argentine names –

"It hurt me greatly to call it [the radio station] Radio Nacional Islas Malvinas, and I used to try to avoid referring to Port Stanley as Puerto Argentino. I called it 'the capital' or the 'largest settlement on the island'" (from Eyewitness Falklands: A personal account of the Falklands campaign)


The climate of Stanley is classified as a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc), as the mean temperature is greater than 10 °C (50 °F) for two months of the year, bordering very closely on a tundra climate. [7] Unlike typical tundra climates, however, the winters are very mild and vegetation grows there that normally couldn't in a climate this close to being a polar climate.

The Falkland Islands have displayed a warming trend in recent years; the mean daily January maximum for Mount Pleasant for the years 1991–2011 is 16.5 °C (61.7 °F) compared to Stanley's 1961–90 average of 14.1 °C (57.4 °F). [8] Previously, Stanley had a tundra climate (ET), due to cool summer temperatures (the mean temperature was less than 10 °C (50 °F) in the warmest month). [9]

It is characterised, like the rest of the archipelago, by more or less even temperatures through the year and strong westerlies. Precipitation, averaging 544 mm (21.417 in) a year, is nonetheless relatively low, and evenly spread throughout the year. Typically, at least 1 mm (0.039 in) of rain will be recorded on 125.2 days of the year. The islands receive 36.3% of possible sunshine, or around 1500–1600 hours a year, a level similar to Southern parts of England. Daytime temperatures are similar to the Northern Isles of Scotland, though nights tend to be somewhat colder, with frost occurring on more than 1 in 3 nights (128.4 nights). Snow occurs in the winter.

Stanley is located at a similar distance from the equator as British warm-summer marine areas Cardiff and Bristol, illustrating the relative chilliness of the climate. In the northern hemisphere, lowland tundra areas are located at latitudes further from the tropics. Many European capitals are also located much farther from the tropics than Stanley is. The nearest larger city of Río Gallegos in Argentina has a slightly milder climate (annual mean temperature being 1.7 °C (3.1 °F) higher) due to its position on the South American mainland, although summers everywhere on this latitude in the Southern hemisphere are very cool due to great marine effects.

Temperature extremes at Stanley vary from −11.1 °C (12.0 °F) to 26.1 °C (79.0 °F). [10] [ better source needed ][ self-published source ] More recently, on 23 January 1992, nearby Mount Pleasant Airport recorded 29.2 °C (84.6 °F). [11]

Climate data for Stanley, 1961–1990
Record high °C (°F)24
Average high °C (°F)14.1
Daily mean °C (°F)9.6
Average low °C (°F)5.1
Record low °C (°F)−1
Average precipitation mm (inches)63
Average rainy days171215141513131312111215162
Average relative humidity (%)78798387888990878480747683
Source: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia [12]
Climate data for RAF Mount Pleasant, 1999–2012
Average high °C (°F)15.1
Daily mean °C (°F)10.9
Average low °C (°F)6.6
Average rainy days232123242626252421212323280
Source: WeatherSpark [7]


The Stanley Infant & Junior School (IJS) is located along John Street at the intersection with Villiers Street in Stanley. The school first opened in 1955 and has about 250 students between the ages of four and 11. [13]

The Falkland Island Community School (FICS) is located on Reservoir Road in Stanley. It has approximately 150 students between 11 and 16.


Welcome to Stanley sign with Stanley in the background Welcome to Stanley sign with background.jpg
Welcome to Stanley sign with Stanley in the background

Gypsy Cove, known for its Magellanic penguins, and Cape Pembroke, the easternmost point of the Falklands, lie nearby. Gypsy Cove is four miles (6 km) from Stanley and can be reached by taxi or on foot.

Today, roughly one third of the town's residents are employed by the government and tourism is also a major source of employment. On days when two or more large cruise ships dock in the town, tourists frequently outnumber the local residents.

Peat was once a prominent heating/fuel source in Stanley, and stacks of drying peat under cover can still be seen by the occasional house.

Stanley is twinned with Whitby in North Yorkshire, and Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, both in the United Kingdom. [14] [15]

Notable people associated with Stanley

Modern-day politicians

See also

Related Research Articles

History of the Falkland Islands aspect of history

The history of the Falkland Islands goes back at least five hundred years, with active exploration and colonisation only taking place in the 18th century. Nonetheless, the Falkland Islands have been a matter of controversy, as they have been claimed by the French, British, Spaniards and Argentines at various points.

The Falkland Islands currently has three primary means of transport - road, sea and air. However, in 1946, when Sir Miles Clifford arrived as governor, there were no air services, no roads outside Stanley and an indifferent sea service. Sir Miles was instrumental in starting the Falkland Islands Government Air Service in December 1948. The inaugural flight involved a mercy flight from North Arm Settlement to Stanley to bring a girl with peritonitis to life-saving medical help in Stanley. There is now an international airport, a domestic airport, a number of airstrips, a growing road network and a much-improved ferry service between the two main islands.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3,903 km2 (1,507 sq mi). The Falkland Islands are about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) west-northwest from its nearest point.

This article describes the composition and actions of the Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War. For a list of naval forces from the United Kingdom, see British naval forces in the Falklands War.

East Falkland Island in Falkland Islands, Atlantic Ocean

East Falkland is the largest island of the Falklands in the South Atlantic, having an area of 6,605 km2 or 54% of the total area of the Falklands. The island consists of two main land masses, of which the more southerly is known as Lafonia; it is joined by a narrow isthmus that was the scene of the Battle of Goose Green during the Falklands War.

Weddell Island island of the Falkland Islands

Weddell Island is one of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, lying off the southwest extremity of West Falkland. It is situated 1,545 km (960 mi) west-northwest of South Georgia Island, 1,165 km (724 mi) north of Livingston Island, 606 km (377 mi) northeast of Cape Horn, 358 km (222 mi) northeast of Isla de los Estados, and 510 km (320 mi) east of the Atlantic entrance to Magellan Strait.

Port Louis, Falkland Islands settlement on northeastern East Falkland

Port Louis is a settlement on northeastern East Falkland. It was established by Louis de Bougainville in 1764 as the first French settlement on the islands, but was then transferred to Spain in 1767 and renamed Puerto Soledad.

Sovereignty over the Falkland Islands is disputed by Argentina and the United Kingdom.

Port Stanley Airport Civilian airport at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

Port Stanley Airport is an airport in the Falkland Islands, two miles outside the capital, Stanley. The airport is the only civilian airport in the islands with a paved runway. However, RAF Mount Pleasant, located to the west of Stanley, functions as the islands' main international airport, because it has a long runway and allows civilian flights. Port Stanley Airport is operated by the Government of the Falkland Islands, and is used for internal flights between the islands and flights between the Falklands and Antarctica.

Puerto Deseado City in Santa Cruz, Argentina

Puerto Deseado, originally called Port Desire, is a city of about 15,000 inhabitants and a fishing port in Patagonia in Santa Cruz Province of Argentina, on the estuary of the Deseado River.

Bluff Cove bay in Falkland Islands, United Kingdom

Bluff Cove is a sea inlet and settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on its east coast. It was the site of secondary landings of the Falklands War of 1982, which resulted in a successful attack of the Argentine Air Force, which came to be known as the Bluff Cove Disaster.

Puerto Soledad Historic settlement in the Falkland Islands

Puerto Soledad was a Spanish military outpost and penal colony on the Falkland Islands, situated at an inner cove of Berkeley Sound.

Falkland Islands Group of islands in the South Atlantic

The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles east of South America's southern Patagonian coast and about 752 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles, comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The Falkland Islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.

Stanley Harbour

Stanley Harbour is a large inlet on the east coast of East Falkland island. A strait called "the Narrows" leads into Port William.

Mare Harbour

Mare Harbour is a small settlement on East Falkland, on Choiseul Sound. It is mostly used as a port facility and depot for RAF Mount Pleasant, as well as a deepwater port used by the Royal Navy ships patrolling the South Atlantic and Antarctica, which means that the main harbour of the islands, Stanley Harbour tends to deal with commercial transport.

HMS <i>Tiger Bay</i> vessel of the Royal Navy until 1986, formerly PNA Islas Malvinas of the Argentine Naval Prefectureas

HMS Tiger Bay was a Z-28-class patrol boat operated by the British Royal Navy, previously the Argentine Coast Guard vessel PNA Islas Malvinas (GC-82), which was seized at Port Stanley by the crew of HMS Cardiff on 14 June 1982 following the Argentine surrender during the Falklands War.

Timeline of the history of the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands have a complex history stretching over five hundred years. Active exploration and colonisation began in the 18th century but a self-supporting colony was not established till the latter part of the 19th century. Nonetheless, the islands have been a matter of controversy, as due to their strategic position in the 18th century their sovereignty was claimed by the French, Spaniards, British and Argentines at various points.

Index of Falkland Islands–related articles Wikipedia index

Duplicate: List of Falkland Islands-related topics


  1. "2016 Census Report". Policy and Economic Development Unit, Falkland Islands Government. 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2018.
  2. Will Wagstaff (14 December 2018). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 9–. ISBN   978-1-78477-618-3.
  3. "Peat Flood in the Falkland Islands". The Cornishman (43). 8 May 1879. p. 6.
  4. The European; PRO HO
  5. Argentina GIVES UP Falklands? Minister accused of IGNORING fight after magazine gaffe, Daily Express, 17 April 2017, Vickie Olliphant
  6. "The Toponymy of the Falkland Islands as recorded on Maps and in Gazetteers" (PDF). The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names. July 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Average Weather For Falkland Islands". WeatherSpark. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. "Climate Mount Pleasant Airport from 1985 to 2013". Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  9. Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the KöppenGeiger climate classification" (PDF). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 11: 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN   1027-5606.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. "Extreme temperatures around the world". Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  11. "Climate Mount Pleasant Airport January 1992". Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  12. "Falkland Islands Climate". Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  13. Nicholas Barrett (14 April 2008). "About IJS". Stanley Infant & Junior School. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2013.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  14. Herbert, Ian (25 February 2000). "Whitby faces dilemma as one of world's great jaw bones starts showing". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  15. Reilly, Hugh (1 April 2013). "Hugh Reilly: Twins aren't a magic fix for failing schools". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  16. "The Interludes and The Announcers". Whirligig TV history. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  17. David Usborne (10 March 2013). "Falklands referendum: Why ask British people if they want to be British? Alejandro Betts, formerly Alexander, is the Falklands' only 'defector'. He tells David Usborne the referendum is pointless". The Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2017.