Antigua Stories and Tips

Sugar Mills All Around

Easily Accessible Mill  Photo, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua has a colourful history mostly revolving around sugar cane and it's production. The remnants of the Sugar Age are still around today in the form of abandoned sugar factories and the large number of sugar mills which can be found throughout the country.

These sugar mills are usually situated in areas which were once large estates, and provided the necessary power needed to grind the juice from the cane stems. Most of the mills today are lacking the gears from inside, yet their brick and mortar structures still stand tall, having braved some of the worse hurricanes and storms to have ravaged the Caribbean archipelago.

For persons interested in the bygone days and specifically the Caribbean yesteryear, although most of these 17th century historical wonders are now surrounded by thick undergrowth, there are still a few which are relatively easy to explore.

The mill located at Betty's Hope National Park is by far the most popular, but there are others which are just as well preserved but are lesser known. One such sugar mill is located at Grace Hill, in the village of Liberta. The memory of the large sugar estate which once thrived at the site is now kept alive by the large mill which sits atop an incline.

If you're on an island tour, scanning the countryside may result in you spotting at least three of these archaeological sites, but some may be hiding behind tall acacia trees. I recommend sitting near to the driver and asking him to point out the sugar mills along the way. If your tour takes you through Fig Tree Drive, there are several mills not too far from of each other, and all can easily be spotted.

In order to see these fascinating remains of the bygone days, visitors don't need to search very far. The Government of Antigua has bought several of the important gears and fixtures from some of the mills and abandoned factories and has installed them in several areas in downtown St. Johns. The Redcliffe Quay area is filled with these artifacts, and some are even located in clothing stores such as Island Creations.

Sugar has played a vital role in the nation's past, and it's admirable to see the effort being made to preserve these historical monuments and their structural parts.

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