Like many islands in the Caribbean, Antigua's economy was defined by its sugar plantations. Each plantation had its own windmill (sometimes more than one), which crushed the cane between rollers to extract the juice.In 1705 there were reportedly 170 windmills on the island, and many of the towers remain, though often in a state of decay. The Museum of Antigua quotes 3 different figures on the same page: "over 100", 109, and "about 112", and AntiguaNet pushes that figure up to 114.
One of two adjacent mill towers: restored to working order 1995. Carries the inscription "Built by Richard Buckley Anno Domini 1737", but is thought to be older than that - its more likely that that date refers to works that were done to move the south opening further west, and to embelish the archways with bricks and lintels. Worked until around 1850 when steam was introduced to the estate. 3 arched openings (with an oval porthole window above the main opening and datestone), and a fireplace high up on the blank east wall. The sugar mill machinery now housed in the tower was donated by John Ferdie Shoul and Anthony Shoul (removed from Thibou's mill), and was restored by Lawson M Whiting of Macedon, New York in 1990-2. Other millwrighting work was done by Jerry Bardoe and Chippy's Woodwork.The windshaft now in place bears the name "Fawcett & Co, Liverpool" and a date which I believe said 1895. The sugar mill was made by the ubiquitous "G Fletcher & Co, London & Derby." Also on the site are a "spare" cast iron windshaft about 6m long (with an attached gear wheel), and the broken remains of a cross to which the sails were fastened. The sails of the North mill are removed during the hurricane season. [details] [details] [photos] [photos] [photos] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo] [mention] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo]
Tower converted to water storage cistern in antiquity. All openings are filled in. Work was done to clear the undergrowth and to conserve the tower at the same time as the restoration of the North mill, but no attempt was made to undo any of the conversion work, which is of itself a historical adaptive use of the building.
Two mills towers are present alongside the road into Ffryes Bay. This one part way up the valley side has 3 arched openings, and is generally in a good state of preservation, though some of the stone on the seaward side is very weathered.[photo]
ruin consisting of just a small section of curved wall,
4 arched openings. Landscaped gardens around tower, and cannons added as additional features in 2 of the arches.[photo] [related]
An art gallery built around a windmill tower[details] [details] [info] [photo]
Mill tower very close to the shoreline, now used as hotel boutique and gift shop. 3 arched openings, 2 now altered to accomodate doors, and 1 changed into a window. Tower partially rendered (but render in poor state), and carries tiled sign advertising "Sugar Mill Boutique".[photos] [photos] [info]
Mill tower converted to hotel bar on ground floor, with a first floor entrance via the top of the tall arched opening, leading to a second floor rooftop observation platform. From this platform, there are at least 3 other mill towers visible to the north, and one to to the south across the airport runway. The hotel was abandoned in around 2000. (Update: from Google Earth provided aerial photos, it looks as if the hotel was demolished sometime after I visted in Nov 2004 - though the mill tower may have been retained).Tower originally had 4 openings, but on the ground floor level, 1 has been blocked in, and one is turned into a window, leaving just 2 functional archways. There is a low level bench built around much of the lower wall, and a drinks bar constructed opposite to the main entrance. Above the bar there is a window, which looks as if it has been knocked through in what was once a fireplace. The internal tower diameter is 6m at ground level, reducing to 4.2m at the top. The wall thickness similarly reduces from 1.28m at ground level, to 78cm at the top. [details]
[Antigua Gallery] [Caribbean Volunteer Expedition] [CVE survey March 1997] [CVE mirror]
[Slaves in the field] [maps and views]
[photo] [photo] [photos] - some identified locations including Road to Jolly Harbour, Ffryes Mill near Ffryes Bay [house converted]
|Last updated 03/03/2017||Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2017 -|