The Segmental Info System
As small as Antigua is, many visitors are shocked to find that there are over 300 historical sites to visit on the island, and an additional 15 in Barbuda.
Most of these sites were once used by the British military, including forts and lookouts, but there a few other religious and industrial attractions worth a visit.
The coastline of Antigua was once lined with British forts. Today, these forts, which are for the most part in ruins, make great attractions to visit – especially since they are free to see.
Located in St. John's, Fort Barrington is the only fort in Antigua that actually ever saw any military action. Time and again, the fort protected from French forces, beginning in 1666 and through to 1790. Today, the remains of the fort are sparse, but include a gun platform and a powder magazine.
Built to guard Falmouth Bay, as well as Antigua's first established town, Fort George sits high atop Monk's Hill. The fort took 16 years to construct, and today stands in ruins, much like the other forts on the island.
Fort James was built in the early half of the 18th century in order to fortify St. Johns at the northern entrance of St. John's Harbour. The major draw to Fort James today is the ten canons that remain intact.
Nelson's Dockyard National Park was once a major port for the British Royal Navy in the West Indies. Colonial buildings remain standing on property, including the Admiral House, and the dockyard stands as a museum of naval history. Also on site are archaeological sites and nature trails. Buildings are open for tours between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a daily basis. Donations are accepted.
Near by Nelson's Dockyard is the Shirley Heights Fort. There are three sections to Shirley Heights, the lookout, the blockhouse, and the ridge and artillery quarters. Much of Shirley Heights is in ruins today, except for the lookout, which is currently used as a restaurant.
Originally built in 1683, St. John's Cathedral on Church Lane had been rebuilt at least twice by the late 1800s due to earthquake damage. Today it stands in need of further repair after the Earthquake of 1974, but the architecture makes it a popular site to see.
One of the best ways to get an overview of what life has been like in Antigua through the years is by visiting a museum. Museums also offer glimpses into the cultural topics that are important enough to islanders that they might dedicate an entire building and often even government funds to the promotion of this topic.
Learn where to find Antigua's museums and historical attractions, as well as how to contact them, by reviewing the following charts.
|Admiral House||(268) 481-5021||English Harbour|
|Betty's Hope||(268) 462-1469||2.5 mi. (4.0 km) West of Willikies|
|Dockyard Museum||(268) 460-1379||English Harbour|
|The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda||(268) 462-1469||Downtown St. Johns|
|Fort Barrington||--||Five Islands|
|Fort James||--||St. John's|
|Old Sugar Factory||--||3.0 mi. (4.9 km) East of St. John's|
|Shirley Heights Fort||(268) 481-5021||0.7 mi. (1.1 km) East South East of English Harbour|
|St. John's Cathedral||(268) 462-0820||Downtown St. Johns|
Whether you choose to spend your vacation days inside a museum, or out exploring the ruins of a fort, there is something to be learned at each of Antigua's landmarks.
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