Type: Ruin ( Land repurposed)
Founding date: 1680
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There is no longer a mill at this site and very little remains to identify this estate. Old-timers say that it was located at the extreme western end of Powell’s road and that it was destroyed when runway #10 was built to accommodate low-flying aircraft. Remains of a few old small stone buildings covered in wild coralita, can still be seen in the back of the village of its namesake at the top of the hill. As with most of the estates, the crest of the hill or high point was always used for building in order to catch the breeze for the windmills and the cooling effect. It also allowed the planter to survey most of the estate. This now gives the village of Barnes Hill magnificent views towards the north of the island towards the sea.
Estate Related History/Timeline:
1678: Maj. William Barnes, Speaker of Assembly 1679: John Richardson was granted 100 acres by Jeremiah Watkins.
1680: Maj. William Barnes has a patent for 237 acres – late of Mr. Wlm. Yeamons
1681: Maj. William Barnes has a patent for 230 acres granted by Wlm. Stapleton “Antigua Film Project possesses a letter written about my aunt, Mrs. Ann Barnes. I very well remember her husband, Mr. William Barnes, when I was a child in Antigua and that she was his second wife is very certain for I well know Mr. John Barnes now in New England who was a son of said William Barnes, deceased, and have heard of another son at Bristol, a soap boiler, but my Aunt Barnes had no child of her own alive.”
1695: Maj. William Barnes died in 1695 and was buried in St. George’s Churchyard. He was the first settler to be buried within the sanctuary of a place of worship. Will proved in 1695.
1696: Anne Barnes rated on 500 acres in St. Mary’s Vestry book.
1705: Will of John Richardson of Parham. “…. to my son John Richardson all my estate…. £15 to be laid out to wall in a burial place on my plantation 50’ square.”
1718: “To my wife Ann Thomas £500 & £400/year so long as she remains my widow, only £100/year if she marry, also all plate, household goods, chariot, and horses. If she resides in Antigua I give her the use of 100 acres called “Barnes” adj. to Mr. Francis Carlisle.” Vere Oliver Vol.III p.128
1719: John Barnes sold his estate by Act; in 1727 of New England. Vere Oliver Vol.I P.34/35 1734: “John Richardson of “Barnes” in North Sound, only son and heir, died 1734.” Vere Oliver Vol.III p.46
1792: Elizabeth Richardson of St. Martin, widow of John Richardson of Antigua and late of St. Martin. “Doctor of Physick deceased,” releases her dower claims to Samuel Martin, Collector of Customs for the Port of Saint John’s, Antigua, and Thomas Jarvis and Daniel Hill of Antigua. The Beinecke Collection, Hamilton College.
1827: Letter from John Jarvis to GRP Jarvis dated 16 September 1827. “He will send his two sons to his brother. Damage by gales in Antigua.” Ref. Jarvis/5/A/7/54 Letters and personal correspondence held by the Lincolnshire Archives Ref: Jarvis V/A/9?41 John S. Jarvis and his wife paid L190 to manumit George Marshall on September 6th, 1823. Manumission (Antigua) 1821-1825.
In the slave registry 1813-1834 for John S. Jarvis, lists James Barrett, Fredericka Theresa, George Humphry, Lettice, John Prince, and William Henry all between 1 month and 4 years old.
1842: West Indian Encumbered Estates Court re Francis Wightwick Esq. to Geor. Savage Martin and William Henry Martin Esq. re: conveyance of the Nibbs and High Point Plantations in Antigua. Francis Wightwick (Surrey), Winifred Wightwick (Surrey spinster) George Savage, and William Henry Martin (Antigua); Nibbs of Popeshead, High Point, Barnes Hill, and Ronan’s plantations, united and called High Point Plantation. M569 The Beinecke Collection, Hamilton College.
1871: A scene of the event is pictured in Christian Work, Nov. 1st, 1871 – Mission Field. The Bishop of Antigua states “Every estate in my parish has suffered badly and every chimney is thrown down. On the day after the hurricane, I buried eleven persons killed, and on the next two days, three who died from injuries sustained. On Monday night, over 300 persons sat up together in the open air, exposed to incessant and drenching rains in St. Mark’s village, and the same scene was enacted in Barnes Hill distributed with my own hands every day 320 small loaves and 100 pieces of salt fish and sickness is now, alas beginning to abound. Barnes Hill School Chapel with brand new benches and lamps is utterly destroyed and blown to the winds The whole village (700 inhabitants) is in complete ruins.”
Dr. John Freeland wrote “Notes on Leprosy as Observed in Antigua, West Indies.” Based on his experience working with lepers for over 30 years. It appeared in the British Medical Journal Oct 5th, 1889. He was the Government Medical Officer at the time. He came to the conclusion that it must depend upon “some very special kind of poison of rare occurrence taken in connection with food.” He goes on to say, “The chief food of the negroes and lower orders here has been for generations past a salted fish called cod, but it might be anything else. It is imported from the United States of America. As health officer I can truly say that it does not always arrive or keep her perfectly sweet, nor did the effluvium from this food ever remind me very forcibly of the hay-fields of England.” In 1890, Dr. John Freeland estimated there were 53 lepers in Antigua, 12 men and 19 women who resided in the leper colony. Dr. Freeland MD. Miss Eleanor Foote October 30, 1819. An interesting note is Freida Cassin’s “With Silent Tread” thought to be the earliest novel of Antigua and Barbuda in 1890. It is a novel involving leprosy. Cassin was an Antiguan Creole who also founded in 1895 a literary journal the “Carib” that ran to six issues.
1943: August 1st The Gunthorpes Estates, Ltd. was restructured (see #64 Gunthorpe’s) into a ‘new’ company renamed Antigua Syndicate Estates, Ltd. Negotiations with Mary Camacho in 1947 for Carlisle and part of Barnes Hill fell through. However, in 1949 in order to facilitate the transfer of the estate including Carlisle’s, to the Syndicate Estates there was considerable encroachment which had to be recognized The transfer took place on 25th February, 1949 for $2,500 according to the minutes of the ASE.
1969: The Lands of Antigua & Barbuda Sugar Factory, Limited and The Antigua & Barbuda Syndicate Estates Limited (Vesting) Act. 30th December, 1969. 24. All that piece or parcel of land forming part of Barnes Hill, approximately 27.21 acres as contained in Certificate of Title No.251949 dated 20th August 1949 and registered in Register Book S Folio 19. Taken from the History of Barnes Hill. The village, it is recorded, was named in honor of a young English settler, William Barnes, who was born in December 1656 and died in November 1695. Barnes has the distinction of being the first known settler to be buried in a place of worship, the St. George’s Anglican Church, in Fitches Creek.
The Barnes Hill community had one of the earlier police stations and there was a solid sugar mill near the extreme western end of Powell’s road. This mill was destroyed to accommodate aircraft flying almost directly over the area on approach to Runway 10. The community was also home to two of the three important lime kilns in the country. The projects produced white lime used in construction and in controlling human waste. White lime was also used for painting walls for many years. To mark the creases for cricket matches and play boundaries in football. Barnes Hill also produced only the fourth steel band to be established in Antigua and Barbuda when Sun Valley was established in 1949 following Hell’s Gate, Brute Force, and Red Army. It splintered from the feared “country band” that formed North Stars of New Winthorpes and Rising Sun of Pigotts – the likes of Manning and Vincent Freeland will attest to that fact. Two top players at one time were referred to as “Bum.” “Bum” Jardine of Brute Force and Roy “Bum/Bumpers” Solomon of Barnes Hill.
Enslaved People’s History
Based on contemporary research, we have little information to share about the enslaved peoples from this plantation at this time. We only know that the slave registry from 1813-1834 lists “James Barrett, Fredericka Theresa, George Humphry, Lettice, John Prince, William Henry all between 1mth and 4 years old.” We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
- 1695-1719: Sold by John Barnes
- 1705: John Richardson (d.1734)
- 1719: John Richardson (w.1705)
- 1823: John S. Jarvis (c.1827-c.1898)