Type: Extant
Parish: St.Paul
Founding date: 1675
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Current Status

Barter’s Estate is located on a spectacular location off Rendezvous Bay with the Doig’s Estate (#153) on the west and Howard’s Estate (#150) to the north. The difficult terrain surrounding the Bay makes both Doig’s and Barter’s difficult to reach. There is a footpath north through a break in the hills to Howard’s and on into the village of Swetes. It passes the remains of the Barter’s sugar mill on the right and the ruins of Doig’s and a pond on the left. An alternate route is to hike from Horsford Hill through Dimsdale (#151) and turn left to Barter’s or right to Howard’s and Swetes.

There also is a dirt road, which is graded periodically, which passes the Spring Hill Riding Stables and provides access to pristine Rendezvous Beach, popular for visitors who also gain access by taking a day-long boat cruise.

The sugar mill at Barter’s has essentially collapsed, with only a few of the large base stones still in place. Piles of rubble indicate demolished buildings; ruins of the
buff house are visible in the hills to the east. There are no signs of the gravestones
mentioned by Sir George Walter in 2005.

Estate Related History/Timeline

1675: “Reynolder Barter of Antigua, planter.   Will dated 10 Aug. 1675.   To my cousin Bridget Sampson & Chas. Baldwin one heifer each if they be obedient to my wife Agnes.   To my son Wm. Barter my plantation in Falmouth.   To my son Jas. Barter a negroe.  All goods to my 2 sons at 21.”   V. Oliver Vol.I p.37

1755: “James Barter of St. Paul’s, Antigua, Gent. Will dated 8 Aug. 1755. ………”reciting my debts, I sold to the said trustees all my plantation called Rendezvous Bay, with benefit of redemption, but no provision was made for the advancement of my younger children.”   He goes on “further to make provision for his wife and children.”

1755 – Sold all his plantation at Rendezvous Bay to said Trustees Thomas Elmes, Edward Horne and Wlm. Maxwell.   Deposition of Nath. Marchant, that on Sept. 10 1709 he was in the room where the wife of Capt. James Barter lay sick when Gov. Parke’s soldiers forcibly searched the house.   James Barter also deposes.”  Vere Oliver Vol.I p.37

“Barters belonged to the Ex’ors of Thomas Warner and contained 250 acres, 58 slaves, 39 cattle, 16 mules, cattle mill, dwelling house etc….”  Vere Oliver Vol.I p.37

1787: contained 250 acres, 58 slaves, 39 cattle, 16 mules, cattle mill and dwelling house. Vere Oliver Vol.I

1777: “Thomas Warner, Esq., advertises the sale of his plantation called Osborne’s or Barter’s.” 

I have always wondered why I was so “soup” for politics until I found out that my father Norris Walter in 1932 joined with two “Foreigners” to attempt to form a trade union.  There was no legal basis that would have supported it but nonetheless, he joined with his friend Luther George, and recruited Berkley Davis, (a building contractor a Barbadian) and Harold Tobias Wilson, (the editor of the Magnet Newspaper, a Barbadian): together they formed and registered The Antigua Workingmen’s Association, and Harold Tobias Wilson was the first person to represent Antigua in talks held overseas (Dominica) to initiate a Federation of the West Indies in October 1932.

The Moyne Commission with its recommendation to form a Trades Union made the pioneering efforts of the Antigua Workingmen’s Association irrelevant. But Norris Walter was there at the Cathedral Schoolroom at the crucial moment that ushered in the Antigua Trades & Labour Union. He saved the day at Reginald Steven’s Jewelry Shop on High Street by pressuring Stevens to abandon his reluctance and accept the presidency of the new union. He was the man who argued that the new Union should enter politics and contest elections and obtain the political power to fight the plantocracy.   Observer July 24, 2014  -Selvyn Walter

1950: “The Buff house blew down in the hurricanes of 1950 while another house nearby was lifted up and hurled into the thick vegetation where it smashed into a thousand pieces.   My father Norris Walter, died in his 40’s leaving my mother with ten children of which I was the eldest.   Although he had made provision for me to further my studies in Canada, as the eldest I had responsibilities.   I graduated from school (The Antigua Boys Grammar School) on the Friday and took up residence at Barter’s on the Monday in order to manage the estate which livestock was being pilfered.   We had livestock, goats which we sold for the `lifts’ during crop time, cattle, horses, mules and donkeys.”

“The gravestones of the Barter family, Maj. James Barter, Elizabeth and Anne all of whom died in their twenties in the mid 1700’s,  can still be seen and are located approximately 75 yards NW of the mill.    The graves had been desecrated in the hope of finding artifacts but the ledger is still legible.”  

“Harris Leapt” is an area on the road down to Rendezvous By known as an area that is spooked.   It gets its name from the time Harris’ carriage overturned when the horses were spooked.   Later, George Walter was thrown from his horse at the same spot when his horse was spooked – the ears went straight up and the horse bolted.   It is an area that is particularly steep towards the bottom of the hill that has been partly concreted over.

Ding Dong Nook nearby, of Historical note in Antigua & The Antiguans, was purchased by Mr. Henderson from Henry (Liberta) and Bonnie Frances for $30,000 all in $5.00 bills in a large bag.    George Walter later purchased the property from Henderson for half a million dollars.”   Sir George Walter.

Sir George Herbert Walter was the second premier of Antigua and Barbuda and the founder of the Antigua Workers Union.  In 1960 he became general secretary of the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (ATLU), serving until 1967, when he was fired as Vere Cornwall Bird accused him of trying to topple the government.

Demands for a new union led to the foundation of the Antigua Workers’ Union (AWU), with Walter as their general secretary; 75% of the ATLU moved over to the new union. In 1968 a new party, the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM), was also formed out of the AWU. Walter resigned his union post and became political leader of the PLM. In 1971, he led it to victory in elections, defeating Bird, four years after the colony became a British dependency with domestic rule. Click here for more information

2012: This is the site of a large important Amerindian settlement which it is hoped will be surveyed in the near future before any development takes place.    Dr. Reg Murphy

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 have this information remaining:
“‘Barters belonged to the Ex’ors of Thomas Warner and contained 250 acres, 58 slaves, 39 cattle, 16 mules, cattle mill, dwelling house etc….’ Vere Oliver Vol.I p.37

We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.

Ownership Chronology

  • 1675: Reynolder Barter. Will dated 1675.
  • 1675: William Barter. Will dated 1695.
  • 1750: James Barter. Will dated 1755.
  • 1755: Trustees: Tyrrell, Elmes, Horne & Maxwell.
  • 1770: Thomas Warner.
  • 1787: Ex’ors of Thomas Warner. 250 acres 58 slaves, 39 cattle, 16 mules, Cattle mill and dwelling house.
  • 1790: Capt. Walter Riddell. 1st wife Ann Doig; 2nd Maria Woodley (1772-1808), friend of Robert Burns and purportedly a woman of uncommon character. 1777/78 Luffman map
  • 1872: James B. Thibou. 10 acres (a part of). 1872 Horsford Almanac
  • 1878: James Ackerman. 193 acres.
  • 1891: Heirs of Hamilton. 1891 Henry Martin Adams map
  • 1933: W. Mannix. 1933 Camacho map
  • 1930s late: Norris Walter. b.1902, d.1948.
  • 1948: Sir George Walter. 1928-2008.