Type: Extant
Parish: St.Philip
Founding date: 1750
See on Google Maps!

Mill at Collins’ Estate as it presently stands

Current Status:

Collin’s buff house was built in 1813 and though repaired after the last hurricane has been deserted ever since and by 2015 had been completely taken over by bush.   In fact the whole area including the old animal pen, chimney and driveway is pretty much under bush.   The mill is in excellent shape as is the brick chimney which bears the inscription “W.G. AD 1844”.   A stream runs past Collins from Gaynor’s direction, into a nearby dam that nearly always has water in it. It is in fact one of Antigua’s main water courses where remnants of old works can still be seen.  It can also be seen from the main road.   Ghut Apples are known to grow there.  R.S.D.Goodwin was a powerful man in the sugar business during his time and Collins was one of the estates not to become syndicated but remained in the family till sold privately.   Around 2008 Frank Goodwin’s family all visited Antigua and after visiting Gaynor’s where they had spent a lot of their childhood we tried to locate the two graves of Mr. & Mrs. R.S.D. Goodwin (1950) which are located in the bush NW of the estate house down the hill.   They are probably one of the last of the estate owners to be buried on their own property, when at one time every estate had its own burial ground.   Had it not been with the help of Shadow, who lives in Norma Prudhommes cottage just below the buff house, we would never have located them.   Shadow used to live at Gambles with Mr. Bob Smith and helped with the horses there.   He also used to race at Cassada Gardens and admitted not so long ago that he was getting too old to race the horses anymore, but still owned about 21 of them which he keeps around the Collins area.

The chimney shows that this estate converted to steam.

The manager’s house was owned by Mrs. Prudhomme, the stables are still used and ruins of the works are still discernable.

Estate Related History/ Timeline:

1783: Part of the will of Mary Collins of Antigua, widow.   Will dated 18th October, 1782.   “To my son Frances Lynch, a negro and 200 pounds.   To my daughter, Ann Collins, 6 negroes.   To my dau. Hester Ronan, 2 negroes till her son Nicholas Ronan be 21.”

V.Oliver Vol.I p.175.

“I don’t think Grandfather (William Goodwin) got Collins in 1861 as I understand Uncle Bob was born at Gilberts in 1874 and Father could not have helped him much before about ’75 or ’76.   Strange Father never talked much about Grandfather while Uncle Frank (Goodwin-Gaynors) knew and loved old ‘Neversweat’ (William Goodwin-Elliots)- said he was the leader of the Irish in Antigua and a marvelous man.   Uncle Frand had to work for McSevney and Mr. Bird (at Parham New Works) and apparently Mr. Mac was a toughie.   Father must have worked with Grandfather.”

Letter to Helen Goodwin dated Nov. 25, 1972 from Robert F. Goodwin, Florida, who inherited Collins.

In 1829 this Estate combined with Parson Maul, contained 179 acres – 152 slaves.

1851 – The Antigua Almanac shows Collin’s belonging to Messrs. W. and F. Shand.

In 1921 150 acres.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership.   www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/search

Antigua 52 Collin’s Estate was awarded £1,740 3s 11d for 127 enslaved.   The awardees included William Jenkins, Sarah Ledeatt, Joseph Liggins, Christopher Owens and William Shand.   Jane Carr was a Beneficiary dec.   John Adams Wood was unsuccessful.

During Sammy Smith’s time in To Shoot Hard Labour, p.91, he says, “the garden was the most beautiful in Antigua and at the entrance these words was written in bold print.   The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, God is nearer one’s heart in a garden Than anywhere else on earth.”

1941: Antigua Sugar Factory Ltd Cane Returns for 1941 Crop.   Collins.  Estimated 2744 tons, 145 acres estate, – acres peasants on the estate, tons of cane delivered 2325 at 16.03 tons per acre.

Memories of Ms. Ethel Piggott, Parham – in 2003 is 96 years of age.   Her mother Adelaide Piggott Wenner was married twice, first to Walter Piggott a Scotsman from Parham for whom she had 9 children with Ethel being the youngest.   Ethel’s father died nine days before she was born – she was the ninth child.   Her mother then remarried a German, Wenner, and had five more children.    He was a tailor for the estates.   Ethel helped take care of her younger brothers and sisters.  

She also recalls when word would come from Collins that the `sling’ was ready. She would take a bowl to bring home the fresh sling which is similar to molasses, but not as thick.   She remembers the field workers tying up the cane tops to make heaps which were used to feed the cattle.   They would also make oil meal balls for the cattle which were shoved down their

throats.   Her mother was a strong Methodist and sang in the choir.   The Methodist church in Parham was totally destroyed by one of the hurricanes as was the large two story Piggott family home.   The chapel bell remains and was used to summon Sunday school.   Ethel also remembers the cattle from the nearby estates coming down to bathe in Parham harbour every morning around 9am.  

Ethel sits on her balcony today in Parham, and remembers the old days and the six children she raised who were not her own but who needed help.   They fondly call her Dada and keep in touch.   She never married and has been a true servant of the Anglican church.

“The cattle plough, R.S.D. Goodwin tell me, was brought into the land about three to four years after slavery.   I remember I look at him as if I did not believe him.   And he say, “Dunbars have 160 acres and have 200 slaves.   There could be no reason to buy a plough?   Ample slaves was in the land to work all the land with ease.”

To Shoot Hard Labour 2. p. 56

The brick chimney bears the inscription “W.G. AD 1844”.   R.S.D.Goodwin was a powerful man in the sugar business during his time and Collins was one of the estates not to become syndicated.   The two graves of Mr. & Mrs. R.S.D. Goodwin are located in the bush NE of the estate house down the hill.   Probably one of the last of the estate owners to be buried on their own property.

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 do know that this estate contained 152 enslaved people just before slavery was abolished in the Caribbean. Furthermore, we have this note from 1783. Part of the will of Mary Collins of Antigua, widow, (dated 18th October, 1782) reads, “To my son Frances Lynch, a negro and 200 pounds. To my daughter, Ann Collins, 6 negroes. To my dau. Hester Ronan, 2 negroes till her son Nicholas Ronan be 21.” We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.

Ownership Chronology

  • 1790 John Ledeatt 1777/78 Luffman map
  • 1829 George Wickham Washington Ledeatt d.1866
  • 1843 C.D. Ledeatt
  • 1851 Messrs. W. & F. Shand 1851 Antigua Horsford Almanac
  • 1861 James W. Sheriff
  • 1878 William Goodwin (1830-1899) 168 acres 1872 Antigua Horsford’s Almanac
  • 1891 William Goodwin
  • 1921 R.S.D. Goodwin (1874-1950)
  • 1933 R.S.D. Goodwin. 1933 Camacho map
  • 1900 c Keith Edwards.