Founding date: 1750
See on Google Maps!
There is no longer a mill at this site. To get to Willocks one exits off the main road almost opposite the turnoff to Ffry’s beach and heads up into the valley on the left past Tranquil Vale and the slave dungeon. An avenue of ragged old eucalyptus trees line the driveway of stone, those that have survived the ages that is.
The house at Willocks is not original but may have been built on the original site which commands a gorgeous view of the surrounding valley. It is a peaceful scene with cows drinking at the old coppers which lie filled with water in the fields.
Estate Related History/Timeline
“All Saints Church. Sacred to the memory of
Frank Gore Willock
Captain in the Royal Navy
Who died at sea of a fever caught at Muscat
On his passage from Bombay to Bushire
on the 18th of January 1834
He was the eldest son of the late
Frances WILLOCK Esq. of Southampton
This tablet is erected by his
surviving brothers and sisters
Who deeply mourn his loss”
1834: “1834, Feb.18. At Bushire Frank Gore Willock Esq. Capt. R.N. This officer was a native of the West Indies.” A very descriptive narrative follows outlining his exploits. Vere Oliver Vol.III p.241
“Also another plantation in same Division (St. Mary’s, Bermudian Valley) of 133 acres. N, S and W with Samuel Frye E with the top of the ridge of the Great Mountains.” Ffrye— V. Oliver Vol.I p.282
1823: Oct. 21. Ann Willock married George Savage Martin. Vere Oliver Vol.III p.240
1829: In 1829 this Estate contained 368 acres and 102 slaves. In 1821 513 slaves. Legacies of British Slave-ownership: Willocks Spyes (sp.?) was awarded 1450 lbs 7s 7d for 98 enslaved. The awardee was William shand and the Beneficiary Francis Shand.
1852: Willocks consisted of 1852 acres and was owned by Mrs. Ann Willock. It was Frank Gore Willock (b.1828 d.1902) an Ironmonger in St. John’s, who made the iron railings that surround the old Courthouse, now the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda. Jean (nee Willock) Thomas.
1883: William Richard Abbott was working at Cedar Hill and in Yorks in 1885. He was an Overseer at Five Islands estate when owned by Henckell DuBuisson in London which was a Stock Farm. Mary Emily Abbott leased Five Islands after the death of William Richard and lived there for many years. His MI on his tombstone reads “Esteemed he was by all; by all approved; died lamented as he lived beloved; in the midst of life we are at death.”
Extracts from Abbott Family History compiled by Phillip Abbott.
1878: Almanac shows Willocks and Upper Ffryes of 518 acres belonging to Heirs of Richard Abbott.
1941: Antigua Sugar Factory Ltd Cane Returns for 1941 Crop. Willocks. Estimated 600 tons, – acres estate, – acres peasants on the estate, tons of cane delivered 326. 2007. Marie Barreto, who inherited her parents’ estate, talks lovingly of growing up “in the country,” wandering at will, riding horses, picking and enjoying the various fruits in season, particularly mangoes of which there are several varieties at Willocks. She has fond memories of the sugar cane plantations and the regular run of the locomotives which she rode with her father and sister as they passed through Bolands on their way to Willocks to collect the cut sugar cane from the local farmers. Livestock is still raised on the estate and fruit trees are numerous.
She also mentioned that there were two grave stones not far from an old tamarind tree in one of the paddocks which is located north of present house, but could not remember the names whom they commemorate. Found on the property quite recently were two Amerindian artifacts which Dr. Reg Murphy was invited to view in case the area was a valuable historic site. Reg looked at the area where they had been found but could not distinguish any other features to substantiate an Amerindian site and came to the conclusion that they had probably been brought from the very old stone age site at Jolly Harbour which has been dated back to 1775 BC. They are now in the possession of John Fuller who owns a substantial Amerindian artifacts collection.
With the passing of her mother in early 2000, Peter Greaux, her nephew, managed the business which was comprised of a rum shop, grocery and gas station. Her cousin John ‘Bushy’ Goncalves lived and worked in the building which housed the shop in Bolans that used to belong to her parents. Peter and John continued the Angelo Barreto tradition of blending Best Matured Rum aka “Bolanda” for which the family was famous. John played a major role in marketing and increased the popularity and sales of Best Matured Rum aka “Bolanda.” “Bushy” passed away in 2013 ending an era, not only where the proprietor lived above the rum shop but his passing brought closure to the blending of rums by local rum shops. Times change, but not always for the better. “The name you may know is Bushy’s Best Matured Rum, or Bushy’s, or, if you’re really in tune with the local scene, simply 1 and 9, a reference to the paltry pound sterling price some of this used to fetch. The man behind the blend, John Goncalves, better known as Bushy. How this guy found time to make such an exceptional rum was beyond me. From the notes I took with those initial sips, I remember 1 and 9 to be surprisingly smooth and heavy on the vanilla and nutmeg (and butterscotch?) flavors. It’s dry and spicy, usually not my favourite combo, though somehow it all works really well for me in this stuff. I wouldn’t mix it with anything, except perhaps an ice cube or two, and good company.” Taken from ‘Uncommon Caribbean’ article written by Steve. Sugar Ridge development was part of Tottenham Park Estate which was also owned by Marie’s parents. It was not part of Willocks Estate.
Enslaved People’s History
Based on contemporary research, we have little information to share about the enslaved peoples from this plantation at this time, aside from the fact that this plantation’s numbers of enslaved peoples fluctuated wildly over time. After the abolition of slavery, this plantation was awarded 1450 lbs 7s 7d for the freedoms of 98 enslaved individuals, but only 8 years before, the mill employed as many as over 500 enslaved peoples. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
- Ownership prior to 1750 John Fry.
- 1790: Dr. John Fry. 1777/78 Luffman Map.
- 1829: Mrs. Ann Willock. 368 acres.
- 1852: Mrs. Ann Willock w/Upper Ffryes 513 acres.
- 1870: William Richard Abbott. b.1852 d.1907. 1872 Horsford Almanac
- 1891: Heirs of A. Abbott.
- 1940: Samuel Lewis Dennis Gabriel.
- 1933: Dr. J.S. Gabriel. 1933 Camacho map.
- 1935: leased to Angelo Baretto.
- 1950: purchased area known as Dunnings Bottom and in —————-?
- 1960: Willock’s – Angelo Baretto.
- 2005: Heirs of Baretto.