Two Islands One paradise - Beautiful St. Kitts and Nevis
Shadwell Great House

Gilbert Fleming built this Great House in the second quarter of the eighteenth century. He was one of three commissioners appointed by the British Government to distribute the lands acquired from the French by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. In 1833 Fleming became Lieutenant General of the Leeward Caribbean and Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher. He is reputed to have taken advantage of his official position to acquire a large estate, most of which was bequeathed to his son, Gilbert Fane Fleming.
   When Gilbert Fane Fleming’s daughter Carolina married John Brisco, Shadwell was used as the marriage settlement. Fleming later bequeathed the property to the Lady Brisco to be passed on to her first son and his heirs.
   By 1873 Shadwell was owned by Thomas Berkeley Hardtman Berkeley, a leading planter and politician who became President of the Federal Council of the Leeward Islands a few days before his death in 1881. The property was bequeathed to his son John. By the early twentieth century the Bromleys, descendants of John Berkeley’s sister, controlled it.
   In 1962, Eric Skerritt, a prominent local pharmacist purchased the house and today his wife Agnes lives there with members of her family. This site remains very important and is thought to be the best example of a Great House on the island.

Lodge Great House
Samuel Crooke, a Planter-politician who served as a member of the Island’s Council built this eighteenth century Great House. Samuel was the great-grandson of a Major Henry Crooke who was a member of Council in 1672 and a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1676. Major Crooke is reported to have frequented the house of Sir Thomas Warner. This suggests that he was residing on the island before Warner’s death in 1648. Crooke left the plantation to his son Samuel Crooke ‘the Little’, who also served on the Council before the end of the eighteenth century. The Crooke connection is still preserved in the cane field nearest to the Great House being called ‘Crooke’s Garden’.
   By 1828 the property was in the hands of Charles Adamson, a leading planter and Attorney at the time. It stayed with the Adamsons until either the first or second decade of the twentieth century when a relative, Phillip M. Todd bought it. He is reported to have “modernized the Great House, fitting it with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and a sumptuously appointed kitchen” (Smith 1976).
   Todd left in the 1940’s and a business consortium acquired the property in 1950. Mr. Christopher Walwyn was appointed Manager of the property at that time. Thus he began more than half a century of residency in the Great House. Over that time his major alteration has been the addition of two bedrooms and a bathroom. With the nationalization of the sugar industry in the 1970’s, Walwyn was allowed to purchase the Great House and its current 2.83 acre grounds, which had been exempted from nationalization.
   The property was recently purchased from Christopher Walwyn by a group of English investors for restoration and conversion to a Heritage Tourism Attraction.

Belmont Estate Yard

This former French property was less than 100 acres when Peter Brotherson acquired it early in the eighteenth century. In 1726 the size increased when Brotherson petitioned for additional lands adjoining his property. Sugar was extracted by means of an animal mill for most of the eighteenth century. By 1828 the plantation extended to 286 acres, had a windmill and was owned by George Galway Mills, the great-grandson of Matthew Mills a late Speaker for the Assembly and Chief Justice before his demise in 1744. The lawyer John Barbot murdered G. G. Mills’ father at Frigate Bay in 1752. G. G. Mills was also active in the Island’s politics and served as a councilor in 1800. He later moved to England and became MP for Wallingford and Winchelsea.
   The size of the plantation increased to over 300 acres by the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when steam technology was introduced. By then Stuart Davis owned the property. In 1923 one of Stuart’s descendants, Basil Davis, became General Manager of the Central Factory in Basseterre. It was at this plantation during the time of its occupancy by the Davis Family that the incident that led to the ‘Bull Story’ occurred, an enactment that has become a standard for Folk Performing groups of the island.
   Today, an area manager occupies the estate house and the estate yard is used in the system of management of the sugar industry now operated by the Government owned Sugar Manufacturing Corporation. Plans for the development of a Sugar Museum at Belmont Estate are being discussed.
formation compiled by the St.Christopher Heritage Society. For information on many more Historical Sites, you may visit them at or give them a call at tel: 869-465-5584


Ottley's Plantation Inn

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