Betty’s Hope: Antigua’s Sugar Plantations
Travel Inspiration Day – In 1651, British colonizers built this sugar cane plantation known as Betty’s Hope and these two sugar mill towers. Slaves worked the fields and the mills for three centuries. One of the two towers is now fully restored complete with sails as a way to remember a dark past. Sugar cane is no longer grown on the island and the ruins of the 112 mill towers built around Antigua dot the landscape. With a small interpretation centre and interpretative signage throughout the estate that includes the ruins of houses, a church and other buildings, this heritage landmark is well worth a visit when on vacation in Antigua and Barbuda.
Below are the ruins of the distillery. Every plantation had a distillery. The rum made here wasn’t nearly as smooth or tasty as today’s. That’s partly because the distillers didn’t remove the “heads and tails” of the run, which are loaded with off flavours and toxins. It’s also because many of the lines, tanks and seals were made of lead, which caused serious health problems. Of course, rum today is unleaded.