Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua

While we were in Antigua I went to Nelson’s Dockyard. It was named for Admiral Horatio Nelson one of England’s most famous sailor’s. In the year 1671 English harbor was discovered, and by 1704 it was defended and by 1707 it had started to get use as a hurricane harbor. In 1728 it was developed into St. Helena, a small dockyard that only held supplies for repairs. Since it was a very safe harbor more and more ships came and St. Helena became too small. So in 1740 the construction of a much larger dockyard began. And in 1745 it had many more storehouses, but it still was too small. So over the span of 10 years (1755-1765) several more storehouses, sleeping quarters for high ranking officials, and a kitchen were built. A wall surrounding the dockyard was also built. Over time a hospital, The Engineer’s Office, a Pitch, a Tar Store, and extensions to the dockyard wall were also built. During this time Admiral Nelson spent 3 years at the dockyard (which soon after was re-named for him). After he left in 1787 several other shops opened including a Copper and Lumber shop, A blacksmith’s store, a saw pit, and a canvas store. Everything was expanded at least once and another house was built for high ranking officers. The last edition was the Clerk’s House before it was abandoned in the late 1800s. It was re-opened in 1961 as a tourist attraction and then became a fully-fledged marina over time having many docks, tourist attractions (such as a museum and recreation of the tar store), a hotel and several restaurants. In a way it came full circle because it still gets use as a dockyard and a ship repair stop. It was really fun to see and learn how it changed. Be sure to check out the pictures in the gallery below!

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