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Published: February 13th 2015
Monday 9th February, 2015. St Kitts & Nevis
We awoke early as we wanted to catch the public ferry to Nevis. We had already established that this departed at 9.30 am by using the internet at Sprout's place. We had a posh breakfast and as soon as the ship cleared we disembarked and made our way to the ferry dock. We arrived about 40 minutes early and the ticket office was not open. We sat in the waiting area and were joined by fellow passengers John and Pat who we quite often meet in Dexter's Bar. From the ferry port we could see the Azores and a Norwegian Cruise Line ship in the Cruise Dock. The Azoes looked so tiny next to the big liner. When the tick office opened D purchased the tickets and paid the port fees. Tickets purchased we boarded and spent a lovely 45 minutes on the ferry to Charlestown.
Charlestown, first known as Red Stonehouse was the main port of Nevis from about 1660. however in 1671 Govenor Sir Charles Wheler renamed the town in honour of King Charles II. Charles II was king of England from 1660-1685. We disembarked the ferry and made
our way up the street directly in front of the port. At the top of this road we found the tourist information office. Here we were given a heritage walking trail leaflet and map. We set off out of town to the start of this trail.
The firsst stop was the Bath Hotel and Bath Hot Springs. There was a lovely old hotel there which had previously been allowed to go to rack and ruin but now it has been refurbished and re-opened. We followed the signs to the springs. M dipped a toe in. The water was incredibly hot.
We retraced our steps back towards Charlestown and walked past the Spencer Howell Building which is an attractive green and white wooden structure. We turned off right heading towards the Jewish Cemetery. Outside there was a sign which read "Jewish Burial Ground 1684-1768" We could see the graves topped with stones as is the tradition for followers of the jewish faith.
Next stop on the trail was Charlestown Methodist Church C1844. This church as built by freed black slaves. Ten years after emancipation the present church was built by the black population of Nevis using locally raised
funds. Previously wooden chapels had stood on the site, the first in 1794 and a replacement in 1802. Plans for the current church were begun in 1841 and construction was completed in 1844. The church was planned to be large enough to hold 1500 worshiipers with the basement used as a school. It is reported that children carried stones to assist with the construction. The Manse adjacent to the church has a keystone dated 1886. It is believed that in that year, an earlier wooden one storey structure was elevated onto a new stone ground floor. The work was supervised by Reverend John Henry Bridgewater. His daughter Helen Bridgewater ran a school in the church which became an important Nevis educational institution.
Close to the church was the Ingle Blackett Building which is another colonial style building with a blue and white facade. We continued on past the front of the church and the Manse until we came to a plaque comemmorating 400 anniversary of the voyage establishing Jamestown which was the first permanent English settlement in the New World. The 128 day voyage began at the Blackwall Steps in London on 19th December 1606 with a flotilla of
3 small ships The ships stopped here from March 28 to April 3rd 1607. The plaque had a map traacing the journey.
The next item on the trail was the Slave Market. We couldn't find any buildings or memorials so had to assume that it was a unmarked site. This was followed by the Hamilton Estate House. Alexander Hamilton was born here in 1757. He went to North America to be educated and became one of the Founding Fathers of the USA.
We continued following the map to the last marked stop on the trail which was St Paul's Anglican Church. We took a few photographs and then found our way to Pinney's Beach Hotel. We were hoping to grab some refreshments but nobody was around. We did find a way on to Pinney's Beach however which was where we were headed for a swim. It was absolutely deserted. The water was lovely.
We walked back to Charlestown in plenty of time for the 1 pm ferry. We sat in a bar and watched the world go by. We returned to St Kitts and made our way back to the boat. A good day - and another
Carkibbean Island ticked off!
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