Betty’s Hope

Betty’s Hope in Antigua and Barbuda was a sugar plantation which provided livelihood for many generations of Antiguans from the time it was established in 1650 during the British Colonial rule. It flourished as a successful agricultural industrial enterprise (because the workforce, being forcibly imported African slaves, were unpaid), the first large-scale sugar plantation to operate in Antigua, starting with Codrington family’s ownership in 1674, which lasted till 1944. Sir Christopher Codrington Governor of the Leeward Islands in 1674 named the estate as Betty’s Hope, after his daughter. Betty’s Hope is not operational now as a plantation. However, the structures seen here at the time of restoration works initiated by the Government of Antigua in 1990, under the OEC/ESDU Eco-Tourism Enhancement project, consisted of the twin wind mills, the Cistern Complex in serviceable condition, the Great House (Buff or Estate House) in ruins, the Boiling House where 16 copper hoppers were used to boil cane juice to produce crystalline sugar and the Still House (distillery) used for manufacturing rum (also seen in ruins without roof but with elegant arches). Since 1995, it has been developed as an open air museum with a visitor center under the jurisdiction of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.