Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua (Part 2)

Careening Capstans, Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

Careening Capstans, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

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Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua (Part 2)

Here we continue our tour of Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour, Antigua.  As mentioned in the first part, the dockyard’s primary purpose was as a careening station for the British naval vessels.  Here we see a few of the large capstans around which the ropes were wound as the ships were tilted, or careened, to expose first one side of the underside of the hull and then the other.  There are many relics from the British naval days around the grounds of the dockyard such as the cannon above and the large anchor below.

Rusty Anchor, Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

Rusty Anchor, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

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Many of the buildings around the dockyard are built from the ballast of bricks and stones brought to the island by the British trading ships who sailed “empty” from the ports in England to load up with sugar and rum.  Here we see that the bricks used for the ballast were of a quite high quality in this detail shot of the  Master Shipwright’s House.  As you will have noted from the masts in the background of some of the shots, the harbour is still in use today as a modern marina.  The Master Shipwright’s House, like many of the buildings in the dockyard,  house new businesses, many still providing essential marine services that have been vital to the area for centuries.

Window & Shutters, Master Shipwright's House, Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

Master Shipwright’s House, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

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The last stop on this part of the tour is the Officer’s Quarters – one of the most striking buildings in the dockyard, with a graceful double staircase sweeping to a long arcaded veranda.  This was where the officers lived during the hurricane season, when most of the ships were docked in English Harbour for protection.  The building sits on a huge water cistern of twelve separate tanks, with a capacity of 240,000 gallons of water.  I never could find the explanation for the buried cannon barrel seen in the foreground of the shot below.

Officers' Quarters, Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

Officers’ Quarters, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua

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3 Comments

  1. Very nice series of images Mark. These islands have more history that many people realize and you have done a great job shedding light on that.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..The Boat WorkshopMy Profile

  2. One of my favorites from your studio, Mark, no doubt about it! Love the details and textures that you photograph so perfectly, and that buried cannon in the last shot there just blows me away, if you’ll pardon the expression!
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..A New BeginningMy Profile

  3. Great post and a nice bit of history about the British Navy.
    That buried canon is an oddity indeed!
    Marc Collins recently posted..Lake LouiseMy Profile

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