The main town is Charlestown, one of the best-preserved old towns in the Caribbean, with several interesting buildings dating from the 18th century. It is small and compact, on Gallows Bay, guarded by Fort Charles to the south and the long sweep of Pinney’s Beach to the north. Nevis had the only court in the West Indies to try and hang pirates. Prisoners were taken from the courthouse across the swamp to where the gallows were set up, hence the name, Gallows Bay.
Walk up and down the streets of this delightful town and see one of the best remaining examples of the colonial era in the Caribbean. The lack of modernization has kept much of Charlestown in its original state, and local efforts are underway to preserve the original buildings. There are numerous 18th and 19th century buildings that are Georgian in style and fit into a certain scale. Most of them in town were built with stone first floors and wooden structure upstairs. The first floor were shops and the merchants lived above them. Many of them have hip roofs.
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