Fort Ashby was built by the British to protect Nevis from invasions which may have approached from the island’s west coast. It was one of several forts which guarded the island against invasion by the French, Dutch and Spanish and the ever-present threats of pirates who were aware of the island’s increasing wealth due to successful sugar cane production.
Built in the 1600’s, it was built to the south of Cades Bay on the west coast of Nevis. Here, you’ll find what is left of this defense fort – a few canons and part of the stone wall. The fort was built right on the water edge with a retaining wall, but due to the beach adding more sand to the area, it appears to have moved further inland from the water’s edge.
There is a legend attached to Jamestown which is where the fort is located. The town ceases to exist and there is no evidence of it, just the fort. It is said that Jamestown was hit by a violent earthquake and a huge tidal wave drug the town into the sea. Local lore says that the bells of the Jamestown Church made be heard to ring, their tone rising up from under the sea during a full moon. Others believe the town was hit by an earthquake; its citizens leaving the town and settling elsewhere.
Nelson’s Spring is located nearby and feeds the beautiful Nelson’s Spring Lagoon which is dotted with palms and is home to many plants and birds.
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