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The Montravers Estate & Baobob Tree

Montravers Estate






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The Montravers Estate, constructed in the 18th century, was occupied and produced sugar for 300 years.

Archaeological work is ongoing at this most interesting site. The ruin of the stone Great House constructed in the early 19th century originally was joined to an older wooden house built in the 18th century. Only the foundations of that earlier house remain, and in turn they lie atop the foundations of a 17th century house which is believed to have been burnt by the invading French army in 1706. The 17th century building was built by the Freeman family, the first owners of the estate. The 18th century structure was constructed by the Pinneys family, for whom Pinney’s Beach is named. The stone house was built by the Huggins family, who purchased the estate from Pinneys. At one point the Pinneys considered allowing poets and writers from England to reside on the estate as an early “artist’s colony”, but it never came to pass. The Great House was occupied up to the 1950’s. What makes this an exceptional site is that papers and correspondence of the Pinney family have survived in Bristol and give invaluable information about the buildings and life on the estate, which are being confirmed by archaeology. The estate was occupied and produced sugar for 300 years.

Baobob Tree 

This hearty baobob tree defines the entrance to Montravers Estate, which was built by wealthy plantation owner John Pinney.

This baobob tree, the largest on the island, dates to about 1859. Its significance lies in its African origin. Traditionally, people would sit around this tree to socialize and chat. This tree marks the entrance to Montravers Estate, which was one of several sugar estates built by English planter John Pinney. This estate is particularly unusual because of the three story stone Greathouse and camel barn, which Pinney built to house six camels he brought in from England. The camels did not survive on Nevis, but the Greathouse remains, barn, cookhouse, and slave village still can be seen on the site, located about a mile up the road on the right.

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