Betty's Hope Sugar Plantation
The twin windmills at Betty's Hope worked together to crush the large volume of sugar cane grown. With a steady wind, working from sunrise until well into the night, each mill could crush 60 to 70 cartloads of cane, or about 2 acres per day. The juice dripped into a tank beneath the mill and was later then piped through an underground conduit to the boiling house. The pressed stalks, called bagasse were tossed out into the mill yard to dry before being used as fuel in the boiling and distilling furnaces.
One of the windmill towers has undergone restoration with modern machinery to an operable condition complete with authentic sugar cane crushing machinery salvaged from a similar mill.
The Cistern Complex is still in working condition, indeed, in times of severe drought Pares villagers, up to quite recently, drew water from its cisterns. There are four catchment areas each with its own cistern. There is a sundial base atop the cistern wall that borders the entrance road.
The Great House (Buff or Estate House) once stood on the grassy knoll next to the mill. The house was surrounded by a stone wall with dependency buildings on each corner. In these small buildings, now disappeared, lived the doctor, bookkeeper, overseer and a tradesman.
The Curing House was where the crystals were placed into barrels, (hogsheads) to be drained of molasses for the manufacture of rum and for export. Today the stone from its walls have disappeared.
The Boiling House was on a lower level, so the cane juice could flow by gravity to the fifteen coppers, where it was boiled until crystallisation.
The Still House was where the rum was made. This now roofless building is on a lower level and there are magnificent arches to be admired. There is a row of cisterns along the outside of the south wall.
The Betty's Hope Restoration Trust, a non- profit NGO was formed in 1990.
Founded about 1650 by Govenor Keynell, Betty's Hope was Antigua's pioneer sugar plantation. His widow inherited the estate upon his death in 1663.
She fled Antigua during the French occupation in 1666 and when the British re-occupied the Island the plantation was granted to the Codrington family.
Managed by The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda - +1-268-462-1469
Visitors Centre is open between 10AM and 4PM, There is a small entrance fee of EC$5 or US$2