The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 53, Issue 1

Article 7
Brimstone, Sea and Sand: The Historical Archaeology of the Port of Sandy Point and Its Anchorage

Cameron St Pierre Gill


Sandy Point was one of the early English towns on the Eastern Caribbean island of St Kitts, which was the first island to be settled by both English and French. It became one of the most important sugar colonies in the Eastern Caribbean.

In the early period of settlement of the island, Sandy Point rose in prominence as a major port with a strategically vital anchorage. The port became the centre of rivalry between the English and French, leading to the development of the most extensive system of fortifications in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The armed conflicts between these rival European powers over St Kitts have left a rich and unique legacy in the built and underwater cultural heritage of the port of Sandy Point and its anchorage. This archaeological legacy provides the opportunity to examine how a Leeward Island port influenced developments in fortification design and construction from the sixteenth to seventeenth century, the most turbulent period of geo-political conflict in the Caribbean.