Crossroads on the Coast: A Preliminary Examination of Bridgetown, Antigua

Author(s): Arik J. K. Bord

Year: 2018


In 1675, the colonial English government passed a law that established six "trade-towns" on Antigua. The law required that all imports, exports, and intra-island trade be conducted in these towns to be assessed for taxes. Of the original six towns, all but Bridgetown and Bermudian Valley are still extant. The Bridgetown site is located on Willoughby Bay on the south-eastern side of the island.  Local legend states the town was abandoned after a devastating earthquake in 1843, the inhabitants establishing the nearby village of St. Philip. In 2016, preliminary surveys were conducted along the shore at the Bridgetown site to begin assessing the veracity of these legends. This presentation discusses the survey results, the possible reasons and dates for the town’s abandonment, and opportunities for further research into the significance of Bridgetown and other Antiguan trade towns within the complex system of world commerce during the early modern period.

Cite this Record

Crossroads on the Coast: A Preliminary Examination of Bridgetown, Antigua. Arik J. K. Bord. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441449)

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Temporal Keywords
Early Modern Period

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 907