Mount Healthy National Park, British Virgin islands - BVI
(located on Tortola, BVI)
An 18th century windmill that was once used for grinding the sugarcane, farmed from the steep slopes of the north shore of Tortola. This was once part of a thriving 250 acre plantation where enslaved Africans cultivated the sugarcane on the terraced slopes and processed it into sugar which was then shipped to Britian for sale. Across the road from the the windmill lie the ruins of the mill round, which was powered by animals, the factory with boiling house, the distiller, hospital and living quarters.
Mount Healthy windmill is the last remaining windmill in the BVI and was constructed from field rubble. The large arched apertures are accented by cut stone blocks. These functional openings were used for carrying the sugar cane in stone blocks. These functional openings were used for carrying the sugar cane into the mill for grinding and crushed can (bagasse) out. The ciruclar walls of the windmill were often six or more feet at the base, tapering up to three feet at the top to a truncated cone.
Following the abolition of enslavement in 1834, workers from the Mt.Healthy estate could buy land to cultivate for themselves. However the sugar industry deteriorated after a series of disastrous hurricanes in the 1830's and drought in the 1850s, resulting in the windmill becoming a relic.
click thumbnail to enlarge (photos of Mount Healthy National Park, British Virgin Islands)