Caribbean Tourism

History of Antigua and Barbuda

The Dockyard at English Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda

Columbus landed on Antigua in 1493. He named it after the church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville, Spain. The British colonized it in 1632, arriving from the nearby island of St. Kitts. There followed brief periods under the Spanish and French, and then a return to British settlement who introduced sugar planting; the industry declined with the abolition of slavery in 1838.


The Dockyard at English Harbour served as HQ to the British West India fleet during the years of the 18th and 19th century during which sugar producing islands were prized in Western Europe. From 1784 to 1787, the famous Lord Horatio Nelson was senior officer, thus the term "Nelson's Dockyard" used locally to refer to the combination of English Harbour and the Dockyard.

King William IV, while young and with the title Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, served as a captain under Nelson and lived at Clarence House.

The island, with Barbuda and Redonda as dependencies, became an associated state of the Commonwealth in 1967 and achieved full independence on November 1st, 1981.

Antigua and Barbuda continues its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations, and is the 157th member of the United Nations. Other memberships include:

  • Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
  • Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM)
  • World Bank
  • International Monetary Fund

More . . .

Folklore says Antigua, in the heart of the Lesser Antilles

Folklore says Antigua, in the heart of the Lesser Antilles Folklore says Antigua, in the heart of the Lesser Antilles, has a beach for every day of the year. We haven't counted but, rest assured,...

Antigua & Barbuda: Country Profile, General Info And Map

Antigua & Barbuda: Country Profile, General Info And Map Geography Located 17 degrees N, 61 degrees W, Antigua is 108 sq mls with low undulating hills, rising slightly in the south. The heavily...

What to See & Do in Antigua & Barbuda

What to See & Do in Antigua & Barbuda Dining: Some hotels require men to wear slacks (no jeans) and a (polo) shirt with a collar (no t-shirts). Usual practice for tipping is 10...

Useful information for visiting Antigua & Barbuda

Useful information for visiting Antigua & Barbuda Local Tourist Office Antigua and Barbuda Dept of Tourism gives list of official taxi charges and hotel information. Also has an office at...

Quick Tour

Antigua and Barbuda offer you the antidote to stress. Excitement is waiting for a Green Flash at sundown, watching pelicans dive for lunch...

Antigua Diving & Marine Life

Antigua Diving & Marine Life There are barrier reefs around most of Antigua which are host to lots of colorful fish and underwater plant life. Diving is mostly shallow...

Places to Eat in Antigua

Places to Eat in Antigua Abracadabra Dockyard Drive English Harbour Antigua Phone: 268-460 2701, 4638084 Admirals Inn Nelsons Dockyard English Harbour PO. Box 713...