If you love rugged coastlines and charismatic ruins, the Blockhouse is the place to go. From here, soldiers used to monitor the southern Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to English Harbour. On clear days, French Guadeloupe is framed against the southern horizon, and if you are very lucky, during the whale migrations in the Spring, sometimes you can see Humpbacks breaching just off the coast.
The Blockhouse is a combination of a small fort at the headland and garrison complex that was used by British soldiers. From the fortifications the British military had an unobstructed view of Antigua’s west coast, stretching from Indian Creek to past Willoughby Bay. Should the French have ever landed, the soldiers garrisoned at the Blockhouse would have been the first line of defense.
The garrison complex was constructed in 1789 and continuously occupied until 1854 when the last British regiment left the island. The main buildings include the Officers’ Quarters, the central cistern, and the Enlisted Men’s Barracks. Behind these buildings are several more ruins of kitchens, offices, storerooms, stables, and married quarters.
The Blockhouse today is a popular spot to watch the sunset, the moon rise, and our ever-popular weekly Rum in the Ruins event. The Blockhouse Loop trail also starts and finishes here in the ruins.
Dozens of British regiments garrisoned the Blockhouse. However, the only regiment to leave a tangible mark on the buildings was the 1st West India Regiment, one of the all African regiments raised by the British military to serve in the Caribbean.