Charlestown Walking Tour, Part 2

Don't overlook the ancient clocktower.

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4) Wesleyan Holiness Manse: This is one of the oldest stone structures still standing in Charlestown, dating to 1812. Now privately occupied and used for church business, it was built by the Huggins family, founders of the great Bath Hotel (site #10).

5) Charlestown Methodist Church: Built in 1844, this is considered the most significant and most ornate structure of old Charlestown. A government-sponsored junior school uses the building's lower section.

Amazingly, the yard and trees are little changed from the scene depicted in an 1802 print sometimes sold in the Hamilton Museum. The second floor of the adjacent Methodist Manse is considered the oldest wooden structure in Charleston, also dating at least to 1802.

This may sound backwards, but the ground floor is actually a much later addition, built in 1886. It was not uncommon in those days to lift the older, wooden first floors and build a more modern block structure under it. Considering the problem of wood rot in the tropics, the procedure makes a lot of sense.

6) St. Paul's Anglican Rectory: This is a typical cottage-style home of the 1870s, with a large entry and central living room. Now a private residence, it was the Government House of Nevis until 1890.

7) Jewish Cemetery: Although the Jewish community of Nevis is small, Jews were among the earliest pioneers. At one time Sephardic Jews from Brazil made up about 25% of the island's population.

The cemetery, with tombstones in Hebrew, English and Portuguese, contains graves dating from 1679 to 1768, with most burials taking place before 1710.

Normally the cemetery is closed to the public, but you might be able to obtain entry through advance inquiry at the Tourist Office.   

 8) Nevis Courthouse & Library: Built in 1825, the two-story stone structure you see today is a restoration, following the disastrous fire that swept Charlestown in 1873, destroying many valuable records.

The first floor has always contained the law court, in which the death sentence was passed for at least one pirate and where Horatio Nelson is said to have been sued over a matter of 40,000 pounds. The public library now occupies the second floor.

Thanks to its unique truss construction, it's considered one of the coolest places in town. The clocktower, dating from 1909-10, keeps accurate time.

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