Clay Villa Plantation House
Clay Villa Plantation House and Gardens is a 10-acre (7.5-hectare) property in Basseterre. Built in 1763, and owned by a family of Carib Indians whose 7th-generation descendants are the current owners, the estate is famous for being the only property of its type that stayed a free working plantation as others around it were profiting from the slave trade.
Tour the colorfully-painted wooden Overseer’s House, the family’s actual and current residence, which features a family museum with fascinating local artifacts. Venture outside to the lush eco-friendly gardens for stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Clay Villa is also home to a variety of rescued wildlife including monkeys, turtles, and birds. Call ahead to book a tour, which is highly recommended as it will provide you with the unique history of the place.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Clay Hill is an ideal spot for history and nature lovers.
- You’ll need to arrange a tour ahead of time.
- Wheelchairs are welcome.
- Remember sun protection.
- A pub offers light meals and refreshments.
How to Get There
Clay Villa is located about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) west of Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts. If driving, you’ll come to the estate within the parish of Trinity. If you get lost, keep in mind that the locals know Clay Villa more by the name of John Gumbs Residence. Parking is available on-site.
When to Get There
Clay Villa is open year-round. Call ahead to book a visit. Peak season runs from December to April, during which time the biggest event of the year, National Carnivalxa0 (also known as Sugar Mas), ignites the island in the run up to Christmas and New Year. For a more quiet time, visit between May and July when crowds dwindle and temperatures are hot and humid.
Continue your journey into the history of the Carib Indians on St. Kitts by making your way just a bit up the coast to Bloody Point. A place marking great tragedy, this is where the French and British colonizers banded together to fight the Carib Indians led by Chief Tegremare, massacring over 2,000. As the legend goes, their blood ran down the river here for three days. Hike through Stone Fort Canyon to see some 100 petroglyphs carved on rocks by the Caribs.