Plymouth (Montserrat) Monochromes

22 to 25 September 2016, Montserrat

Plymouth has been described as “the Vesuvius of the Caribbean”. See this post . for a detailed account of the eruptions and the history of Montserrat.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Plymouth (Montserrat).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Montserrat Springs Hotel.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Montserrat Monochromes 1

22 to 25 September 2016, Montserrat

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Redonda.

Antigua to Montserrat.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Montserrat.

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East coast of Montserrat and volcano.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Brades Fire Station.

Montserrat – North and East Coast – and History.

(Note the comprehensive account of the dramatic history of Montserrat in this post).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Lookout Yard Sugar Mill

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Lookout Yard Sugar Mill.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Post-eruption housing.

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Trant’s.

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New lava coastline at trant’s.

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Buried sugar mill, Trants.

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Buried buildings, Trants.

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Main road, north of Plymouth.

Montserrat Springs Hotel.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

St Anthony’s Church.

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Air Studios.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Back on the main road.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Soufrière Hills Volcano.

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Olveston House.

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Sunset.

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Milky way at night (click to see more).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Bunkum Bay Beach.

Treasure Beach to Montego Bay.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios Montserrat

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

On the main road, out of the exclusion zone, just north of Plymouth.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

This is the tower of St Anthony’s Church.  Had I known about it at the time, I would have asked to visit.  It has been rebuilt no less than six times on the same site.  It was first built in 1635 when the colony was only a few years old by the first Governor, Anthony Brisket.  In 1666 it was burnt down by French and Caribs; on Christmas Day 1672 it was levelled by an earthquake; in 1712 it was destroyed by the French after they had used it as a barracks; in 1899 and 1928 it was destroyed by hurricanes; in 1989 it was damaged by a hurricane and in 1995 it was damaged by the volcano.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Nearby, this is what is left of Air Studios, an international recording studio founded by George Martin, the Beatles manager.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

In the 70s and 80s, many artists recorded there including Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Paul McCartney, Police, Dire Straits, Climax Blues Band and Jimmy Buffett.  Here is a link to a video of the Stones recording there.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

What closed the studio though was not the eruptions, it was Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which destroyed villages, killed ten people, and had sustained winds of 220km/hr and gusts up to 385km/hr.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

The interior was stripped in 2012 in preparation for a renovation but George Martin died and the renovation never happened.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Back on the main road…

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

The weather is clear and the volcano simmers away.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

This is Olveston House, where we had dinner.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

And later, a sunset over the sea from our balcony.

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Air Studios, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

The Milky Way over Montserrat.

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Montserrat Springs Hotel

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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This is the entrance to Montserrat Springs Hotel, available to visit because it’s just outside of the exclusion zone.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

It was once an exclusive hotel with guests such as the Rolling Stones, and featured its own thermal springs.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

There was no-one at the reception desk when we visited so we couldn’t book a room.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

The decor may have faded a little.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

An accounts book is open at June 1995.

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The floor was renovated some years ago with the addition of a layer of volcanic mud.

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I think this was the dining room.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

… leading outside towards the pool.

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Diving is not recommended here any more because the mud is not as forgiving as water.

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But the salubrious fittings remain.

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From outside the hotel, some views of the ruined parts of Plymouth that were not entirely buried in the lahars and pyroclastic flows.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

An old sugar factory. it would seem.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

It looks inviting but is too far inside the exclusion zone to be available to visit.

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Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

The previous post covered the city of Plymouth, abandoned due to the volcanic eruption and the one before detailed the remarkable history of Montserrat.  There was an even more dramatic eruption in 1903 on an island not that far away.  Mount Pelée in Martinique erupted in that year, not far from the main town of Saint-Pierre.  They knew an eruption was taking place but expected lava, to be blocked by a valley, and they didn’t know about strato volcanoes and pyroclastic flows.  Only one person survived, protected by the thick walls of the town prison.  More detail on that in a post in a different blog here.

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Plymouth (Montserrat)

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

We are about to enter into the high risk volcanic zone.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

You can only get in there when all is quiet and no volcanic activity is detected.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

All these images are from the abandoned capital of Plymouth.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

You have to go in with a trained operator.  The car must be parked facing the way out and the engine kept running at all times.  Pyroclastic flows can be lightning fast.  Entry has only been allowed since 2015 and permission will be withdrawn if there is more activity.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Looking south from the old wharf.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Government House, the residence of the Governor.

.Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

This is how it appeared in 1915.

(By National Archives, UK – Public Domain).

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

This is the Molyneaux Building, built in 1989 as the corporate office for Cable and Wireless and the Government’s Audit Department.  It was the only building built entirely of concrete and was the town’s tallest building at four stories high.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Much of the centre of Plymouth is actually completely buried beneath the ash and debris and there have been several layers through different eruptions.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

This is the Flora Fountain Hotel, built in 1984 and named for the fountain in the middle of the circular wing you can see in the distance.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Plymouth was evacuated in 1995, then abandoned and destroyed in 1997.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

No-one died in Plymouth itself but 19 people died further inland at Streatham Village in a pyroclastic flow in 1997, though the village was officially evacuated.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

On the left, the circular wing of the Flora Fountain hotel, the top floors.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Top floor of the Police Station.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

This is the building behind the Flora Fountain Hotel.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Government Building.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

After the 1997 eruption, about 7,000 people, two-thirds of the population, left Montserrat and  4,000 went to the UK.  The current population is around 5,000.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

An abandoned office.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Many of the buildings on the hill in the background were not completely destroyed by the eruption but the whole area will be uninhabitable for many years.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

In early 1998, there was a bank robbery in the vaults of an abandoned bank in Plymouth.  The robbers made six or seven visits to the bank and got away with $US300,000.  Eight people were arrested a few months later and most convicted.  The banks at least initially would not recognise stolen notes with listed ID numbers that had become in circulation.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Buildings above the inundation zone, still inaccessible.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Some areas saw more than twelve metres of mud and debris.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

We visited an abandoned sugar windmill tower in Richmond Hill, just outside the exclusion zone.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

We were able to climb up and see the view.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

Just because buildings are just outside the exclusion zone does not mean they can be reoccupied.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano .

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano .

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

On the far left with the brown rooves is the Montserrat Springs Hotel, that we shall visit in the next post.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

These were once upmarket dwellings.

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(See previous post for details of the fascinating history of Montserrat).

(Trivia note:  Just passed 1,000 posts a few posts ago).

Montserrat – North and East Coast – and History

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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This is Montserrat.  The blue lines show where we went on the island.  Above the grey line is the part of the island that is still inhabited.  Below the line is the two thirds of the island that was abandoned after volcanic eruptions from 1995 to 2010 and to which access is largely prohibited due to the continuing risk of eruptions and sudden pyroclastic flows.  The grey areas are the areas covered by ash, lahars (mud) or other volcanic debris.

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This is a view from where we were staying, with the headland at Little Bay in the distance.

The earliest archaeological evidence of human presence is from around 2800 to 2700BC, in the form of a number of stone blades at Upper Blakes, in the north interior of the island.  The blades are made of chert or flint and come from Long Island, just off the north coast of Antigua.  This is the primary source of chert in the region because the rock there includes uplifted limestone as well as volcanic.  The makers of these blades appear to have probably been visitors because there is no further evidence of human activity for thousands of years afterwards.

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This is the wharf at Little Bay, now the main wharf on the island, well the only wharf on the island, following the abandonment of the former capital of Plymouth.

Settlement appears to have commenced around 500BC and the main origin of these people was the Orinoco basin in what is now Venezuela.  The two main early sites were Trants on the mid-east coast and Radio Antilles on the far south coast.  Most of the archaeological sites though were wiped out by the volcanic eruptions from 1995 to 2010.  Fragments have been found of fine thin-walled pottery from this early ceramic period (500BC to 600 AD), decorated in red on white, black on red or black and white on red.  There are more sites from the late ceramic period (600AD to European contact) but the pottery is coarser and usually not decorated.  In all eras there is evidence of trade with other islands.

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Brades Fire Station.

Allioüágana is the Amerindian name for the island.   Columbus saw it and named the island as Montserrat in 1493 but did not land.

The conventional view has been that Montserrat was uninhabited at the time of European arrival and an Amerindian woman from Guadeloupe told Columbus the inhabitants were driven out, probably in relatively recent times, by Carib raiders.  It appears that there were no large villages on Montserrat at this time but there were inhabitants, as attested by early Dutch and French reports.  Some middens from a site in the north-west of the island also contain European trade goods.

Amerindians appear to have been living in Montserrat until at least the early eighteenth though most of the references to Amerindians in the late seventeenth century were to raids by Caribs from elsewhere.

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Lookout Yard Sugar Mill, built in 1921.

A group of English appear to have settled in Montserrat for three months in 1629 following a Spanish invasion of St Kitts but only stayed for three months.   Permanent settlement started in 1632 with a group of Irish Catholics who were joined after a few years by English Protestants.  Initially the economy was based on the cultivation of tobacco and indigo and there were no slaves.  Slavery was increasingly adopted along with a shift to a plantation cotton economy after 1650.   Black slaves came to be the great majority of the population.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

Inside of the mill.  It was destroyed by a hurricane in 1928 and rebuilt.

In the 1650s, the population was 600 or 700 and predominantly Irish.  Due to slavery, the black proportion increased over the years.  Overall population and proportion of black slaves increased as follows:  1671: 1,700  (31%); 1678:  3,700  (27%);  1707:  5,115 (70%).  The white population nearly halved from 1678 to 1707 due to white indentured servants leaving and being replaced by black slaves.  It then became:  1729: 7,000 (84%);  1788:  11,600 (89%) (peak population); 1805: 10,800 (91%); 1828:  7,400 (96%);  1834:  6,200 (95%);  1851:  7,100 (98%).  Slavery was abolished in 1834 and by 1851 the white population had fallen by more than 50% to 150.  The population in 1994 was 13,000 of whom 8,000 left the island following the eruption.  Current population is 5,400 and in 2011 the ethnic distribution was Black 88%, mixed 4%, Hispanic 3%, Caucasian 3%, East Indian 2%, other 1%.

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Looks like a steam boiler, out the back of the mill.

In the 1678 census nearly 69% of the population self-identified as Irish and since there were 27% black slaves, only 4% were English or other.  There were three groups of Irish.  There was the Anglo-Irish elite and then there was the poor farmers, labourers and indentured servants.  There were two sections of the Anglo-Irish elite as well.  There were the older group, dating back to Norman settlement of Ireland, Catholic and with much in common with the Irish workers.  The younger group derived from Elizabethan or Stuart settlement of Ireland, were Protestant and had more in common with the English.  None of the Irish were slaves but they nonetheless could be treated brutally.  The treatment of black slaves though could be worse.  For example, in 1771 a black slave was found not guilty of stealing a board and whipped through town anyway.

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Another corner of the mill’s back yard.

From 1750, the proportion of mixed race people and freed slaves gradually increased.  For example, in 1828, six years before the abolition of slavery, while 96% of the population was black, that comprised 85% slaves and 11% free.

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Looking north across Marguerita Bay on the east coast of the island.

Montserrat was attacked fifteen times between 1650 and 1712 by French, Dutch, Caribs and pirates – specifically 1650, 1665, 1666/67, 1672, 1674, 1676, 1682, 1693, 1697, 1702, 1707, 1710, 1711, 1711 and 1712.

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Some of the houses built for people displaced from the south of the island, largely financed by British money.

The French and their Carib allies captured Montserrat from February 1666 to July 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  They took the Governor and 200 settlers prisoner and burned English dwellings, warehouses and sugar mills.  They also removed from the island slaves, cannon, horses and cattle.  The only group not targeted were those Irish who took an oath of loyalty to the French.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

We are driving as far south as we can go on the east coast of the island, towards Trant’s in the distance.

Sugar had come to be the main industry and by the time of the 1666 invasion, there were 40 sugar mills on the island, increasingly relying on African slaves.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

There was a settlement here at Trant’s but it was covered by the eruption in 2010 and the coastline extended by 650 metres.

Following the deposal of James II in England in 1688, Montserrat was often neglected by England due to the large Irish Catholic element in the population.

Montserrat was invaded and sacked again by the French for a few months in 1712 during the War of the Spanish Succession.  Again they burned properties and sugar estates and removed slaves, equipment, livestock and provisions.  Stapletown, one of the first settlements, was never rebuilt.  The eighteenth century after 1712 was the peak period for the dominant sugar industry, dependent on black slaves.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

Perhaps the only local resident.

Montserrat is also susceptible to hurricanes which on occasion have damaged or destroyed almost all buildings on the island.    There were for example such severe hurricanes in 1737, 1747, 1766 and 1772.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

The edge of the new coastline.

In 1782, during the War of American independence, the French invaded again and stayed for two years.  Initially they burned buildings and crops on sugar estates but there were some benefits for the locals since while the British had generally neglected their colony, the French Governor was relatively liberal, paved the roads of the main streets, improved public buildings and allowed trade with North America.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

The boiling house smoke stack at Trant’s sugar mill and the top of the windmill tower.  It had been fertile, flat land and there was an Indian village here for thousands of years until European settlement.

Montserrat is the only country outside Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, although this also commemorates an unsuccessful slave revolt on that day in 1768.  Slavery was abolished in 1834 and cotton became uneconomic, creating problems for the economy in general but not necessarily for former slaves.  Irish Gaelic was spoken by descendants of slaves as recently as the early 20th century.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

Some buildings on a ridge, not completely buried.

The years after emancipation were years of particular hardship.  The sugar industry had been declining for many years and had collapsed, most of the white population left, only 1.5% of the population was literate, and the government was incompetent and repressive, continuing to try to implement slavery-era laws that were now illegal in the British Empire.  Attempts to find substitutes for sugar were not successful until 1850 with the introduction of citrus lime production.  The late 19th century became a time of prosperity and Montserrat lime juice gained an international reputation.  The British Navy adopted Montserrat lime as an additive to grog (watered-down rum) and thereby earned British sailors then name of “limeys”.  The lime industry was wiped out by blight and the hurricane of 1899 though.  It was replaced by cotton from 1903.  These days most economic activity is in tourism and services.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

And in the distance, the volcano.

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(Main source for the history:  An Archaeological History of Montserrat, West Indies, Cherry and Ryzewski, Google Books download).