Today we visited the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill, owned and operated by the Barbados National Trust.
Built in 1727, it is the oldest and largest sugar mill in the world!
It ceased commercial operation in 1947 but has been totally refurbished and still fully functional.
At the height of the sugar industry there were over 500 windmills on Barbados: more per square mile than existed in Holland.
The original wooden gears and engine were replaced with cast iron in 1870 but the central shaft is still constructed of the original wood.
The wood came from an ancient Fustic tree that's harder than mahogany.
The next milling of sugar cane won't happen until 2021.
The reason for the delay is that the mill needs to be fed long pieces of hand-cut sugar cane and today's modern cutting machines only produce short pieces.
I hear the juice is delicious so we might just have to come back and try it then!
|The view from Cherry Tree Hill just above the Morgan Lewis Mill|