Shirley Heights Lookout
At the most southerly tip of Antigua, The Lookout, part of the Shirley Heights military complex, commands a breathtaking view over the whole of English Harbour. Behind the catchment on the highest ground, 490 f.t (150 m) above sea level, was the Signal Station from which a system of flags was used by day and guns by night to convey messages to St. John’s by way of Great Fort George on Monk’s Hill.
Situated on the western entrance to English Harbour on the narrow spit of land behind the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel. Built in three stages between 1704 and 1745, it served as the most critical defense to this landlocked harbour with 29 large cannons. Now it serves as a superb vantage point to view some of the world’s most exotic and beautiful yachts under sail.
At the summit of Monk’s Hill, this fort is one of the earliest attempts at fortifying the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, built in 1689. You must walk the last mile unless you have a good four-wheel drive vehicle. Ruins of the original buildings, water cisterns, magazines and sites for the original 33 cannons can still be viewed, as well as wonderful views of Falmouth Habour and the surrounding countryside.
High walls of beautiful green stone surround the now somewhat overgrown eight acres on which the fort was built. On the eastern end, you can see the footings of the original flagstaff on which signals were hoisted when enemy ships came into sight; it ceased to be in a signal station in 1923.
Absolutely not to be missed! This is the only surviving Georgian naval dockyard in the world. The museum and several other restored buildings stand as a memorial to Admiral Horatio Nelson and the Royal navy. Originally used for many years during the Caribbean wars with the French, Spanish and Dutch in the 18th and 19th centuries. This National Park houses restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and gift shops. It is also the home of leading yacht charter companies and headquarters for the annual Antigua Sailing Week Regatta. All buildings have been faithfully restored with many fascinating facts and history, detailed on mounted show boards.