Saint Thomas Middle Island has a coastline of black sand beaches and cliffs, with small settlements running along its length. The terrain, which mainly consists of tropical rainforests rises sharply as one goes inland. The area then is dotted by abandoned sugar cane fields and small farms, leading to the parish capital of Middle Island.
The parish’s many historical sites have made tourism the region’s primary industry. Its most famous landmark is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Brimstone Hill Fortress, which is the largest British fort in the Eastern Caribbean.
Another popular location is Romney Manor Estate, the grounds of which were owned by the forefathers of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. A lush 5-acre tropical garden surrounded by luxuriant rainforests gathers around the factory, thus it is advertised as “the most beautiful factory in the world”.
Middle Island is the capital of Saint Thomas Middle Island parish. The federation’s first colonist, Sir Thomas Warner, was buried in the town’s old church. Since the church was torn down and the present building now stands on the hill, his tomb can be found in the churchyard.
Old Town Road
Saint Thomas Middle Island’s Old Road Town is the oldest English town in the Caribbean, and the first English capital of St Kitts. Thomas Warner built a settlement here in 1624 together with his wife, son and other colonists. When Old Road Town became overcrowded, Warner moved all administration facilities to Sandy Point.
New establishments have been built over ruins dating back to Warner’s time. What remained of Warner’s residence was torn down to give way to a fishery complex. The Manhattan House, once used as a warehouse, is now the site of the Manhattan Gardens Restaurant, a well known fine dining establishment.
Halfway Tree Village
Half Way Tree Hill Village is on the northwestern portion of St Kitts along the Caribbean coast. It lies just south of famous Brimstone Hill Fortress. The village witnessed the hardships experienced by colonial settlements, and has an interesting story behind its name.
In 1625, French ship captain Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc decided to settle in the region with other colonists. Although the British settlers welcomed them, they marked the division with a large tamarind tree to prevent any future territorial disputes. Disputes broke out however when the tree grew new roots and spread to the French territory, allowing the British to lay claim of the land.