Morgan Lewis Mill is located on the top of a beautiful hill in the north eastern part of the island of Barbados. It is one of the two restored sugar mills in the entire Caribbean. The mill commands an excellent view of the amazing east coast. The mill is located near the Wildlife Reserve and Bathsheba. The Morgan Lewis Mill serves as a refreshment halt where ice creams and cool drinks are available. The mill which is maintained by the Barbados National Trust exhibits the equipment used to produce sugar when mills were run by wind-generated mills.
Morgan Lewis Mill, which has undergone a lot of restoration work undertaken by the Barbados National Trust, is one of the oldest mills in this area. This large mill which functioned during the 17th to 19th centuries and produced sugar for Barbados was famous throughout the world and is still intact. Photographs of the mills during it’s hey days can be seen within the mill. The mill has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the yesteryears, Barbados was famous for its sugarcane cultivation and there were a number of windmill operated sugarcane crushing units. The immense number of sugar mills put Barbados on the world map and it was one of the prominent producers and exporters of sugar. This mill is called a Dutch-style mill and these types of mills replaced the older and less efficient cattle-powered mills. The Morgan Lewis Mill had the capacity to extract 65% of the sugar found in the sugar cane. The yokes and ladles and other implements for sugar extraction can be seen at the mill.
This mill which was constructed in the year 1727 continued to function and produced sugar till 1945. It was then donated to the Barbados National Trust in the year 1962. The trust undertook restoration work which commenced in 1964, but the restoration could not be done in totality. Restoration of the mill was taken up again in 1974, but it was not successful and deteriorated again. It was then listed as one of the world’s most endangered heritage sites. The United Kingdom undertook a 2-year restoration program and could bring back the Morgan Lewis Mill to its original splendor. Visitors who visit the mill have to pay a nominal entrance fee and where they can still see the roundhouse, tail tree, and points.
Do you know that this is the only fully intact sugarcane grinding windmill remaining on Barbados? You can see ruins of hundreds of sugar mills throughout the island. Would you like to know how the mill functioned in those days? You should then visit the island between the periods from February to April. The mill operates one Sunday a month during this period. In 1996, the Morgan Lewis Mill was listed as one of the world’s 100 most endangered historic sites.
Every visitor to Barbados should definitely undertake a trip to the Morgan Lewis Mill which provides visitors with an excellent opportunity to know and learn about Barbados’ heritage and the history of sugar production.