Cheshire Hall is one of the key historic attractions on Providenciales. The 200 year-old ruins of this former cotton plantation are striking against a backdrop of modern day Provo, as the island is known locally.
The building ruins have been carefully preserved by the National Trust and offer spectacular views of the island. Standing somber and still, you’ll discover ruins of the plantation’s Great House and several outbuildings, along with circular structures that held tools of the cotton industry, including a cotton gin and cotton press. The Great House is on the breezy rise of a hilltop, overlooking much of western Providenciales and a valley below, which was likely once used for raising food crops or livestock.
Much of the Cheshire Hall site is lush with the native plants such as Guinea Grass, Cow Bush, Bull Vine and Torchwood trees, to name a few that carpeted the area centuries ago. The bush is also home to butterflies, birds and lizards, all noticeably flitting, flying and crawling by as you wander the trails.
Who built Cheshire Hall?
Loyalist Wade Stubbs, originally from the village of Gawsworth in the English county of Cheshire, received a grant of 860 acres on North Caicos. Here he built the Bellefield Plantation, later christened “Wade’s Green.” His holdings grew and Wade soon convinced his brother Thomas to leave Cheshire County and seek his fortune in the Caicos Islands. Thomas Stubbs settled on Providenciales (then known as Blue Caicos) and named his plantation after his home county.
Thomas Stubbs left England and moved to Providenciales in the early 19th century, where he named his plantation Cheshire Hall after his home county. By 1810, Thomas had given up and sold the hall to his brother Wade. A cornerstone at the ruins is inscribed “W. Stubbs 1810” to mark the transaction. The plantations survived for about 30 years before soil exhaustion, drought and the hurricane in 1812 destroyed them.
Before he died in Grand Turk in 1822, Stubbs’ plantation included thousands of acres and 384 slaves. On the night of 9 September, 1800, 14 slaves escaped in a small boat. He offered a reward of US$500 for their return, but there is no record indicating if they were ever found.
Guided Tour Information
Guided tours of Cheshire Hall are offered Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4 PM at $5 per person. For reservations, call The National Trust at (649) 941-5710 or (649) 231-1172. For more information on Cheshire Hall, visit http://www.nationaltrust.tc/Heritagesites.htm