FROM GOVERNOR KEYNELL TO CODRINGTON FAMILY
Betty's Hope is located in the limestone district of Antigua's tranquil rural area, with beautiful vistas over the rolling landscape to the distant ocean. The founder of Betty's Hope was Governor Keynell, whose widow inherited the estates upon is death in 1663, but had to flee Antigua during the French occupation in 1666. When Antigua was reoccupied by the British, Parliament annulled all land claims prior to the French occupation, (of those who had fled or been disloyal to the Crown). Instead, in 1674, Betty's Hope was granted to the Codrington family, then residing in Barbados.
Like other large plantations, Betty's Hope was an agricultural as well as an industrial enterprise, and home to a large number of people. Supervised by a handful of European managers, hundreds of Africans lived out their lives on this and similar plantations, first as slaves, then as laborers after emancipation in 1834. Enduring the hardship of cultivating and processing the sugar under exhausting conditions, they developed great skills as craftsmen, boilers and distillers which gave Betty's Hope its reputation for excellence lasting to this day.
Today an active restoration of Betty's Hope is under way. New sails have been installed on the mill and the crushing machinery has been restored to working condition. The next phase of restoration involves repairing the cistern complex and the planting of trees and crops of former times.
A visitor center has been created by converting a former cotton house storeroom into a museum. This includes various aspects of the plantation's history and shows early estate plans, pictures and maps, artifacts and a model of the central site to giving an overview of the of "Betty's Hope".