In 1609, a fleet of 9 ships owned by the Virginia Company of London set sail from Plymouth, England with fresh supplies and additional colonists for the new British settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. The fleet was commanded by Admiral Sir George Somers on board the flagship, the Sea Venture. During a vicious storm the Sea Venture strayed from the fleet and floundered on Bermuda’s reefs. Somers managed to land all 150 crew and colonists on the uninhabited island without the loss of a single life.
3 years later, the Virginia Company sent a party of 60 settlers to Bermuda and laid claim to the island. Under the command of Sir Thomas Moore, the island’s first governor, they commenced construction of a settlement; St George.
This small town is steeped in history. Not only did it play a pivotal role in Bermuda’s history (it was the capital until 1815) but it also helped shape America’s too. In 1610 Somers managed to construct 2 new ships; the Deliverance and the Patience and set sail from Bermuda bound for Jamestown. On arrival Somers found the colony decimated by starvation, illness and attacks by Indians. Fortunately, the supplies he brought saved them from oblivion. The people of St George went on to make further impacts on US history. During the American War of Independence they smuggled much-needed gunpowder out of Tobacco Bay to George Washington, and probably prolonged the Civil War by ferrying supplies and munitions to the desperate Confederates.
Today, St George lies untouched by the economic boom that has shaped the capital Hamilton. Most of its buildings were constructed in the 17th to 19th centuries and the authorities have made a deliberate effort to hide any signs of later development. For example, power and telephone lines are underground and modern day street lighting has a period style. Narrow streets such as Barber’s Alley and Aunt Peggy’s Lane summon images of times gone by.
Yet St George is no sterile relic. It’s a living town, and its historic buildings function not only as museums but as houses, restaurants, pubs and shops. At its centre lies King’s Square, flanked by the Town Hall and the Visitor Information Centre. There’s a dunking stool here, too, that was once used to dump gossiping women into the harbour. Nowadays, actors recreate this fantastic and deserved punishment.
Ordnance Island lies to the south of King’s Square and is reached by a small bridge. Here there’s a replica of the Deliverance and a Desmond Fountain statue of Sir George Somers himself. To the west along Water Street are many shops (AS Cooper & Sons, Trimingham’s and Crisson Jewellers) and restaurants (Carriage House and Café Gio). Elsewhere around the town there’s a multitude of interesting places such as the Old State House, Unfinished Church, Old Rectory, St Peter’s Church and the Bermuda National Trust Museum.
In 2000, the town was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The town is twinned with Lyme Regis in the UK.
Aunt Nea’s Inn
Thomas Moore stayed here in 1804 [more]
Manufactures Lili Bermuda perfume [more]
Tucker House Museum
Offers a glimpse of early Bermudian life [more]
St Peter’s Church
The oldest Anglican church in the Western hemisphere [more]
One of the oldest buildings in St George [more]
Bermuda National Trust Museum
Housed in one of the island's oldest stone buildings [more]
Roofless church [more]
Old State House
The island's oldest building [more]
Replica of a historic ship [more]
Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio
Seafood restaurant in St George [more]
White Horse Pub & Restaurant
Waterfront pub in the centre of St George [more]
Robertson’s Drug Store
Pharmacy in the centre of St George [more]
KS WaterSports – St George
Jet ski tours [more]
St George’s Visitor Information Centre
Tourist information centre in St George [more]
St George’s Post Office
Post office in St George [more]
Vera P Card
Grocery store in the centre of St George [more]
East End Flower Alley
Florist in St George [more]
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