English Harbour has been the haunt of many famous naval officers including Rodney, Nelson, Collingwood, Prince William Henry, Hood, and Cochrane. Today the Dockyard at English Harbour is named after the victor of the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Lord Nelson. Nelson was based at English Harbour from 1784 to 1787. He was Senior Captain at 27 years of age and became temporary Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands for a short time.
At the yard, there were skilled resident tradesman and artificers, many of them black. They were employed for the repair of ships. The Bosun was in charge of labourers who were Africans, and who were bought by the Navy and were known as the King’s Negroes. Their responsibilities included the building and maintenance of facilities and wharves, the warping of ships into the harbour and the preparation work prior to careening.
Today you can visit Nelson’s Dockyard where many of the restored buildings house modern facilities that still reflect the naval heritage of English Harbour. Private yachts now replace Naval vessels in the harbour, But English Harbour remains a favourite port for those making the long Atlantic crossing.
English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard also has a number of tourist facilities, including banks, restaurants, t-shirt market and tour and travel agencies.