Par Force Plantation

Recently returned from ten days in the West Indies where I have an ongoing project photographing plantation ruins on the Island of St. John. About 70% of the island has been preserved as national park, so it’s a unique opportunity to see and photograph these sites in an untouched condition in the tropical forests of the island. Some sites like Annaberg and Reef Bay have been developed by the national park service into sites that are accessible and signed for public education. Other sites have been left alone in the forest, requiring bushwhacking and knowledge of the local landscape in order to find them.

Thanks to Gerald Singer who guided the hike to Beverhoutsberg this trip and several others locations on previous trips, Gerald wrote the book St. John Off the Beaten Track, which is the guidebook for St John; and Bob the Trail Bandit, for the maps he has created of the island with special attention to lesser known areas of historic interest. Bob has made GPX files available on his website which work with GPS apps or units and are a great help finding faint trails through the dense undergrowth of St John.

The three photos of the Par Force Great House are interesting because they show how quickly a structure can become subsumed by the forest. 

My main website has more photographs from the West Indies project located at this link.

Click for larger images.


Par Force or Reef Bay Great House, occupied until the early 1950’s, photographed on February 2011

Par Force or Reef Bay Great House, April 2012

Par Force or Reef Bay Great House, January 2017

Par Force Plantation was established in the early 1700’s as a sugar plantation in the Reef Bay Valley of St John.

Par Force Plantation ruin

Par Force Plantation ruin

Par Force Plantation

En route to Par Force