Old ruins and other archaeological sites occur in many places on San Salvador Island.  A spectacular and easily accessible locality is “Watling’s Castle”.  This site consists of the ruins of a late 1700s to early 1800s building called the Sandy Point plantation manor house.  It was constructed during the Loyalist Era (Plantation Era), during which people loyal to Britain left America after its independence in the 1770s and headed to the Bahamas.  Several islands were subdivided into estates and the land was used for moderately intense agricultural purposes.


Despite the name, “Watling’s Castle” was not built by anyone named Watling, and no one named Watling ever lived there.


San Salvador Island was called “Triangulo” or “Watling’s Island” on historic maps from the 1600s to the 1800s.  It was called “Guanahani” by the original Awarak Indians (Lucayan Indians).  Historical research has shown that this island was the one sighted by Christopher Columbus’ ship at 2 AM, 12 October 1492 (it wasn’t Rum Cay that Columbus first landed on - that’s demonstrable).  Columbus called the island San Salvador.  That is the current, “official” name.  The name “Watling’s Island” is in reference to John Watling, a Caribbean-area & South American-area pirate in the late 1600s.  He lived long before this structure was built and used.


Watling’s Castle” (looking ~E) - Sandy Point plantation manor house.  This building is constructed of blocks of local Pleistocene calcarenite limestone.  The original quarry from which the rock is derived is just west of here.



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