CaribbeanSt Kitts & Nevis

Rain made Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik on St Kitts truly special

By July 4, 2017 No Comments
St Kitts - Romney Manor - Melek Helping

I know that sounds weird to say, but you will see why in a while.

St Kitts - Romney Manor - Petraglyph

If you rub the belly of the female petraglyph you will become pregnant

First let me tell you about Romney Manor and the surroundings. It sits about a quarter of a mile off the main road and you will pass pre-Columbian petroglyphs of fertility gods on the way. Next, we have the Wingfield Estate with its well-preserved sugar factory. This factory was run on water power with the use of a canal and waterwheel. For me this was one of the most impressive sugar factory ruins I have seen to date. Now we have to cross a creek and walk up and around a hill until we see the 400-year-old saman tree that take up almost a full acre of land. Now, we are finally at Romney Manor, which burned down and has been replaced with several smaller buildings used by Caribelle Batik to make and sell their fabrics.

St Kitts - Romney Manor - Tree

This is a 400 year old tree

Batik is a form of material that is dyed after a design is in place using wax. The wax does not let the dye penetrate the fabric. I first saw this style of fabric in Andros, Bahamas, but it was nowhere as artistic as it is here on St Kitts. There are some of their designs that have up to five colors, meaning they waxed and dyed the fabric 5 different times.

St Kitts - Romney Manor - Artwork

My favorite piece of batik. they had to wax and dye it 5 times to get his effect.

As we walked through the Batik showroom and watched the demonstrations and explanations on the manufacturing process it started the before mentioned rain. Since I am accustomed to the Virgin Islands, where the rain last 10-20 minutes, we spent time looking at the gardens, bell tower, and view over the valley (all of which were covered). We even went back into the store and Melek started helping trace a design onto the fabric. After a while the ladies told us that due to the island’s very tall mountain the rain would last several hours.

St Kitts - Romney Manor - Ruins

The amazing sugar factory ruins

That is when we chose to walk back to the main road to catch a bus back to the boat, by passing through the Wingfield Estate and looking at all the ruins. At first Melek was hating it, because she is from Istanbul where it is colder rain and you are not in it. With that said, it did not take her long to realize how delightful the rain can be in the tropics.

Hand in hand we strolled through the ruins and down the road. Once back on the boat we changed into dry clothes, had hot coco, and reminisced about our latest adventure. This will be another time I will always remember on our trip and even if it does not rain for you I know you will love the Romney Manor area.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: