Cottle Church – New Castle, Saint Kitts and Nevis - Atlas Obscura
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New Castle, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Cottle Church

Small church built in the 19th century for whites and slaves to worship together. 

Once the president of Nevis and a plantation owner, John Cottle built this tiny church in 1824 as a place where his family and his slaves could worship together. A very lenient slave owner – as far as slave owners of the time went – Cottle created this Anglican Church, which was never consecrated, since it was illegal for slaves to worship in this area.

The Cottle Church ruins are located north of Charlestown, hidden in the woods. To get to them, you must find the small sign on the main road just south of the Newcastle Airport and follow the dirt track. It will lead you back to the church, which is now a popular destination for weddings.

The first Reverend of the church was Daniel David. But, after Cottle’s death four years after construction was completed, the building fell into disuse. It wasn’t rebuilt until the late 19th century by Governor Sir Graham Briggs.

The structure was severely damaged in a 1974 earthquake and again in 1989 during Hurricane Hugo. The stone building, though, still provides a glimpse into Nevis’ history. The church underwent some restoration work in 2010 to help stabilize it.

Know Before You Go

Take the main road to the dirt track marked by a small sign.