2002 World Monuments Watch
With unexplored twin Lucayan-Taíno aboriginal village sites; an ocean bath carved from living rock, where slaves were washed following transport through the Middle Passage; and Loyalist plantation, where two generations of African slaves worked and died, Whylly Plantation is the only site in the Bahamas that has cultural remains spanning a millennium of Bahamian history. Most of the standing architecture dates to the mid-eighteenth-century occupation of the site by slave traders Lewis Johnson and Thomas Moss. While the property is in relatively good condition, the threat of destabilization looms in the face of hurricanes and severe winter storms. Moreover, as it is sandwiched between a residential area and an industrial park, the plantation’s three-kilometer stretch of coastline is slated for demolition and development, which would be a disaster as it is the last part of the waterfront accessible to the public. The site has no security. In 1998, the main house was vandalized, and in June 1999, bulldozers from the Ministry of Works illegally destroyed part of the north wall of the church. Nominators, descendants of Whylly plantation slaves, are proposing to convert this cultural treasure into a national park, where the buildings and ruins will be protected and preserved so that visitors and the Bahamian public can learn about the island’s history.
Since the Watch
In 2004, the Parliament of the Bahamas established the Clifton Heritage Authority to oversee the creation and management of a national park and historic site. After site clearance and many infrastructure improvements, the 200-acre Clifton National Heritage Park opened in 2009. In the current phase of the project, historic ruins are being stabilized. January 2011