Anguilla History


Long and narrow Anguilla (An-GWIL-lah) takes its name from the spanishword of eel. The islandlies about 9 miles (14 km) north of St. Martin and 60 miles (97km) north of St. Kitts. Unlike the other Leeward Islands, lowlying Anguilla is of coral limestone rather then volcanic formation.Cottages and houses are sprinkled across the island, with concentrations around the capital of The Valley andthe villages of South Hill, Stoney Ground, Blowing Point and Island Harbour. Accomodations on Anguilla range from charming cottages to world-class hotel and villa resort properties.


Christopher Columbus sighted Anguilla during his second voyage in 1493; it is not known whether he actually visited the island.English settlers from St.Kitts colonized Anguilla in 1650 and the island has remained a british territory ever since. In 1688 the island was attached by a party of Irishmen who eventually settled there and such surnames as Smith and Webster are evident among their descendants, particularly around Island Harbour. Anguilla repelled two attacks by the French in the 18th century. The island declared its independence from the Associated State of St. Kitts and Nevis and became a self-governing territory of the British Commonwealth in 1967. After several years of negotiations, Anguilla became a separate British dependent territory on Dec. 19, 1980. It is said that the first seeds of the highly prized sea island cotton came from Anguilla. Today the island economy is based on tourism and financial services.



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