About Hamilton Parish

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A brief history

Within a few years after the discovery of Bermuda in 1609, permanent settlements were developed. During this time large tracks of lands (known as Tribes) were formed, and they were typically named after those persons who owned much of the real estate and commercial interests in that area.

The area which we know today as Hamilton Parish was originally known as “Harrington Tribe”, after Lucy Harington (1580-1627), a wealthy aristocrat in the Elizabethan era (a clerical error resulted with the additional “r” in the Tribe’s name). Despite her wealth, she and her husband could not resist borrowing vast sums of money to support their expensive life style in England. By 1619, her debts grew to the point where she felt obliged to sell her interests in Bermuda to a Scottish noblemen, James Hamilton (1589-1625); and Hamilton Parish is named after him.

Attributes of Hamilton Parish

Hamilton Parish is split in two by the Harrington Sound, and it surrounds most of its inlet. Whether it was a gesture granted by James Hamilton, or a simple oversight, Harrington Sound retained its name after Lucy Harington. The various islands within the Sound (most notably Trunk & Rabbit islands) also form part of the parish.

The parish is joined to Smith’s Parish in the south, and St. George’s Parish in the northeast. Considered a parish of average size, its landmass is just over 2.3 square miles (about 6 sq km or 1,500 acres).
Natural features within the parish include Flatt’s Inlet, Trunk Island, Shelly Bay, Bailey’s Bay, Mangrove Lake, Trott’s Pond, Crystal & Fantasy Cave, Castle Harbor, and The Causeway, which links Hamilton Parish with St. George’s Parish.

Notable locations in Hamilton Parish include the world-class Bermuda Aquarium & Museum located in the village of Flatt’s. Many years ago, the government of the day would at times meet in Flatt’s, rather than convening at the (then) capital of St. George’s. Flatt’s was booming at a time when Bermuda’s economy rested upon seafaring industries, so at certain times the marine traffic in and out of Flatt’s surpassed St. George’s. Ostensibly, many ships preferred to dock in Flatt’s due to its more central location, but many insist that the scarcity of customs officials (who typically worked out of St. Georges) was equally, if not more appealing!

Bailey’s Bay, on the north shore of the Parish has also long been a thriving community, although it has never attained the status of a parish. The name is used to denote an area which includes Callan Glen, the shallow depression running North-Eastward from Bailey’s Bay (which was named for shipbuilder Claud MacCallan), Coney Island, Walsingham, and that part of the area running westward as far as Abbot’s Cliff, on the Harrington Sound Shore. The Bailey’s Bay area was long dominated by branches of the Outerbridge family who were highly respected for their ship building skills.

Notable landmarks include the Abbot’s Cliff, Crystal Caves, and Mount Wyndham, once the location of Admiralty House, and from which the attack on Washington DC in 1815 was planned! Other sites of interest include Tom Moore’s Tavern (originally a private home, now a restaurant), and the adjacent nature reserve, Walsingham. Other residential areas of Hamilton Parish include the area around Crawl Hill and Shelly Bay which sports Bermuda’s largest public beach on the North Shore Road.

You can read more about Hamilton Parish by surfing the net, or by clicking onto this link: http://www.bermuda-online.org/seehamph.htm