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Bermuda's St. David's Island

In St. George's Parish but with a unique flavor and character

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online

St. David's IslandSt. David's 1676 Speed map

line drawing


St. David's CathedralPart of St. George's ParishIt was originally one of the six principal, separate, Bermuda islands. What is still referred to as St. David's Island was originally 503 acres. It was connected in the 1930's to the mainland by the Severn Bridge, since dismantled. It was enlarged in 1942 to over 650 acres to build the (now decommissioned) Fort Bell (US Army), then Kindley Air Force Base (USAF), then USNAS. See US Military Quits Bermuda. It was joined to the Main Island of Bermuda in the 1970s.  Today, the vastly-changed area is part of the mainland, connected by a perimeter road skirting St. George's Harbor and is mostly urban residential. St. David's Islanders have a unique character and flavor. Some are descended from American Indians once imported as slaves or, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to build the railway and other high or difficult structures, and carry the same features.  Once isolated from the mainland, St. David's Islanders remain the main outlaws in some respects yet the most law-abiding in others. 

It was called St. David's by one of the early colonists from Wales who knew about St. David (Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales.  He lived in the 6th century AD. His mother was St. Non. He was an abbot and bishop and credited with the establishment of twelve monasteries. His own monastery stood at what is now St. David's in Pembrokeshire, Wales - and has been called that for over 1,000 years. Today, it is the smallest cathedral city in Britain, dominated by its beautiful cathedral (dating from the year 1180) to honor St. David, whose national (in Wales, UK) and international feast day is March 1.  His religious  friends - and possibly, confessors - included St. Justinian and St. Brynach, a Celt from Ireland whose 6th century church is in Nevern, Wales. He and St. David both spoke Ogham, the oldest known form of Gaelic. Websites about St. David's in Wales include:

In his Henry V work, Shakespeare made St. David's emblem the leek instead of the usual dove. In Britain, twenty three churches are dedicated to him including Little and Much Dewchurch in Herefordshire. Another connection in name only - between St. David's in Bermuda and St. David's in Wales in the Royal St. David Golf Course in Wales's Snowdonia. 

Here, the connections between the two St. David's stop. St. David's in Bermuda does not celebrate the Welsh national holiday of March 1 in honor of St. David. Nor does it have anything to do with the leek, the national symbol of Wales since Welshmen fought with Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt. 

Photo taken at St. David's Cathedral, Wales by the author exclusively for Bermuda Online.

Welsh regiments of the British Army still celebrate St. David's Day by eating a raw leek. While there are a number of Welsh people in Bermuda, including Senator Walwyn Hughes, whose father the late Idwyl Hughes was from Wales, no specific mention in St. David's, Bermuda, is given to current Welsh personalities such as Charlotte Church, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Katherine Jenkins, Tom Jones, former part-time Bermuda resident Catherine Zeta-Jones, or late Welsh personalities such as Richard Burton.

St. David's Islanders have always been different to most other Bermudians. Some still have distinct characteristics of American Red Indian heritage. See the books: 

The St. David's Lighthouse has an interesting historical backdrop. Built in 1879 and periodically refurbished, it still serves as a beacon for mariners. It was constructed to stop St. David's Islanders from luring ships with other kinds of lights to come too close to the reefs and get their bottoms torn out for easy plundering. When the lighthouse defeated their illegal activities, they became fishermen and excellent pilots. 

 The tranquility of this formerly largely rural and now park and urban area of Bermuda was shaken forever when, during World War Two, more than three quarters of the entire island was taken over for the construction of the American military base. The now closed facility, successively a US Army, then US Army Air Force,  then US Air Force, then US Naval Air Station, was located here for over 50 years, until 1995. The once-large military base now houses shops and a medical centre.

Well worth visits are the Great Head Battery and Park and, when open (usually on a Wednesday), Carter House, on the former US Naval Air Station, an excellent example of an historic Bermuda homestead saved from destruction when the US military arrived in 1941. It is a living museum of Bermudian history. Clearwater Beach and Park at Annie's Bay on Cooper's Island off St. David's is a 36 acre site with two public beaches closed to the public from 1941 to 1995 (during the 54 years Cooper's Island was a US Navy reserved area). It has nature trails and fine views of Nonsuch Island and Castle Harbor.

It was once revered as one of Bermuda's most close-knit communities where everyone knew each other. Some St. David's Islanders who were born and bred there and proudly claim kinship with American native Indian tribes regard those who do not as incomers. Nowadays, there are many incomers from other parts of Bermuda. 

The map below

This shows the layout of the Parish but not the physical boundary of the Town of St. George in the Parish. Both are different. The bus route does not go as far as Fort St. Catherine, which in the Parish but not the Town.

St. George's Parish

Annie's Bay

Once Mis' Annie's Bay, believed to be after Ann Fox, widow (1835)  of Copeland Fox.

Bermuda Forts

Those in St. David's -  this part of St. George's Parish - include the following:  some of the oldest and most historic, as well as most picturesque in Bermuda.

Bermuda Police Service

Stokes Road, Southside. Telephone 293-2222.

Bus route

St. George's to St. David's. This area of the Parish is served by the # 6 route, not very frequent compared to other Bermuda routes. See the schedule available free from the bus terminal in Hamilton and note its times on Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday & Holiday.

2015. June 26. The gems of St David’s will be in easy reach of summer visitors, thanks to a bus service that will link up with the new “beach bus” shuttling guests around the fringe attractions of St George’s. The service, which starts up in July 2015 and will run in tandem with the ferry schedule until October 2015, was created by East End entrepreneurs in partnership with the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA). "Call it cultural tourism or adventure tourism" according to venture partner Belcario Thomas, the aim is to connect visitors with “experiences they’re not going to get elsewhere.” “Bermuda is an open-air resort where you can safely get lost,” he added — and St David’s teems with quintessentially Bermudian experiences that are not always easy to reach. The $6 bus will collect guests from the Visitor Information Centre in St George’s, taking them to the Carter House Museum, St David’s Battery, St David’s Lighthouse and finally Clearwater Beach. Pat Phillip-Fairn of the BTA said the St David’s tour bus circuit “addresses a long standing issue with transport — it connects St George’s with sites in St David’s that have not necessarily had the foot traffic and visitor traffic.” “What we really like is fulfilling the mandate of creating opportunities for jobs,” she said. The BTA has partnered with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation with the goal of linking tourists with vendors of authentic Bermudian merchandise. “Our customers want to connect with us culturally,” Ms Phillip-Fairn said. “It’s about helping Bermuda to present itself in an authentic way.”

Carter House and Settlers' Cottage

Carter HouseSettler's Cottage

Southside Road. Named after Christopher Carter, a survivor off the shipwrecked flag ship "Sea Venture" in 1609 who remained in Bermuda in 1610 when the castaways  sailed to Virginia. He became one of the three "Kings" of Bermuda for many months. He believed there was buried gold on this island. On the former US Naval Air Station on St. David's Island, it is historic, probably built in the 1720s, by John Hayward and his wife Martha, reputedly a descendant of Christopher Carter. It was originally a private house.  It was saved from destruction when the US military arrived in 1941 and took over all the land nearby including this house. Then, until 1995, it was used as a beauty parlor. Now the St. David's Historical Society Museum. Photo by author Keith A. Forbes. Also see Settler's Cottage nearby, made from Bermuda cedar and clay mortar using early 17th century Bermudian building techniques.

The society, which does not have Internet access, is a museum of Bermudian history.

Carter's Bay

Named after Christopher Carter, one of the trio who stayed behind when the Deliverance sailed to England with the body of Admiral Sir George Somers aboard.

Cashew City

Not a city at all, nor even a town or a village. But interesting as an out of-the way rural coastal place chiefly for its two small public beaches mostly visible at low tide and the unique Dennis's Hideaway rustic seafood restaurant just before you get to the beaches.  Not far is the St. David's Primary School.

Clearwater Beach and Park walking area

Clearwater beach

Southside. At Annie's Bay on Cooper's Island. Not accessible by public transport. A public beach since 1995 after having been a strictly US military beach from 1941 to 1995. It is a 36 acre site actually with two nice public beaches (Clearwater and Turtle beaches). They were not around prior to 1941 and are not natural but man-made, created from landfill used to make the runway at the late US Army Air Corps base. When the USAF took over from the US Army Air Corps in 1948, it was decided in 1952 by the USAF to (a) have a central beach facility closer to Cooper’s Island, in an area far enough away from the runway to meet airfield safety criteria and (b), in September of that year, to give this beach its name, after the famous area in Florida. 

Later, a beach house, picnic area and canteen were built here, subsequently joined by an outdoor roller skating rink and dance pavilion. Through the years additional improvements were made by the US military authorities. It became a very popular summer time spot for USAF, later USN people and their families.

Now that is public land again, there are nature trails, playground equipment, and beautiful views.

Cooper's Island Airport and Bermuda Weather Service

The Bermuda Airport and Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) is provided by BAS-Serco on contract with the Department of Air Operations. BWS operates as the island's National Meteorological Service and provides public and marine weather forecasts and warnings, in addition to the necessary data for the safe operation of aviation in Bermuda. BWS supplies weather information to local newspapers, television stations, cable TV and marine users such as visiting yachts and Harbour Radio staff who relay the forecasts on Marine VHF Radio, weather channel 2.  There is also a weather dial-up phone-in service available 24 hours a day, providing public and marine forecasts, current observations, warnings and tropical weather system information. The BWS also operates a website, www.weather.bm, which is extremely popular with both local residents and visitors. Weather forecasters at BWS gather information from a variety of sources including numerical weather prediction models, imagery from the GOES Weather Satellite, weather balloons released twice a day and the local weather radar. A radar system tracks and predicts hurricanes and storms up to 300 miles away from the island. The Island’s weather radar system is located here on Cooper’s Island.

Cooper's Island NASA Tracking Station and European Space Agency (ESA) developments

In 2012 NASA again deployed a mobile tracking station at the St David’s nature reserve to help monitor rockets traveling from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Earlier this year, the Bermuda Government signed a four-year agreement allowing NASA to use the land. It was announced in March 2012 that missions to the international space station by the US will be monitored by a new NASA tracking station in Bermuda. The US and Bermuda governments signed a four-year agreement for the temporary mobile station to be sited at Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve. NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said the Island was geographically in the “perfect spot” for tracking launches from the Wallops Flight Facility and the agreement could be extended. She said the mobile tracking unit was expected to be used two to four times a year by NASA personnel, with the first mission expected in the summer. A “handful” of local jobs for maintaining the facility will be created. The station would have a small footprint and the site would be restored to its original condition after NASA’s departure. There is an educational component to the agreement between the two governments, which would link NASA tracking experts with local schools interested in the agency’s scientific activities here. The mobile system can be used not only to support supply missions to the International Space Station, but also launch satellites to low-Earth orbits. During launches, a team of ten personnel travel to Bermuda to configure the mobile tracking system, conduct the operation, and then pack the systems to be returned to Wallops. NASA’s second-in-command Lori Garver said that the agency was working with private partners in US industry to send launch vehicles to the International Space Centre to help with supplies and logistics. Steven Kremer, NASA Wallops deputy range manager, explained: “Owning, deploying, and controlling our own assets means control over scheduling. “It gives us higher confidence in promising range availability to our customers when they come to Wallops for services. In addition, our services offered from Bermuda will benefit other customers who launch from other ranges such as the United States Air Force’s Eastern Range in Florida.” 

Coopers Island NASA rocket launch

Old NASA Station in Bermuda

Between 1961 and 1997, Coopers Island housed a NASA tracking station as part of its Manned Space Flight Network. During that period, the station tracked every manned NASA space flight including those used during Project Mercury, the first US manned space flight project, and the Apollo Mission to the moon in 1969. Use of the station ended due to technological improvements in space tracking systems. In 2008, NASA Wallops briefly returned to the station for tracking purposes, and last year the European Space Agency established a temporary station on Cooper’s Island as part of an agreement to track missions from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana.

European Space Agency, Bermuda

ESA Bermuda under construction, Royal Gazette photo

 An European  Space Agency (ESA) station was set up there in October 2011 to monitor the launch of a Soyuz rocket, set off on December 16. 2011, from Kourou in French Guiana, near Cayenne. Bermuda's Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure confirmed the local ESA tracking station will receive and send on telemetry data from the rocket once it loses contact with Kourou, and before it makes contact with another tracking station in Canada. Four ESA staff posted to the Island were given immunity from suit and legal process - the the same legal immunities as diplomatic consuls, according to Government. Bermuda granted the immunities under the Consular Relations Act of 1971 after the ESA has requested that Bermuda allow them to set up their Transportable Station on the Island and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), as required, consented to Bermuda making bilateral agreements with them on their requested mission project. France’s four space centres around the world monitor the launch and tracking of the rocket. The Bermuda station at Cooper’s Island consists of a 4.5 meter parabolic antenna, its transport container and a technical shelter to store operational electronic equipment, including a no-break power system, and a power shelter housing two generators and a fuel tank. It resulted from the spring 2011 agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of Bermuda which authorized ESA to establish and operate a transportable and temporary station on Cooper's Island to track and receive telemetry data for ESA launch vehicles. As a result, Bermuda played a key role in tracking a rocket launch to put six satellites in orbit around the Earth. The French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) implemented this agreement on behalf of ESA. “Bermuda is an ideal location to track ESA launch vehicles heading north after lift-off,” explained Michel Starozinski, New Stations Project Manager at CNES. “We always need a downrange tracking station after the loss of the signal by the Kourou station in Guiana, which occurs about 1,800km away from the launch pad. When we launch to the North what is the only island after the West Indies between South and North America? Bermuda!” 

The launch was successful because its goal to place six satellites in orbit at the correct locations, pointing the correct directions and at the correct times, was reached. Several stations are used to receive, process and transmit in real time the telemetry data sent by the launcher (or ‘rocket’) to the Control Centre in Guiana. Telemetry data provides information on the rocket’s trajectory, including its position, velocity and acceleration, and its performance parameters in particular pressure, temperature, voltage, currents and flight control computer data, as well as main events such as separations of stages and satellites, ignitions and shutdowns of the engines. Bermuda was one of the ‘main stations’ during this launch as it was from there that technicians saw the first ignition of the upper stage of the launcher (Fregat) after its separation and the entire boost of the engine until its shutdown about four minutes later. The Cooper’s Island station tracked the launcher during this first pass from the South West on the horizon, about nine minutes after the launch, to the North East at the level of the St David's Lighthouse. About 90 minutes later, the station tracked the launcher for a second pass from the South East to the North East. Other stations used for this launch were Kourou in French Guiana, Lucknow in India, Jeju in South Korea, Perth in Australia and Saskatoon in Canada.

Cooper's Island Nature Reserve

Coopers Island Nature Reserve 3

Coopers Island Nature Reserve 2

Coopers Island Narure Reserve beach 1

Coopers Island Nature Reserve again

Cooper's Island, located at the extreme south-east point of Bermuda, used to house the NASA tracking station (see below). The Nature Reserve opened in 2010 as a restored area after much hard work. The entire Island, totaling 77 acres, will take 15 to 20 years before it has all been returned to its original state before settlement. Over the next ten years the plan is to transform it into Bermuda's largest eco-destination and an essential extension to the living museum of the internationally recognized Nonsuch Island Nature Reserve, just off the coast of this island. In the process, there was demolition of four robustly constructed buildings, totaling approximately 32,000 sq ft, plus several three-storey radar mounts and three ammunition bunkers dating back to the Second World War. Decrepit buildings and rusting underground corrugated iron ammunition bunkers were among the structures bulldozed and removed. The ammunition bunkers pre-dated the NASA facility as the land was previously used by the US military. There has been extensive planting of native and endemic plants. This is one of the best spots in Bermuda for viewing both longtails and cahows coming to roost on Nonsuch Island and other small islands to the south. It is also one of the best habitats for the Bermuda skink. Close by are two once-US military only, now-public beaches, Clearwater Beach (see above) and Turtle Bay (see below). The area at the far end of Cooper's Island is now a traffic-free oasis of quiet wilderness where Bermudians and visitors alike can now go to enjoy peace and tranquility and simply relax or observe nature. The lonely pyramid-shaped mount at one of the remotest points of Cooper's Island once supported a radar tracking station that monitored the progress of spacecraft lifting off from Florida's Cape Canaveral. It was one of the critical parts of the space programme, helping to track everything from the Gemini missions all the way to the space shuttle launches. It was hollow inside. Now there are placards with information on humpback whales and cahows. It's a great place to see humpback whales, which can swim nearby as it is so close to the reef line and the open sea. It is also a perfect spot to view birds such as longtails and cahows. There is now a wildlife watch tower, on the approximate site of historic Fort Pembroke. Earlier, it served as the base of a radar tower when the Cooper's Island NASA Tracking Station was in operation. In addition to Cooper's Island, the tower boasts views of Nonsuch Island and Castle Island Nature Reserves. It allows the public to experience up close the annual migration of the humpback whale, the Bermuda petrel or cahow and the longtail. The area is internationally recognised for its importance to bird species, notably the rare cahow, with the entire world population living within one kilometer of Nonsuch Island. Around half of all longtails that visit Bermuda each year also nest in the area. It is an ongoing project, like Nonsuch Island, although Cooper's Island is five times bigger. There are no vehicles in the area so people can get away from everyday noise and walk and picnic in an area that's totally natural.

Dolly's Bay

Where there were once seven whale houses, one incorporated into Dolly's Bay House. At one time - from 1941 -  Dolly's Bay was the officers’ bathing beach of the US Army, US Army Air Corps, USAF and USN from the former US military bases built from 1941. An old notice for transient officers points out that the bay is in "front" of the officers’ club, and notes that "swim suits are available from the club officer."  It is not known when the use of Dolly's Bay was discontinued for this purpose.

Fox's Hill

Named for the fact that many St. David's Islanders have Fox as their surname.

Grazbury Bay

Cooper's Island, once the home of John Grazbury.

Golf Courseswalking area

Great Bay walking area

 Number 71 on your free listing of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves.

Great Head Battery and National Park

St. David's Battery

Great Head Battery is a  purpose-built local military gun emplacement.  Restoration work on two 100-year-old breech loaded guns was completed in October 2006. They were constructed in the United Kingdom in 1910 to defend the entrance to the Narrows Channel that leads into St. George’s Harbour. The Battery here was in use until 1957. It  was armed with two 9.2-inch and two six-inch breech loading guns. The 9.2-inch guns were the largest guns ever mounted in Bermuda and had a range of seven miles. During the Second World War the two six-inch guns were one of Bermuda’s only coastal defenses to protect against enemy invasion and as such are an important part of the Island’s heritage. Both the Battery and Park are splendid walking areas for the healthy and stretch for miles but because they have narrow, uneven and sometimes hilly walking paths, are not recommended for anyone with any physical disability. There is also a Figurehead Memorial - see Royal Gazette photo below -  for Bermudians lost at sea. Resident artists were asked by the Ministry of Transport to produced sketches and plans. It is on a wind-swept point at Bermuda’s eastern most edge, as a memorial to those lost at sea. Amongst them were three generations of descendants of Warwick resident Elma (Paynter) Joynes who died when the sea liner bringing her home from North America was torpedoed by a submarine at the height of the Second World War. Ms Joynes was only 24 when she was amongst hundreds who died after the Canadian liner SS Lady Hawkins was hit in January 1942. Bermudian artist Bill (Mussey) Ming created the memorial in England after salvaging a 100-year-old boat from near a busy motorway road and using it as the basis for his sculpture, which contains nautical items including dividers, a life-belt, paddle, sand timer hourglass and an open book reproducing a section of Allan E. Doughty’s poem “The End of Time.” The 12-ton structure was inspected by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in 2005. Those commemorated include Alan Edness whose death alongside Micah Battersbee at sea during a storm in January 2003 provided the impetus to create a lasting memorial to all those taken by the sea; and Leonard (Sam) Outerbridge who died in 2003 while out on a solo fishing expedition near Castle Island. His boat was found but the 57-year-old has never been seen since he set out on that final fishing trip. Then-Premier Dame Jennifer Smith set up in 2003 the Memorial for Those Lost at Sea Committee to steer the idea. 

St. David's Battery Memorial

St. David's Battery Memorial, Royal Gazette photo

Grog Harbour 

Originally Stock's Harbour, a place where the remains of an executed slave and convict were hung on poles at adjacent Stock's Point. It was renamed after British Army members came here by boat to drink. Several died from drinking, found in fishing nets the next day.

Harbour View Village

Harbour View Village, St. David's

Royal Gazette photo

A new $34 million low-cost/affordable housing development of 86 units comprising 2, 3 and 4-bedroom units on Southside. Formally opened in September 2011, most with nice water views. Constructed from four buildings on the former US military base. Each building is named after prominent St David's Islanders; businessman Arthur Pitcher, deputy pilot warden Harold Millett, School principal Hilton C. Richardson and Minister of Evangelism Constance Mello. It is a Bermuda Housing Development Corporation development which specifically wanted to make affordable housing available to Bermudians only - those in a specific income bracket via a lottery process. The unexpected discovery of a 540,000-gallon underground storage tank containing oil and sludge had delayed building work. In February 2012 it was announced that all have been sold out. 

Islands in the area

Bremen Number 68 on the list of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves. 0.25 acre, east of Smith's Island, St. George's Harbor.
Brook's 0.85 acre, north of St. David's Island, St. George's Harbor.
Burt's North of St. David's Island, St. George's Harbor.
Cooper's  77.5 acres, south east of St. David's. Historically significant. Now joined (since 1941) to and part of St. David's Island in St. George's Parish. So-called after a William Cooper from London, one of the original colonists in 1609. In 1612 it was claimed by Christopher Carter in payment for his share of ambergris forfeited to the Bermuda Company. He spent years there digging in vain for what he thought was buried treasure. In 1614, Governor Moore had built the Pembroke Fort at the south eastern end. It had two cannons mounted on it. The fort was destroyed by US forces building Fort Bell from scratch and in the process destroying many Bermuda islands for the war effort, during World War II. Then, both all of Cooper's Island and much of St. David's Island were taken over by the US Army at Fort Bell which created a road linking this island with St. David's Island. In 1945 Fort Bell was replaced initially by the United States Army Air Force, later the United States Air Force.  As Kindley Air Force Base, the lovely Cooper's Island beaches were a hugely popular attraction exclusively for USAF personnel. In 1960 part of Cooper's Island was occupied by a purpose-built  NASA space tracking station to gather tracking and scientific data from all its spacecraft, satellites and planetary probes.  Personnel from NASA used the beaches. In 1970, the USAF was replaced by a USA Naval Air Station but the NASA tracking station continued. In 1995, the US bases left, NASA also left and the superb once-exclusive to US Forces beaches became public. Afterwards, Bermuda's weather radar system was located on Cooper’s Island. Now the area is a lovely nature and wildlife reserve. 
Goat (2) Off Cooper's Island, near Nonsuch Island, southeast of St. David's Island, St. George's Parish.
Governor's Number 68 on the list of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves. 1 acre, St. George's Harbor, near St. David's Island, between Peggy's Island and Paget Island. Its old ruined fort was once the dominant feature. It was named for Governor Moore who in 1612 to 1613 began the fort as a way to command the vulnerable but then strategically important channel nearby. By the time Moore's term ended, 11 guns were in the fort. One of the publicly inaccessible forts but historically important.
Grasbury's 0.75 acre, southeast of Annie's Bay off Cooper's Island, Castle Harbor.
Little Oswego 0.73 acre, east of Oswego (Great), off St. David's.
Little Scaur Between Grazbury's and Long Rock, south of Annie's Bay, St. David's.
Nonsuch Castle Harbor, west of Cooper's Island, south of St. David's, 14.5 acres. It has small, pristine, untouched beaches and a fresh-water marsh. Its trees are mostly Olivewood, Palm, Bermuda Cedar and casuarina. Its main occupants are the cahow bird (but no nests), butterflies, skinks, silk spiders and the longtail bird. Originally Nonesuch Island, it achieved fame when Dr. William Beebe and staff used it for their deep water diving experiments for a major organization in New York. Much later, it became a school for juvenile delinquents. Now it is a bird and wildlife sanctuary, the Nonsuch Island Nature Reserve. The Cahow project was begun here by Dr. David Wingate (he retired in 2000), to protect and preserve this indigenous Bermuda bird once thought extinct. The island is now a living museum, a re-creation of Bermuda's native flora and fauna. Limited escorted field trips, for special-interest groups only, began in 2000, from what was then called the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR) for $75 per person. Telephone 297-1880. Credit card bookings and Thursday morning only. There is also a week-long Nonsuch Island Natural History Camp every year (usually in June) for local high school students, at the nature reserve. Students camp out under the stars, sleep on lilos or camp beds, bathe with solar showers or cold water from a bucket.
Oswego Also known as Great, 2.5 acres, St. George's Harbor.
Peggy's Off Smith's, St. George's Harbor. Number 65 on the list of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves.
Pudding Small and barren. South of Stocks Harbor and west of St. David's. Its position saved it from destruction when the USA military bases were built from 1941. This was when it once again got the unofficial name of " Grog Island" - from the fact that a lot of drinking went on here, as it used to 300 years earlier.
Smith's 61 acres, in St. George's Harbor, St. George's Parish. Named for Sir Thomas Smith or Smythe, the first Governor of what later became the Somers Isles Company, an office he still held at the time of his death in 1625. He was an empire builder of immense energy and ability. The island is historically very significant, Bermuda's first settlement. It was here that Carter, Chard and Waters, who got the reputation of being the three "Kings of Bermuda" from 1610 to 1612, settled when they were the first accidental permanent colonists in Bermuda. They built cabins of palmetto, planted beans, watermelons, tobacco, maize, fished of the coast, hunted wild hogs, salted bacon and fish they caught and even made a fresh water catch. When the Plough arrived from England on July 11, 1612 with the first party of planned colonists, it went first to St. David's to discharge them then went two days later to an anchorage on the south shore of Smith's Island. Carter, Chard and Waters proudly displayed to Governor Richard Moore the varieties of garden produce they had grown. Moore was delighted because the Somers Isles Company in London had supplied him with 81 varieties of seed to try in Bermuda. Many of the first crops Virginia and the later American colonies had ever seen were planted on Smith's Island. It was the original home in Bermuda of the first planned settlers and they even made rock ovens for their food from the local limestone until they moved to St. George's Island and the Town of St. George in the summer and autumn of 1612. Twenty three acres on the western one third of the island are now a recreational area for Bermuda youth, owned jointly by the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda National Trust. It comes under the National Parks Act 1986. The Bermuda National Trust bought  the acreage for $850,000 and the Bermuda Government paid the Trust $200,000 for a 23.5 percent share in the acreage. Thanks to local residents Mr. and Mrs. Robert Basist, the Trust was able to reforest certain areas it owns of the island with cedar trees.
Whaler's Near Smith's Island, St. George's Harbor.

Jinny Jennings Lane

Named after a freed slave by that name who lived nearby.

Kindley Field Road

A Bermuda National Park. Named after Captain Field E. Kindley, US Army Air Force, after whom this road, the former US Kindley Air Force Base in Bermuda  - see Former US military bases in Bermuda - and more landmarks are named. Number 53 on your free listing of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves. This is to the east and north of the airport with marine views of Ferry Reach. 

Kindley Community Tennis Courts

TennisSouthside. Phone 293-5791. Named after Captain Field E. Kindley, US Army Air Force, after whom this road, the former US Kindley Air Force Base in Bermuda  - see Former US military bases in Bermuda - and more landmarks are named. At the former Officers' Club at the former Kindley AFB/USNAS military base, now civilianized. There are 4 asphalt courts, fees. Tennis attire is mandatory.

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre

Built on the site of the old US Hospital

Southside. Opened April 2009. On site of former US Military Hospital. So-named after St. David's surnames of two prominent local families. With treatment rooms, a lab and radiography, pharmacy, nurses station, reception area, staff lounge, information technology room and ambulance station. Normally 9 am to 5 pm daily. On the former US baseland at Southside on land leased to the Bermuda Hospitals Board by the Bermuda Land Development Corporation. Offers offer close-to-home care for people who have minor accidents or sudden illnesses in the East of Bermuda. Patients with major medical and surgical emergencies will still need to attend the Emergency Department at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital because of the far greater array of support services that will continue to be offered there. Managed by the Bermuda Hospitals Board to ensure it dovetails into the Island’s overall emergency service. Basic diagnostic equipment (such as ultrasound and x-ray), pharmacy and laboratory (blood test) services are provided. It will also serve as a 'disaster centre' in the event of a natural catastrophe or air crash at the Bermuda International Airport close by. In that scenario, three to four disaster recovery tents for emergency medical procedures will be set up in the car park in the event of a disaster situation such as hurricane or an airport crash at or near the airport. The facility is staffed by up to five full-time medical staff and three ancillary staff, providing outpatient emergency care plus triage for patients on their way to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. Ambulances access the centre from Southside Road, with all other vehicles entering off Hall Street.

2013. November 22. Government overruled a decision by hospital bosses to shut down the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, saying the facility will now remain open until an acceptable and financially viable alternative arrangement is in place. Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said Government decided to step in following a public outcry over the controversial closure, which was announced by the Bermuda Hospitals Board at the end of last month. Yesterday Mrs Gordon-Pamplin said Government had initially endorsed that decision because data suggested the facility was being used for non-urgent patients who could be treated elsewhere more cheaply. "The clinic has been operating at a loss since it opened four years ago. With our commitment and mandate to reduce the cost of healthcare, there was not much option but to support that line of reasoning. With that said, having seen the public outcry and recognizing how important it is to them to have something available then I am not afraid to admit if I have to have a rethink in response to what people are demanding. That is what we do as a Government. The Government's primary mission and priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people of Bermuda. Integral to this mission is the need to make sure our healthcare system provides everyone with access to good quality care. The decision by the Bermuda Hospitals Board to close the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre on November 29 challenges the tenets of this mission. And the public outcry that has followed in its wake reflects it. It also reflects the very difficult challenge we face as a community between meeting peoples' healthcare needs while doing so in ways that are financially sustainable. My colleagues and I have paid very close attention to what people have been saying about the planned closure of the clinic. We have listened to their concerns. We recognize their needs and we understand their fears particularly as they relate to the needs of the east end in the event of a natural disaster that cuts off access to medical and hospital-based resources." Flanked by Premier Craig Cannonier and the Governments three east end MPs Kenneth Bascome, Nandi Outerbridge and Suzann Holshouser Ms Gordon-Pamplin added: "As a result, and in consultation with my colleagues, I have directed the Bermuda Hospitals Board to keep the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre open until an alternative plan is worked out that meets the needs of the people of the east end. An alternative facility could be in operation within six months. I want the people of the east end to rest assured that the facility will continue to be there for them until an acceptable and financially viable alternative arrangement is in place that meets their needs. We are going to make this situation work. "Earlier this month, Mrs Gordon-Pamplin said Government will continue to evaluate any recommendation put forward by the BHB and its Executive team to ensure that the health needs of our entire community are well served on an equitable and sustainable basis. But at yesterday's press conference, Premier Cannonier insisted that closure without alternative options, is not an option. "This Government has made a pledge to this country to leave no one behind and that means everyone, including the people of St David's, who have traditionally been left behind, he said. As you know, I'm from St David's and I grew up in St David's. I know what it feels like to be forgotten. Well today, your Government is here to restore that hope. I've said it before and you'll continue to hear me say it and demonstrate it we are all in this boat together we are all our brother's keeper. As we have taken a look at this particular situation I, without conscience, could not allow closure of the clinic without options. There will be no closure of the clinic without alternative options." Dismissing claims by the Opposition Progressive Labour Party that the clinic had made a profit last year, Mrs Gordon-Pamplin confirmed that the BHB will now be forced to operate the facility at a loss until an alternative can be found. Last night a BHB spokesman said the initial decision to shut down the clinic had been difficult, but that the Board was now working to meet the directive to keep the facility running. "The BHB made its decision to close in an effort to better manage the costs of BHB as we face grave financial difficulties. Keeping the urgent care service running will add more pressure, both financial and with regards to resources, as staff had been informed and arrangements entered into to implement the closure. We will work to meet the directive, however, and will continue to seek more efficient ways to continue the service." Shadow Health Minister Zane DeSilva said that the reversal was good news but expressed disappointment that it was only for six months. And last night Deputy Opposition leader Derrick Burgess confirmed that a planned protest march on Parliament today was still going ahead. "The people have spoken, the Premier has responded but the people have only won a temporary opportunity to keep Lamb Foggo open. The protest is set to continue in recognition that a permanent solution be found. The people of the east end deserve to be heard and when they march at noon to present their petition and push for a permanent solution, we believe that the OBA will be convinced of the need to keep this urgent care centre open permanently."

1913. November 5. East End residents were left in the cold by Governments failure to speak out over the closure of the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, the Opposition has charged. The Bermuda Hospitals Board announced last week that the centre will shut by the end of the month due to the high cost of running the facility and low usage. St David's MP Lovitta Foggo yesterday challenged One Bermuda Alliance MPs for the East End, Kenny Bascome, Nandi Davis, and Suzann Roberts-Holshouser, to speak up for the community over the closure. She claimed that, while the East End had provided the margin of victory for the One Bermuda Alliances Election campaign, the OBA had turned its back on the community. The Progressive Labour Party MP added that the OBA had last year promised to move more Government services to Southside, as well as accusing the PLP of neglecting the East. Saying the OBA had made petty promises before the election in a bid to win votes, she called on OBA MPs to stand up for the residents of the East End. She also said the closure had been undertaken with no explanation, consultation or consideration of any alternatives for residents. She said: "Bermudians deserve better. They deserve a Premier that wont turn his back on his community. They deserve better than Members of Parliament who can pose for photo-ops but are silent when the urgent care centre is taken from their constituents." Mrs Roberts-Holshouser, MP for St Georges West, last night said that as a St David's resident she and her family had used the Centre on a few occasions. "The convenience of having the clinic at our doorstep and not having to wait to be helped has certainly been a luxury and indeed I am saddened to have learned of the necessity of the Bermuda Hospitals Board to close the facility. But it is important to establish that such a matter as healthcare is not to be undermined by making political hay, but should lead us into further consultation and an action plan as how to best facilitate the needs of the community moving forward. I'm encouraged that the BHB said there was still an opportunity for the building to be used as a medical facility. The closure could provide an opportunity for a new private medical practice. As suggested in the recent press statement The Bermuda Hospitals Board will support Government in seeking solutions that best meet the country's needs, and as one of the Members of Parliament in the area, I look forward to working on an initiative with my fellow colleagues to see how we can make the best of this situation." Mr Bascome who represents St Georges North meanwhile said he had arranged to meet with Mr Brewin regarding the closure and would refrain from commenting until he had all the facts.

Little Head National Park

Mentioned on the listing of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves. 

Marginal Wharf

A waterside dock area facing the Town of St. George that from 1941 to 1995 was constructed as the principal dockside for military equipment, goods and services shipped to what was initially the US Army's Fort Bell, St. David's Island, then the United States Army Air force, then Kindley Air Force Base, then the United States Naval Air Station. The Dockside also then had a regular boat service connecting this US military base with the US Navy's Operating Base in Southampton. After 1995, when the base became civilianized and both the base and dock were taken over by the Bermuda Government's Bermuda Land Development Company (BLDC) quango, it was used for various commercial marine and other activities and for storage. In late 2014 potential developers were given additional time to submit proposals on how Marginal Wharf can be redeveloped. The BLDC has already received a raft development proposals from local and overseas firms to rejuvenate Marginal Wharf. At present, the land around Marginal Wharf is occupied by a handful of boatyards and tradesmen, and large areas of the site have become overgrown and have fallen into disrepair. The berth itself is blighted by the rusting hull of the one-time gambling ship Niobe Corinthian.

Miss Vicky's Lane

After Victoria Hayward (1876-1958). As an adult, she lived abroad as a writer and wrote the text for Romantic Canada, a travel book illustrated by photographer Edna Watson. But she kept her Bermuda property in Emily's Bay Lane.

Motorsport Park

At Southside, created in 2005. For motor cyclists, scooters and more. Its annual season ends on October 31.

Restaurants in the area Dining

Black Horse Tavern, Restaurant & Bar Full service LiquorBeer/wine Phone 293-9742. 101 St. David's Road, DD 01. Lunch or dinner. $$$$

For others in Bermuda, see Restaurants

St. David's Battery

See "Great Head Battery."

St. David's Chapel of Ease

A local landmark on a local bus route, so-called as it was first built in 1818 as an adjunct or outlying church of the principal parish church (in this case, St. Peter's Church in the Town of St. George) of the Anglican Church of Bermuda. It was built specifically for St. David's Islanders who were then much more geographically remote from Bermuda than they are today. The last Anglican church built from scratch in Bermuda. Added to with the church tower in 1957. Has its own graveyard (as shown in part of the Royal Gazette photo below). In a tranquil setting on a hilltop above a small hidden cove. Lots of St. David's Islanders are buried here, the only place for them to do so irrespective of the religious affiliation of most.

St. David's Chapel of Ease

St. David's Chapel of Ease (Royal Gazette photo)

St. David's Island Historical Society 

Carter House, Southside Avenue, Southside, St. David's. Phone (441) 293-5960. Fax (441) 297-0329. Open April to October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10 am-4 pm and 2nd Sunday each month 12 noon to 4 pm.  Admission charge. Registered charity 506. 

St. David's Islanders & Native Community

An organization of St. David's Islanders claiming descendents from Pequot and other American Indian tribes. It aims to promote Bermuda's Native American connections. There is a bi-annual St. David's Island Indian Festival with the first one held in 2002. It included native Americans from the Naragansett, Wampanoag, Mashantucket Pequots, Cherokee and other tribes. Some St. David's Islanders claim descent from these tribes. They are descendants of Native American Indians who were brought to Bermuda as slaves in the late 1600s and early 1700s and later settled in St. David's. They were often captives from various wars fought between Europeans and Native Americans. Many Bermudians today are descended from these people. In recent years some Bermudians with such heritage have been reconnecting with people from tribes in New England. They have attended pow wows in the United States, and held several pow-wows in Bermuda. In late 2007 a high-ranking delegation from the Mashentucket Pequot Tribal Nation made a lightning visit to Bermuda, with a short tour of St. George's and St. David's, including a visit to the slave graves.

The organization's mission is to teach interested people about  Native American ancestry. It often speaks at schools about it, with a talk and show them one dance. They are always well received. In January 2012 they created a new blanket, traditionally used by Native Americans to keep warm in cold climates, to raise funds for the group. It was designed by Kevin Watson, a chef, graphic artist and a trustee of the group.  It replaced an old blanket. The new one is made in Montana. The colors, blue and white, represent the colors of tribes of the northeast, and of St David’s. It includes designs of Bermuda rockfish, turtles and suck-rocks (a marine mollusc, chiton tuberculatus) all items used once by St David’s Islanders for food, plus the Bermuda Longtail. The clasped hands in the logo represent Bermuda's reconnection with relatives in New England after 300 plus years. Trees shown are the Bermuda cedar and the Bermuda palmetto. Each corner of the blanket has a cahow. The blanket sells for $75. To place an order telephone 541-7777.

St. David's Islanders and Native Community Blanket 2011

St. David's Islanders and Native Community Blanket, Royal Gazette photo

St. David's Lighthouse

St  David's Lighthouse

St. David's Lighthouse 1943 stampLighthouse Road at Mount Hill, St. David's Island, St. George's Parish. Phone (441) 297-4481. For further details on access contact the Bermuda Government's Department of Marine and Ports, or Bermuda's Ministry of the Environment.

Overlooking the South Shore, this famous 131+ years old lighthouse, completed in November 1879, then on nearly seven acres of land in the national interest, is owned by the Bermuda Government. 

It was constructed to eliminate luring ships with other kinds of lights to come too close to the reefs and get their bottoms torn out. Local St. David's Islanders were notorious for plundering cargoes. When the lighthouse defeated their illegal activities, they became fishermen and excellent pilots.

A landmark, it is not made of iron but sturdy Bermuda Stone (limestone of a type unique to Bermuda and then commonly used in building construction as a cheap local source of building materials. The structure is 55 high to the lantern. It shows a fixed white light of the second order, about 30,000 candlepower, 208 feet above sea level. Since then it has been warning ships. 

It was deliberately constructed inland, on a hill, not on the shore line, to be seen from afar. Since then it has undergone many changes and improvements. Instead of the original kerosene burner of the ordinary wick type it had a hood petroleum burner installed in June 1922. In 1943, during World War 2, Bermuda issued a postage stamp (shown right) depicting the lighthouse.

Well worth a visit, especially if already in the St. George's/St. David's area (to avoid a miles-long detour). With an interesting historical backdrop and also, from the lighthouse, an appreciation of the very high population density of Bermuda of about 3,400 per square mile. 

One of the only two lighthouses in Bermuda, the second and smaller. Its light enabled navigators to take cross bearings with the flashing beacon emitted by Gibb's Hill lighthouse in Southampton Parish. 

Views from the balcony are superb, looking east over land and water and also westward. In Tall Ship races since 1976 and numerous Newport to Bermuda and other bi-annual yacht races, it provides sailors with their first impressive glimpses of Bermuda. 

St. David’s Police station 

Southside, built at a cost of $2.8 million and opened on time in January 2007.


See Former US military bases in Bermuda and

Street names then applying but no more included:

Texas Road

At the eastern end, not far from St. David's Lighthouse. It is more of a neighborhood than a road as it also includes Lighthouse Road. Include land bought and used for the relocation of local families made homeless by the construction of Fort Bell, later the US Army Air Force, later US Air Force, later the United States Naval Air Station, before it was decommissioned in 1995 and became civilian Southside. The replacement homes in the neighborhood were built by the same US military construction units. Wartime residents there bestowed the name Texas in honor of natives from Texas, USA, many of whom were construction workers and US servicemen. Their laid-back manners and ways were especially appreciated by displaced St. David's Islanders and were mostly responsible for bringing Bermuda's once most-isolated community into the 20th century.

Tommy Fox Road

The only street on the former US base nearby named for Henry Mortimer Fox (1860-1942), a local landowner of considerable property, whaler and grower of arrowroot.

Turtle Bay Beach

Next to Clearwater Beach. A nice swimming area., once reserved solely for the US Armed Forces, but public since 1997, two years after the US bases left.

Whaler's Hill

Until 1995 the site of the Officer's Mess at the former US Base, named from the fact that the hill was a look-out point for sighting whales or for seeing returning whaleboats.

Other Bermuda geographic areas

City of Hamilton Hamilton Parish Paget Parish Pembroke Parish Sandys Parish
Smith's Parish Southampton Parish St. George's Parish Town of St. George Warwick Parish

line drawing

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Last Updated: October 2, 2015.
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