2011/2012 Best Research Publication & Most Outstanding Researcher in the Faculty of Humanities and Education

Professor Veront Satchell

Hope Transformed analyses the landscape history of the former Hope Sugar Estate founded in 660 by its English owner, Major Richard Hope. The work molded in the theory and methodology of landscape history, that is, the history of humans shaping land to satisfy their social, economic political/ideological and cultural needs, examines the dynamics of this area in response to societal demands and that of owners over time.The Hope lands have had a long history of human settlement dating to the 7th century when it was settled by the Tainos, the earliest known colonizers of the island. Thus they could be considered the shapers of the landscape. Towards the end of the 15th century with European expansion overseas, the island was captured from the Tainos by the Spanish who not only settled it but annihilated the Tainos. This group was later to be ousted from the island by the English in 1655 but not before that had established social and –economic institutions which were to typify the area but the island an indeed the Caribbean for centuries namely a plantation economy based on large estates producing crops for export concentrated in the hands of few landholders and worked by a mass of enslaved blacks imported from Africa.     It was under English occupation that Hope was formed by Major Hope on over 2600 acres of land on the Liguanea Plain seized by him from its Spanish owner in 1656. From a small indigo and sugar plantation the Hope lands developed to become by 1750, one of the island’s largest, most productive, and most technologically advanced slave/sugar estate of its time. The Hope lands like all others in the island, was now developed to satisfy the needs of England and its English owners. With economic disaster in 1848 the owners were forced to sell a small portion of the estate.  In 1874 the government acquired the portion of Hope lands sold earlier and so began the radical transformation of the Hope estate landscape in response to societal demands. This transformation was to be accelerated when the government took ownership of the entire estate in 1914.  By 1960 the former Hope sugar estate was transformed to a premier centre of education and training, recreation and entertainment, commerce and housing.