Wallblake House is one of the oldest buildings on Anguilla and located on the west side of The Valley, near the Catholic church, in a part of the city that still has a colourful and interesting architecture. It is the only surviving plantation house left on the island. It was built in 1787 and still contains the original kitchen, stables and slave quarters, surviving intact. It was burnt down in the 1796 French invasion but rebuilt. Its construction is normally attributed to a sugar planter named Will Blake, but it changed hands several times over the years. It is thought that the Wallblake name is a distortion of Valentine or Will Blake’s. The house and grounds have been well maintained, and tours of the place take you through all the rooms. It is now used as the rectory to St Gerard’s Catholic church.
In 1959, Mary Ray Lake, the sole heiress of the Wallblake Estate, donated the house and property to the Roman Catholic Church which continues to own it till this day and it is the centre of the Anguilla Heritage trail. The original plantation main and outbuildings were restored in 2004 with funds from the newly formed Wallblake House Trust. Tours are free, but donations are encouraged to help preserve the house.
The International Airport, just to the south of the house, used to be called Wallblake Airport but has been renamed as Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport after the first Anguillan aviator, who founded the Anguillan Air Service.
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