Danish Colonial Bricks at Beresford Manor, St. Croix
There are a lot of things that appeal to me about owning a piece of colonial history in the Caribbean. The opportunity said ownership would present to actually rewrite colonial history is chief among them. Imagine being able to peel back the veneer of false romanticism that has long enveloped “Plantation Society.” To change the traditional narrative celebrating grand, old manor homes and the slave owners that built them by instead honoring the enslaved Africans who toiled there. This pile of old Danish colonial bricks at Beresford Manor have me particularly inspired along these lines.
I found them spilling out from what once was a wall astride the entryway to the estate’s overseer’s house. The structure dates back to the 18th century.
(You can see the full ruins in this post touting the unique opportunity to purchase Beresford Manor.)
As with other colonial structures, the bricks were brought to St. Croix as ballast aboard ships sailing from Denmark. I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m guessing that the “DC” inscribed on the brick dead center of the image speaks to its point of origin.
While artful, in a sense, just as Mother Nature upset them, I could see these Danish colonial bricks reimagined into a sculpture. Something in the style of Laurent Valere’s powerful Anse Cafard Slave Memorial. A moving tribute memorializing the enslaved set along the main road that runs directly in front of Beresford. A calm, quiet place along the sea where anyone can glean a truer sense of the full history here.