Georgetown's Plantation Structure and Historic Buildings

Date of Submission: 28/01/2005
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Guyana Commission for UNESCO
Coordinates: N 06°49'W 58°09'
Ref.: 2008

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This area can be considered the backbone of Historic Georgetown as this was the 'Road to Stabroek' mentioned on 18th century Dutch city maps, a 'damstreet' linking the military grounds of Kingston and Fort William Frederick (an Anglisation of Willem Frederik, a Dutch Stadtholder) with the plantations of Cummingsburg and Laeytown, to Stabroek. Stabroek was the strip of land reserved by the Dutch for public purposes and important buildings. In these streets the specific townscape and atmosphere of Georgetown can be found along with the finest examples of 19th century colonial architecture. The structure of the former plantation grounds, defined by canals running perpendicular to the river and a connecting damstreet, is still recognisable in the urban layout. The Cummings Canal and the canal on Croal Street are ancient remnants; those on Church Street and Hadfield Street have been filled up in the early twentieth century to provide for additional space. A cheekerboard pattern of orthogonal streets converted the former plantations of Cummingsburg and Laeytown into urban neighbourhoods.