BODDEN TOWN, CAYMAN'S FIRST CAPITAL

Bodden Town, Cayman's first capital

Originally called "South Side", the name Bodden Town appears to have first been used in 1773 when a visiting British navy surveyor, noting the predominance of families with the name "Bodden", remarked: "At this time there are 21 families at the South Side, which we have called Bodden Town."

Although no one recalls there ever being a "house" on this site, reference is made to a "Guard House" in Bodden Town in "The Local laws of Grand Cayman", a document produced during the 1830s. It's located about a quarter-mile west of Turtle Nest Inn (at the approach to the town). It seems to have been the site of one of the former capital's three lines of defense against invading pirates and Spanish "marauders". The local "militia" are believed to have manned the position, and the Guard House was their accommodations.

Slave Wall, just a short walk west of Turtle Nest Inn, was probably built before the 1835 abolition of slavery in the Cayman Islands. It is said that a slave of Spanish origin named "Drummond" supervised a seven-foot section which led to the wall often being called "Drummond's Wall".

Gun Square, just a short walk east of Turtle Nest Inn, is believed to be one of Bodden Town's two defence points, the other being the Guard House at the western approach of the town. It was an important battery as it overlooked one of the principal channels of the day. Two 18th century cannons are still located on the site.

Queen Victoria Monument, a short stroll west from Turtle Nest Inn, was erected to the memory of Queen Victoria sometime between 1907 and 1912. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was the regular meeting site for the men of the district who gathered there to discuss politics. The tradition has continued to modern times.

In March 1999, Turtle Nest Inn opens in Bodden Town, and is Grand Cayman's first intimate and independent beachfront hotel. And, exactly 500 years after the first recorded sighting of the Cayman Islands, in 2003, Turtle Nest Inn wins Cayman's only "Editors' Choice Award" from Travel Holiday magazine !!!