Gros Islet and Rodney Bay as seen from Pigeon Island
Political map of St Lucia showing position of Gros Islet
|Quarter||Gros Islet Quarter|
|• Governing body||Gros Islet Town Council|
|• Total||101.528 km2 (39.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2 m (6 ft)|
|• Total||21,660 (Gros Islet District)|
|Time zone||Eastern Caribbean Time Zone (ECT) (UTC-4)|
Gros Islet (English: Large Island) is a community located near the northern tip of the island country of Saint Lucia. Originally a quiet fishing village, it has gone on to become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.
Originally settled by the Carib (and possibly Arawak), a French map from 1717 provides the first identification of the area as Gros Islet. The community has had a long history of being a Roman Catholic parish, as the first priests who arrived on the island settled in the village in 1749.
In 1778, as a retaliation for the declaration of war on the British by the French, the British navy captured the island of Saint Lucia from the French, and built a naval base at Gros Islet Bay in 1782 - temporarily changing the name to Fort Rodney. The island as a whole has switched hands between the British and French throughout its existence.
In modern times, the community has continued to flourish. Between 1991 and 2001 the population rose 54%; the highest rise in the country. In 2001, the population was 19,409, making it the second most-populous community in Saint Lucia, up from 13,505 in the 1991 census and 10,164 in the 1980 edition. Of this number, 9,307 were male and 10,102 were female.
A nearby mangrove swamp was dredged to form Rodney Bay Marina and many hotels, resorts and villas have since appeared. However the old village of Gros Islet is still a flourishing district.
- Luntta, K: The Rough Guide to St Lucia, page 82
- http://www.grosisletparish.org/churchhistory.htm Gros Islet Parish history
- 2001 Population and Housing Census