Barbuda, formerly Dulcina, lies 25 miles (40 km) north of Antigua. It is a largely undeveloped coral island, flat and well-wooded without streams or lakes and receives less rainfall than Antigua. The only town is Codrington set on a lagoon in the west of the island. Activities on Barbuda include beachcombing (on the northeastern Atlantic coast), fishing, snorkeling, diving and, at the island's resorts, golf and tennis. Points of interest include the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, the pink and white sand beaches, and an abundance of shipwrecks and beautiful reefs.
Barbuda's history has been tied to that of Antigua for centuries. The first early attempts to settle Barbuda (by both the British and French) were failures, and it wasn't until 1666 that the British established a colony strong enough to survive the ravages of both nature and the Caribs. In 1680, Christopher Codrington was granted (with his brother John) a lease to land in Barbuda and the rights to the substantial wreckage along Barbuda's reefs, they became the island's pre-eminent family. For much of the eighteenth century the Codrington land on Barbuda was used to produce food and provide slave labour for the Codrington sugar plantations on Antigua, and so the Barbuda's fortunes rose and fell with those of its larger neighbour. Testament to the influence of the Codringtons remains today, both in the island's place names and in its architectural remains. On Barbuda's highest point (124 feet) are the ruins of the Codrington estate, Highland House, and on the island's south coast still sits the 56-foot high Martello castle and tower, a fortress that was used both for defense and as a vantage from which to spot valuable shipwrecks on the outlying reefs.
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