Montserrat Islands History and Geography

By | February 1, 2022

The Island of Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory dependent on the United Kingdom located in the Lesser Antilles, with the Caribbean Sea to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It has the islands of Nevis and Antigua to the north, and Guadeloupe to the south. Its surface area is 102 km², and its coasts measure about 40 km.

According to zipcodesexplorer, the capital of Montserrat is Plymouth, but this town had to be abandoned in 2005 due to the eruption of the Soufriere volcano and since then the city of Brades has operated. The official language is English which is spoken with a strong Irish accent, an inheritance left by the ancient Irish settlers.


Montserrat Island was populated by Arawak and Carib Indians. The Island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 calling it Santa María de Montserrat. The first British settlers arrived in 1632, they came from the island of San Cristóbal(Saint Kitts or Saint Christopher according to the colonial power that occupied that other little island) and were expelled several times by the French.

In 1782, during the American War of Independence, Montserrat was briefly occupied by France. It returned to British control after the Treaty of Versailles that ended the conflict. From 1871 to 1958 it was administered as part of the federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, then it became one more province of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962.

In 1967 they decided to continue with the colonial status and did not integrate into the Associated States of the Antilles within the Commonwealth, they depend directly on London although it enjoys wide autonomy, the highest position is that of Governor representing the British sovereign Elizabeth II, there is also a Legislative Council and an Executive.

With the creation in the Seventies of studies AIR Studios by the producer of the Beatles: George Martin, the island attracted world – famous musicians who came to record in the quiet and lush tropical surroundings of Montserrat. In the last decade of the twentieth century, however, two events occurred that devastated the island.

In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo passed over Montserrat in full force, damaging about 90 percent of the island’s structures. In July 1995, the long dormant Soufriere Hills volcano came back to life and began an eruption that buried the island’s capital, Plymouth, in more than 40 feet of mud, destroyed its airport and pier and converted the southern half of the island uninhabitable, forcing more than half the population to leave the island due to homelessness. After a period of regular eruptions in the late 1990s including June 25, 1997 In which 19 people lost their lives, volcanic activity has now mostly been reduced to infrequent ash ejections in uninhabited areas, although the dirt sometimes spreads to populated areas in the north.

The population of Montserrat obtained full right to reside in the United Kingdom in 1998 and citizenship in 2002.


Montserrat is a volcanic island that sits on the edge of the Caribbean and South American plates. Its last period of eruptions, which became catastrophic, was between 1995 and 1997, and drastically modified the geography of the island. The volcano has three axes of cones, in the north Silver Hills and Center Hills, and in the south Sofriere Hills, where the highest point of the island is located: Chances peak (915 m).


The climate of the islands is tropical humid with an average of about 26 ºC with small variations due to the altitude. It is a question of the monsoon climate and the trade winds on the coast, which in this case, and despite its abrupt relief, the monsoon effect is not greatly enhanced, so the rainfall does not exceed 1,500 mm.

With constant breezes from the sea and the mountains. The amount of annual rain is approximately 1 or 2 meters, well distributed throughout the year, with a more humid time from July to November, when it is affected by the hurricanes that are generated in the Atlantic

Flora and fauna

The flora and fauna are those of the biogeographic empire and the neotropical ecozone, with some endemisms, typical of the islands.

Montserrat Islands History