Gros Islet (English: Large Island) is a community 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.
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||UTC-4 (Eastern Caribbean Time Zone (ECT))|
Settled by the Carib (and possibly Arawak), the area was first identified as Gros Islet in a French map from 1717. The community was a Roman Catholic parish, as the first priests who arrived on the island settled in the village in 1749. Gros Islet was first settled by the French from Martinique.
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 has switched hands between the British and French throughout its existence.
Between 1991 and 2001 the population rose 54%; the highest rise in the country. In 2001, the population was 19,409, making it the secondmost-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 been built. However the old village of Gros Islet is still a flourishing district.
In September of the year 2011, Parliamentary Representative Honourable Leonard Montoute advised that the constituency may become St. Lucia's second city, if the expansion plans for the area progress in accordance with its development blue print.
- 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
- "Gros-Islet may seek city status". archive.stlucia.gov.lc. Retrieved 2018-10-31.