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Lamanai, Belize - Structure M11-2, 9, 10 & 13 – British Sugar Mill
Not on the main site circuit, typically seen only by visitors who overnight

Lamanai Site map: (SUGAR MILL NOT ON MAP)

Belize Map:

Maya area map:

Iron Works Flywheel –

The British Sugar Mill at Lamanai dates from AD 1860 – 1875 and included approximately 200 acres of land that was planted with sugar cane.  The Indian Church Plantation grant was awarded in 1837 but work on the mill did not start until 23 years later in 1860.  It was a fairly archaic steam operated mill whose life was short lived. 



Map From:

1982   Pendergast, David  

The 19th-Century Sugar Mill at Indian Church, Belize.  Journal of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, Vol. 8, No. 1.

Map by C. Belanger depicting the evaporation tank, the boiler, the boiling house, and various other features of the remains of the sugar mill.  This historic structure is located in the M11 Quad that constitutes some of the architectural features located furthest west within the reserve.  It is unclear to this day why the mill was constructed so far west and so far from the New River Lagoon that could have aided greatly in the processing of the sugar cane (and the distribution of the end product).  As it was, great efforts were taken to contain and move water to this western location.  


Iron Flywheel, covered by a Strangler Fig –

Looking East

The iron works of this fairly massive mill were placed upon ionic columned arches constructed of brick.  Some theorize that the reason this mill in the jungle only survived 15 years was due to the fact the heavy iron works which cause a great deal of friction when functioning was placed upon an unstable brick foundation.





R. Arevalo, Naturalist & Guide - describes to visitors the intricacies of this British Sugar Mill. The iron works directly above him consist of the crushers and rollers.

British Pumping Station

Quad N11 – East portion of Lamanai adjacent to the New River Lagoon

This pumping station was recovered during the Tourism Development Project (TDP) in 2002. It can be seen directly east of the main Visitor Center, and just west of the sidewalk.  It provides us with information regarding the pumping of water to the main mill located much further west. 

Another historic remain of interest is the large brick cistern that is located just west of the Spanish churches, it is still unclear whether this structure held water that was utilized for processing sugar cane or it may have provided a source of water for individuals residing in that portion of the reserve. 


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