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The British overseas territory of Anguilla is among the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, east or Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and north of Saint Martin.

The territory is made up largely of the island of Anguilla, along with some smaller uninhabited islands.

Anguilla Island is a flat, low-lying island in the Caribbean, made of coral and limestone. It measures under ten miles (16 km) in length and under four miles (6 km) in width. Its soil is poor, but it supports scrub, as well as tropical and forest vegetation.

The capital city of Anguilla is The Valley. Other localities include Crocus Hill, Blowing Point Village, Sandy Ground Village, South Hill Village, Stoney Ground, The Farrington, Island Harbour, George Hill, Long Bay Village, West End Village, East End Village, and The Forest.

Other islands include Anguillita, a small, uninhabited island off the western tip of the island of Anguilla. The island is seldom visited because its western tip is all but inaccessible by foot, although it is accessible by kayak. There is a lighthouse on Anguillita.

Blowing Rock is little more than a rock. It is located directly south of Sherricks High Point, and southeast of Lower West End Point.

Dog Island is a small uninhabited island (0.86 acre), situated just over eight miles northwest of Anguilla. Low and rocky, it has three small cays off of its west and north coasts, and its coastline includes low cliffs and sandy beaches. It is west of the Prickley Pear Cays. The central part of the island is covered with prickly pear.

Little Scrub Island is less than a mile northeast of the island of Anguilla, and only about five hundred yards from Scrub Island. It has an area of about three acres. Its flora was completely stripped by Hurricane Luis in 1995 and Hurricane Lenny in 1999, but it has since recovered. Morning glory and prickly pear cactus grow on the island, which serves as a nesting site for several bird species.

Prickly Pear Cays are actually two small, uninhabited islands, about six miles from Road Bay in Anguilla. The islands are separated into Prickly Pear East and Prickly Pear West by a narrow boat channel. At West Cay, an old quarry was once used for the export of sandstone slabs. The islands are popular with tourists, but there is no permanent population.

Sandy Island is a small island (273 yards x 82 yards) just north of Long Bay Village on the main island. It can be reached by boat in fifteen minutes. A popular restaurant that had been located there was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Scrub Island is small, just over three square miles, off the eastern tip of the main island of Anguilla. Privately owned, an abandoned airfield and several abandoned houses are there, largely destroyed by hurricanes. There is no electricity of plumbing, and the island currently has no population.

Seal Island is a small island off the northwest coast of Anguilla. Although it has no population, it is popular with scuba divers.

Also known as Hat Island, Sombrero has a land area of just under ninety-four acres and is the northernmost island of the Lesser Antilles. The closest island to Sombrero is Dog Island, about twenty-four miles away. Guano-mining operations have left the island with steep sides and a flat top, about forty feet above sea level. The surface is rough and vegetation is sparse. A lighthouse is there, but it is currently uninhabited. It was once claimed by the Confederate States of America, who mined phosphate there.

The island of Anguilla was first settled by Amerindian people who had come from South America as early as 1300 BC, according to artifacts that have been found on the island. The remains of settlements date back as far as 600 AD.

Columbus may have sighted the island in 1493, as his ships passed near it, but he made no mention of it in his journals. Nevertheless, there is a tradition that the island was named by Christopher Columbus.

The island was colonized by the English in 1650, who found no one inhabiting the islands upon their arrival. The island has since been a British colony, except for brief periods of time. The French took the island over in 1666 but returned it to British control the following year. There were other attacks on the island, however. In 1856, Carib Indians from Dominica attacked Anguilla, and Irish raiders landed on Anguilla n 1698, a few of them settling there, but they did not take possession of the island. The French attacked the island in 1688, 1745, and again in 1796, causing a great deal of damage but they were unsuccessful in taking possession of it.

In 1958, the British dissolved the West Indies Federation in 1961, forming self-government a combined St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla, Anguilla declined to join, electing to remain a British dependency.


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