Located on the windward side of Nevis, the New River Estate was established in the early 1720s and operated as a large-scale sugar plantation throughout much of the 18th century. By the 1750s, nearly 130 enslaved Africans worked and lived at New River. Archaeological data indicates that the estate supported two slave villages, one dating from the mid-1700s to around 1780 and a second dating from the early 1780s through emancipation in 1834.

Today, the New River Estate remains relatively undeveloped. Ruins of the great house, cisterns, and sugar works, including an early windmill and a later steam mill, all indicate substantial owner investment in the plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Relocation of the slave village in the 1780s, as well as the upgrade in sugar works technology demonstrate that New River owners upgraded their sugar works in order to maximize sugar production in the face of abolition of the slave trade (1807) and emancipation (1834).