Barbados Historical sites

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Barbados is a little island that is rich with history and historical sites. Many of the historic buildings have been restored, some privately and some with the help of the BARBADOS NATIONAL TRUST (BNT). The BNT is a charitable, non-profit body founded in 1961 to preserve the unique heritage of the island, be it Historic Buildings and sites, or places of natural beauty or environmental importance. Barbados even has an UNESCO World Heritage site which is the capital city of Barbados, Bridgetown and the historic Garrison! While you are on the island why not visit a plantation house for a trip back in time, go and see the towering lighthouses that once led ships to safety, or explore the historic towns that are an important part of our past and present.

Bridgetown and the Parliament Museum

Parliament

Bridgetown derived its name from the bridge that was constructed in the area by the original Amerindian settlers. The island was settled by the English in the 17th century and early deeds refer to the area as The Indian Bridge and The Indian Bridgetown.

Bridgetown was to become a key hub for trade and commerce with its harbor (or Careenage) often filled with trading vessels. This city was also often the first port of call for ships making the trans-Atlantic crossing from Africa.

Being established in 1939 the Parliament of Barbados is the third oldest in the Commonwealth. The exhibition is located in the West Wing of the Parliament Building in the capital Bridgetown. The history of great achievements are told using interactive audio and video and pictures through out.

Barbados Garrison & the Barbados Museum and Historical Society

Barbados-museum

The colonial powers- England, France, Spain and Holland – were often at war over the prosperous islands of the Caribbean. Protecting the colonies was therefore of great importance and is reflected in the fortifications created along the western coast of Barbados.

The Barbados Garrison was the largest in the British Colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries. It began with the construction of St. Ann’s Fort in 1705 and grew to include soldiers’ barracks, a parade ground and commissariat.

Within the Museum’s 19th century buildings is where you can learn about the people of Barbados. From the earliest inhabitants to folk life, there is something for everyone here. You can see artefacts on natural history, African artefacts, Barbadian Social history, decorative arts, and military history.

At the Museum’s Shilstone Memorial Library you can discover your family history and connections by looking at archival documents, genealogical records and much more.

George Washington House

George-washington-house

The only place outside of the USA where the 1st president of the United Stated ever resided was here in Barbados. The house and outlying buildings have been restored to how it was in the 18th Century by the Barbados Nation Trust, creating a heritage site on the historic Garrison that celebrates the visit and the role that Barbados played in the settlement of America. This Barbados attraction is located by the Garrison Savannah on the South coast of the island.

Signal Stations

Gun-hill

A series of signal stations were built in Barbados in 1818. They were constructed in strategic locations around the island on high ground to keep watch over the coast lines for approaching vessels and over the plantations to easily sight and signal in case of danger. They were also used to warn for slave rebellions.

Located in the parish of St. George with magnificent and captivating views of the entire island is Gun Hill Signal Station. This station was restored and landscaped by the Barbados National Trust and now houses a collection of military memorabilia.

There is also a statue of a lion that was carved out of a single piece of rock in 1868 by an officer at the signal station.

Lion-gun-hill

Another signal station is Grenade Hall situated in the parish of St. Andrew. This signal station combines history with nature, and admission fee also allows you access to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.

Grenade Hall offers amazing views of the island looking especially looking onto the East coast of the island.

grenade-hall

St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey is located in the parish of St. Peter and is one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere and was built in 1658. The plantation remains a wealth of history and tradition in the production of sugar, syrup and unique 17th Century rum.

The tour includes the main house, which you can admire the architecture and historical furnishings, the steam mill and rum distillery which are now in full operation and are used to produce St. Nicholas Abbey Rum. You may purchase rum and other sugar products at the gift shop. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with tropical flora while the natural gullies are home to Mahogany and Silk Cotton trees.

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