History of Holetown: 4 Interesting Facts

Located in the western parish of St. James, Holetown is one of four main towns in Barbados and was the site of historic events of great significance to the island. Here are 4 interesting facts about Holetown.

Barbados’ First Town

In 1625, Captain John Powell landed in what is now Holetown in Barbados and claimed the island for England in the name of King James I. It was said, that he was on his way to England from Brazil, but due to an error, ended up on the island. In 1627, the first English settlers came to the island with Captain Henry Powell, the brother of Captain John Powell. On arrival, they named the settlement Jamestown after King James I. In the following years, Barbados was divided among the rich from England who were able to maintain and develop the land.

Origin of the Name Holetown

Originally named Jamestown, Holetown got its name from the stream otherwise known as “the hole” which was the location for settlers to arrive safely to the island by ship.

First Anglican Church

Built in 1628, the St. James Parish Church is the first Anglican church in Barbados. This church is located very close to the site where the first settlers landed. The church still stands, but not in its original state, as it has been rebuilt and refurbished over the years. In 1675, the wooden church was destroyed by a hurricane and later rebuilt as a stone structure. It was again destroyed in 1780. The church underwent major refurbishment in 1874 and porches were added in the 1900’s and this is how it remains today.

A walk through the cemetery will reveal lots of history via the grave stones, memorial plaques and vaults, as many of the first settlers and well-known Barbadians were buried here.

The Holetown Monument

The Holetown Monument is an obelisk monument made of soft-stone blocks with a plaque at the bottom and is situated beside old cannons. This is a commemoration of the Barbados’ first settlers and is located where they landed in 1625, when the island was claimed for King James I. The island remained an English territory until gaining its independence in 1966.

This monument is the where the annual Holetown Festival in Barbados is opened each year. During the first festival in 1977, a plaque was placed on the monument with 1625 as the correct year of the first settlers and not 1605, according to the main plaque.

Today, many luxury hotels, restaurants, malls, boutiques and shops line Holetown. If you’re excited to eat, shop and learn more about Holetown, book your stay at Port Ferdinand and we would be happy to assist you with your planning.

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