Although small in size, Barbados has a big history. To better understand the history of the island, here are Port Ferdinand’s recommended historic buildings to visit while in Barbados.
The Barbados Museum
The Barbados Museum is located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Bridgetown and its Garrison. This building was originally used as a 19th century military prison. In 1933, it was secured as the home of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and still has many historic artifacts and information on Barbados and its culture.
Codrington College is noted as the oldest Seminary in the Western Hemisphere. The college was officially opened in 1745 as an Anglican theological college. Originally, the building was a plantation house but was bequeathed to a religious society after the passing of the owner Christopher Codrington. Codrington College still trains many Caribbean priests and is still involved in the teaching of theology, particularly with the University of the West Indies.
Codrington College offers some of the most dramatic views of the island’s East Coast and is accessible by the public.
Gun Hill Signal Station
The Gun Hill Signal Station, built in 1818 was used by British families to sight ships approaching the island and signal to the other signal stations details about the vessels and whether or not they were threats. In the event of a threat, the forts and soldiers would be ready for attack.
Today, this signal station still has one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the entire island. A popular attraction at this site is the statue of a lion which was said to have been carved by an artistic soldier out of a single rock, using only a lion drawn on a book as a reference.
The Barbados Parliament was established in 1639 and is recorded as the third oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth. Located on Broad Street of the island’s capital, Bridgetown, it houses the House of Assembly and the Senate. These buildings were originally built in 1874 using local limestone.
The Barbados Museum of Parliament offers guided tours of the buildings, access to debates and the Clock Tower.
St. Nicholas Abbey
St. Nicholas Abbey was built in 1658 and is one of the only three remaining Jacobean style mansions left in the Western Hemisphere. You can take a step back in time viewing the old plantation house, the museum and touring the rum distillery. You can also sample the rum!