The Segmental Info System

Landmarks and Sites to See in Barbados

Forget club hopping; go landmark hopping in Barbados.

Photo credit: © CADmonkey1973
 

True, your days in Barbados can easily be spent solely along the shore with your feet in the sand, relaxing in the sun.  But for many vacationers, this is not enough.  Fulfill the part of you that is curious about life on the island by touring some of Barbados most important landmarks.

Military Attractions

In 1780 the area behind St. Ann's Garrison was a swampy marshland used as a graveyard.  The dead were burried in shallow graves, or left on top of the swamp to be absorbed after only a few days.  At the beginning of the 20th century, many of these graves were dug up and moved to a cenotaph called the “Cross of Sacrifice.”  The memorial is free, and open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cotton Tower Signal, Grenade Hall Forest Signal Station, and Gun Hill Signal Stations were created as a way to send smoke signals to communicate throughout the island.  They were constructed at strategic points across the island, and could also be used as lookout points.  Many people visit Gun Hill Signal Station to catch a glimpse of the statue of a lion that was carved from a single piece of rock.

In Bridgetown, visitors can check out National Heroes Square, which is home to a war memorial, a fountain honoring running water on the island, and a monument for Lord Horatio Nelson.  The square is located across the street from the Parliament Buildings, which are another site worth seeing, just the view the Gothic architecture alone.

Plantations and More

After the British arrived in Barbados in 1625, they quickly built up plantations that they could use for profitable crops.  Of course, slave labor was used during this time with little care for the people who were being enslaved.  Owners worried only about the money they were making by not having to pay for labor.  Today, visitors can tour the grounds, and often times the mansion homes, of these plantations.

There are also a number of rum distilleries and sugar mills on the island.  Many of these facilities are open to the public, and provide tours that teach visitors the history of production, while showing off how the items are made today.

Religious Sites

Barbados is home to one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere.  The original house of worship, Nidhe Israel Synagogue, was built in 1657, though the cemetery dates back to the 1630s.  In 1831 the synagogue fell victim to a hurricane, but was rebuilt in 1833.  Today, it is open to the public daily, and services are held on Friday nights.

Legend has it that when the United State's first president George Washington visit Barbados in 1751, he worshiped at St. Michael's Cathedral in Bridgetown.  Though nobody has ever been able to prove it, visitors can visit this location, which is open daily to the public. 

Other historic churches on the island include St. James, St. John, St. Peter, and St. Philip.

Historic Homes and Buildings

For American history in Barbados, check out the Bush Hill House, where president George Washington stayed while on the island.  It has since been restored as a popular attraction. 

Constructed in 1854 and restored by the Barbados National Trust more recently, is Tyrol Cot.  This was the home of the island's first Premier, Sir Grantley Adams, and his son, the island's first Prime Minister, Tom Adams.  Now the home is filled with Adams family memorabilia.  Surrounding Tyrol Cot is Heritage Village, a kind of living museum filled with chattel houses filled with historic crafts and goods.

On top of all of the aforementioned attractions and historic sites, there are numerous other museums throughout Barbados.  Learn more about each here:

Museums
Name Phone Location
Arlington House Interactive Museum (246) 422-4064 Speightstown
Barbados Concorde Experience (246) 420-7738 5.6 mi. (9.0 km) East of St. Lawrence Gap
Barbados Museum and Historical Society (246) 427-0201 St. Matthias
Barbados National Heroes Gallery (246) 310-5400 Downtown Bridgetown
Cricket Legends Museum (246) 227-2651 0.4 mi. (0.7 km) Northwest of Bridgetown
Folkstone Marine Park & Visitor Center -- Holetown
Jewish Museum (246) 436-6869 Downtown Bridgetown
Mallalieu Motor Collection (246) 426-4640 Christ Church Parish
Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum (246) 426-2421 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) East of Holetown
Springvale Eco-Heritage Museum (246) 438-7011 St. Thomas Parish
St. Nicholas Abbey (246) 422-8725 4.1 mi. (6.6 km) East-Northeast of Speightstown
Sunbury Plantation House & Museum (246) 423-6270 6.5 mi. (10.5 km) South-Southeast of Bathsheba
Tyrol Cot Heritage Village (246) 424-2074 2.0 mi. (3.3 km) North-Northeast of Bridgetown
Historical Sites
Name Phone Location
Bush Hill House (246) 228-5461 Bridgetown
Charles Fort -- 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown
Cotton Tower Signal -- 1.3 mi. (2.2 km) South West of Bathsheba
Fisherpond Great House (246) 433-1754 3.7 mi. (5.9 km) South West of Bathsheba
Garrison Savannah -- St. Matthias
George Washington House (246) 228-5461 St. Matthias
Gravesend Military Cemetery -- 1.5 mi. (2.5 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown
Grenade Hall Forest Signal Station -- 3.7 mi. (5.9 km) East of Speightstown
Gun Hill Signal Station -- 5.2 mi. (8.4 km) South-Southwest of Bathsheba
Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill (246) 426-2421 4.8 mi. (7.8 km) East of Speightstown
St. Ann's Garrison (246) 426-8982 St. Matthias
St. James Church -- Holetown
St. John's Church (246) 433-5599 2.5 mi. (4.1 km) Southeast of Bathsheba
St. Michael's Cathedral -- Downtown Bridgetown
St. Peter's Church -- Speightstown
St. Philip's Church -- Church Village
Wildey House (246) 426-2421 2.3 mi. (3.6 km) North-Northwest of St. Lawrence Gap

Lighthouses

There are four lighthouses in Barbados, each situated at a different point on the island's coast.  These lighthouses served as guides for those in the shipping industry for many years, and today stand as landmarks that many visitors tour on a daily basis.  

Learn more about the locations of these lighthouses, and some monuments that are imporatant to the people of Barbados by reviewing the charts which follow:

Lighthouses
Name Location
Harrison Point Lighthouse 3.9 mi. (6.3 km) North of Speightstown
Needhams Point Lighthouse 1.5 mi. (2.5 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown
Ragged Point Lighthouse 7.0 mi. (11.3 km) East-Southeast of Bathsheba
South Point Lighthouse Atlantic Shores
Monuments
Name Location
3Ws Monument Wanstead
Dolphin Fountain In Heroes Square Downtown Bridgetown
Emancipation Statue 2.8 mi. (4.4 km) East of Bridgetown
Errol Barrow Statue Downtown Bridgetown
Holetown Monument Holetown
Independence Arch Downtown Bridgetown
Lord Nelson's Bronze Statue Downtown Bridgetown
Montefiore Fountain Downtown Bridgetown
Statue Of Sir Garfield Sobers 0.5 mi. (0.9 km) North-Northwest of Bridgetown
Statue Of Sir Grantley Adams 1.2 mi. (1.9 km) Southeast of Bridgetown
Breweries and Distilleries
Name Type Phone Location
Banks Brewery Visitor Centre Brewery (246) 227-6782 2.2 mi. (3.6 km) East of Bridgetown
Mount Gay Rum Distilleries and Visitor Center Distillery (246) 425-8757 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) North-Northwest of Bridgetown

The landmarks of Barbados are quite diverse.  Whether you're interested in military or military history, architecture, religious sites, or agricultural production, you can find something to keep your interest.

 

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