Landmarks in Barbados

Forget club hopping; go landmark hopping in Barbados.

Photo credit: © Gary Wood
 

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 Station 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.

Museums

Sunbury Plantation House & Museum

In case you like to become more aware of other places and cultures, you might enjoy visiting a museum during your vacation. To get full details about each museum, just click on the name.

A common landmark for vacationers is Sunbury Plantation House & Museum. It is located in St. Philip Parish, Barbados. With a restaurant, guided tours and gorgeous grounds and interior, this giant plantation house is worth visiting if the history of Barbados interests you. Exhibits include Victorian women's under garments, portraits of historic figures, and a playpen filled with dolls that are nearly two centuries old.

Another common landmark for vacationers is Cricket Legends Museum. It is Bridgetown, in southwestern Barbados. The museum space at Cricket Legends Museum is filled with memorabilia that dates back to the early 1990s. Autographed bats, uniforms worn in championship games, and, the museum's prized possession, the ball bowled by Wes Hall in the first hat-trick by a West Indian, are all on display here.

St. Nicholas Abbey: St. Nicholas Abbey takes you back over three centuries to a time when Barbados was just beginning its long relationship with sugar cultivation. Start your adventure with the abbey's 18 minute film that showcases life on the island during the 1800's and 1900's.

The chart directly below lists more information about some museums to consider on the island.

Museums On Barbados
Name Phone Location
Arlington House Interactive Museum (246) 422-4064 0.2 mi. South West of Central Speightstown
Barbados Concorde Experience (246) 420-7738 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central St. Patricks
Barbados Museum and Historical Society (246) 427-0201 1.4 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Barbados National Heroes Gallery (246) 310-5400 Downtown Bridgetown
Barbados Olympic Museum (246) 429-1998 3.0 mi. East of Central Bridgetown
Cricket Legends Museum (246) 227-2651 0.7 mi. Northwest of Downtown Bridgetown
Folkstone Museum (246) 422-2871 0.5 mi. North of Central Holetown
Heritage Park and Rum Factory (246) 420-9954 2.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Ocean City
Jewish Museum (246) 436-6869 Downtown Bridgetown
Mallalieu Motor Collection (246) 426-4640 Christ Church Parish
Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum (246) 432-0100 1.5 mi. East of Central Holetown
Springvale Eco-Heritage Museum (246) 438-7011 St. Thomas Parish
St. Nicholas Abbey (246) 422-8725 1.5 mi. Northeast of Central French Village
Sunbury Plantation House & Museum (246) 423-6270 1.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Church Village
Tyrol Cot Heritage Village (246) 424-2074 2.0 mi. North-Northeast of Central Bridgetown

Historical Sites

George Washington House

If you like to experience the historical roots of a foreign place, you might want to visit a few of these historical attractions during your time in Barbados.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Cotton Tower Signal. It is located in St. Joseph Parish, in central Barbados. While there are several other signal stations on the island that you can enter for a panoramic view of Barbados, Cotton Tower is not one of them. Instead, a walk around the grounds might give you pause to think about what life would have been like for a soldier in charge of standing watch on the grounds over a century ago.

Another popular destination is George Washington House. It is St. Matthias, in southern Barbados. In 1751, many years before becoming the first president of the United States of America, George Washington spent two months on the island of Barbados. The George Washington House is where Washington stayed during that time.

St. James Church: The main attractions of this church are the stained glass windows, and a church bell with the inscription "God bless King Wiliam, 1969," which pre-dates the Liberty Bell by 54 years.

Glance through the table below to find out more about historic sites on Barbados.

Historic Sites On Barbados
Name Phone Location
Bush Hill House (246) 228-5461 Bridgetown
Charles Fort -- 1.3 mi. South of Downtown Bridgetown
Cotton Tower Signal -- St. Joseph Parish, Central Barbados
Fisherpond Great House (246) 433-1754 St. George, Central Barbados
Garrison Savannah -- 1.4 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
George Washington House (246) 228-5461 1.3 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Gravesend Military Cemetery -- 1.3 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Grenade Hall Forest Signal Station -- 1.7 mi. North-Northwest of Central Bawdens
Gun Hill Signal Station -- 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central Applewhaites
Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill (246) 426-2421 1.8 mi. North of Central Bawdens
St. Ann's Garrison (246) 426-8982 1.4 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
St. James Church -- 0.4 mi. North of Central Holetown
St. John's Church (246) 433-5599 2.5 mi. Southeast of Central Bathsheba
St. Michael's Cathedral -- Downtown Bridgetown
St. Peter's Church -- 0.1 mi. West-Northwest of Central Speightstown
St. Philip's Church -- 0.2 mi. South of Central Church Village
Wildey House (246) 426-2421 2.6 mi. East of Central Bridgetown

Miscellaneous Landmarks

South Point Lighthouse

Guests will discover some other interesting local attractions on the island.

If the nitty gritty aspects of maritime life intrigue you, consider visiting South Point Lighthouse. The tower leading to the top of the South Point Lighthouse is closed to the public, but guests are welcome to tour the surrounding grounds, a well kept park that is popular for picnicking.

Additionally, if the functional aspects of maritime life intrigue you, you should consider visiting Harrison Point Lighthouse. Unfortunately, Harrison Point Lighthouse is not open to the public at this time, but the tower, reminiscent of a New England-style lighthouse, can be seen from miles away.

Needhams Point Lighthouse: Needlehams Point Lighthouse stands out as a stationary lighthouse, meaning that its light did not swoop around the coast as many other lighthouses have the tendency to do. Today, visitors are welcome to explore the grounds that the lighthouse stands on, but they are not permitted to enter the tower.

The table right below summarizes some details regarding other kinds of attractions of interest to visitors.

Miscellaneous Landmarks On Barbados
Name Type Location
3Ws Monument Monument 2.7 mi. North of Central Bridgetown
Banks Brewery Visitor Centre Brewery 2.0 mi. East of Downtown Bridgetown
Dolphin Fountain In Heroes Square Monument Downtown Bridgetown
Emancipation Statue Monument 2.8 mi. East of Central Bridgetown
Errol Barrow Statue Monument Downtown Bridgetown
Harrison Point Lighthouse Lighthouse 0.9 mi. South West of Central Archers
Hastings Boardwalk Scenic Trail 2.4 mi. Southeast of Central Bridgetown
Holetown Monument Monument 0.0 mi. North of Central Holetown
Independence Arch Monument Downtown Bridgetown
Lord Nelson's Bronze Statue Monument Downtown Bridgetown
Montefiore Fountain Monument Downtown Bridgetown
Mount Gay Rum Distilleries and Visitor Center Distillery 1.2 mi. North-Northwest of Downtown Bridgetown
Needhams Point Lighthouse Lighthouse 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown
Ragged Point Lighthouse Lighthouse 1.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Apple Hall
South Point Lighthouse Lighthouse 0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Atlantic Shores
Statue Of Sir Garfield Sobers Monument 0.7 mi. Northwest of Downtown Bridgetown
Statue Of Sir Grantley Adams Monument 0.9 mi. Southeast of Downtown Bridgetown

Bear in mind that you'll be able to find some other attraction types available too. To visit our detailed guide to other attractions, read this page.

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 Church, St. John's Church, St. Peter's Church, and St. Philip's Church.

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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