There’s a lot to do in Barbados. The island has some of the best beaches in the world, amazing weather and great local traditions such as afternoon tea and playing cricket. Did you know, the country also has a varied history, most of which can be explored during your holiday in Barbados. We’ve put together a list of historic buildings in Barbados so you can pre-plan your holiday before you go.
If you’re heading to Bridgetown and wondering what to do while you’re there, then visit one of the most famous buildings in Barbados, the Parliament buildings. The Parliament in Barbados is the third oldest in the Commonwealth and was established in 1639. You can enter the Museum of Parliament in the refurbished West Wing of the building where you can also find the Barbados National Heroes Gallery.
Arlington house museum
Arlington House is a historic building in Barbados offers a look into Barbados’ heritage through its restored, three-story eighteenth-century building. A visit here is educational and engaging, meaning it’d be great for the whole family. Wander through ‘Speightstown Memories’, which highlights the lives of the island’s first settlers. Then learn about ‘Plantation Memories’, which illustrates the influence of colonisation, the plantation system and sugar cane on the island. Finally, find out about ‘Wharf Memories’, which depicts the importance of Speightstown as a port and trading hub.
St Nicholas Abbey
Take a tour and admire this magnificent, well-preserved mansion. It was built in 1658 and it’s one of just three Jacobean mansions in the Western hemisphere. Inside, you can admire the historical furnishings and learn about the history of this beautiful house. Make sure you say hello to the cockatoos Baby and Lance while you’re there! This should definitely be on your list of things to do in Barbados.
This may not be a historical building as such, but it’s definitely a major point of interest in Barbados. Harrison’s Cave’s first recorded history of discovery dates back to 1796, but it remained untouched until 1970 when Ole Sorenson of Denmark and Anthony Mason of Barbados re-discovered it. Even today Harrison’s Cave has not been fully explored. It runs for at least 1.4 miles and is an acting cave with running water.
George Washington House
Before George Washington became the first ever President of the United States, he spent two months in Barbados in 1751. Barbados was the only country he ever visited outside colonial America in his life. His house is now controlled by the Barbados National Trust and is open to the public to take a tour around this piece of history.
The Barbados Museum gives great insight into the history of the country and displays furnishing of an eighteenth-century plantation house, rare historical maps of the island and much more! The museum lives in the British Military Prison inside the Garrison. The upper section was built in 1817 and the lower section in 1853, but it wasn’t until 1930 that it became the headquarters of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society.
Morgan Lewis Windmill
Morgan Lewis Windmill is the last intact sugar mill in the whole of Barbados. It’s located in the northern parish of St. Andrew: take a wander around the grounds and not only will you be able to see the windmill in action, you’ll also have great sea views! You can explore inside the mill on either a guided or self-guided tour.
Newton Slave Burial Ground
Newton gives a real insight into the harrowing history of Barbados and the sugar industry between the 1630 and 1838. It’s the largest and earliest slave burial ground discovered in Barbados, and the remains of several hundred enslaved men, women and children who suffered through the brutal plantation slavery lies here.
Also known as the Nidhe Israel Museum, the Jewish Museum is located next to the synagogue in Bridgetown. It traces Jewish history in Barbados and dates back to the arrival of the earliest Jews in 1628 and highlights their contribution to society in Barbados. This is definitely one of the buildings in Barbados that’s worth checking out as it was originally constructed around 1700!
It’s worth visiting this Barbados building purely to witness the view from it. Codrington College sits high on a hill in St. John overlooking the Atlantic and has some of the most spectacular views of the East Coast of Barbados. It’s the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere and was built in 1743; many Caribbean priests have trained here and to this day play an active part in educational and theological teachings.