Barbados has a wealth of history at the various Barbados Museums throughout the island.
Barbados was first inhabited by Amerindians, the indigenous people of the Americas. It was then seized by The Portuguese in the 1400’s, and after this it was claimed by the British in the 1600’s.
This is when much of the infrastructure – the parishes, churches and schools that you see today were put in place; however, the brutal slave trade was used to obtain farm workers.
Large numbers of African slaves were shipped into Barbados to farm the land. In 1834 slavery was abolished and an apprentice scheme was put in place.
In 1838 freedom from slavery was celebrated and the apprentice period was over. In 1966 Barbados was granted independence from Britain and Errol Barrow became the first Prime Minister.
During the British rule plantation owners lived in majestic plantation houses surrounded by acres of sugar cane farm land. Many of these houses have been preserved and are now open for viewings; for instance:
This elegant plantation house in St Thomas has been turned into a tea room. You can enjoy a full English tea with delicious sandwiches and cakes overlooking the garden.
The Barbados Museum
This museum contains information about the coral structure of Barbados, artifacts from the Amerindians, furnishings of a plantation house and more. It is located in the former British Militarily Prison at The Garrison.
Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery
Discover Barbados National Heroes and the history of the 3rd oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth. This is located in the West Wing of the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown.
There are so many wonderful historical buildings and museums you can explore in Barbados. We wholly recommend that you visit some of them and take a journey back in time.
Sunbury Plantation House
This 300 year old house is home to exquisite mahogany antiques and stunning horse drawn carriages. You can either take a tour by day or enjoy a special candlelight plantation dinner by night. It is located in St Phillip.
George Washington House
George Washington House is located opposite The Garrison, and is the house that George Washington lived in from Dec 2nd 1751 ’till Dec 22nd 1751.
Fisherpond House is a beautifully restored 350 year old plantation house in St Thomas, which hosts an incredible buffet every Sunday with live piano music.
Hutson Sugar Museum
This museum shows you how sugar cane was produced in the 18th and 19th century. This museum is in the grounds of The Portvale Sugar Factory and if you visit between February and June, at the time of the sugar cane harvest, you will be able to see the factory at work.
St Nicholas Abbey
This mansion was built in 1658, and it is now famous for its rum. You can learn about the history of the building, and about how you make rum when you visit. St Nicholas Abbey can be found in St Peter on Cherry Tree Hill.