Tyrol Cot Heritage Village

Here is a centre of Barbadian and West Indian events in the turbulent 1930’s.

The home itself is important architecturally and is a perfect fit worth the architectural aspect of our mandate. It was purchased by the Barbados National Trust. Built in 1854, the house is important in itself. It was built by William Farnum, one of the most prominent Barbadian builders in the last century.

The house is a superb design in cut coral stone, echoing the “harmonic proportions” of Palladio, but with modest decoration. The profusion of Roman arches and double Demarara windows on the exterior is a delightful combination of classical and tropical vernacular architecture. There are many other features of interest, including the ornate cast iron decorations at the windows.

The interior of the house is essentially as it was when Sir Grantley entered active politics in 1937, a turning point of Barbadian history. It is also replete with arches. Ceilings are high and the large, ingenious windows are designed for maximum cooling. Built with three sections of jalousies, they allow various combinations of ventilation and light. Delicate decorative transoms over the doors cooled the bedrooms. The house is built on one level, over a deep basement.

The furniture of Tyrol Cot is mainly beautifully crafted Barbadian antiques in local mahogany. They include a number of style spanning the last two centuries, all acquired by the Adams family at Tyrol Cot. There are several Victorian revolving bookcases, a very fine Regency-style double -ended couch in the drawing room, actually built about 50 years ago as a gift for Sir Grantley by a loyal supporter; a characteristic Barbadian mahogany Regency-style dining table and sideboard; classic Barbadian “liquor chests” or “cases” and several huge secretaries of bookcases.

In the Gallery we find Sir Grantley’s treasured radio. Sir Grantley and his colleagues used to listen to the BBC news on this radio, which is sadly still in need of restoration.

In the master bedroom on the right off the hall, is the cordial wood bedroom suite commissioned for Lady Adams by Sir Grantley as a wedding gift in 1927.

The next bedroom belonged to their son, J.M.G.M. “Tom” Adams, born 1931, who became a celebrated Prime Minister of Barbados from 1976 to his sudden death in 1985.

Directly ahead is Sir Grantley’s study, full of his legal books. Note the interesting memorabilia on his desk, including the well-known car license plate and the official flag of the short-lived West Indian Federation, of which Sir Grantley was the only Prime Minister.

Opening times: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m
Admission: Adults – BDS$16.00, children $10.00; shopping available
Last tour begins at 3:45 p.m.

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Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.