The Parish of St. Michael – Key Points of Interest
Aerial View of St. Michael
The Parish of St. Michael contains many historical locations and points of interest that appeal to both locals and tourists. This of no surprise, given that the capital city of Barbados, Bridgetown, is located in this parish. In this article, we present information on Bridgetown, as well as other the key points of interest within St. Michael.
- 1. Barbados Museum and Historical Society
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BHMS) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mandate is “to collect, document and conserve evidence of Barbados’ cultural, historical and environmental heritage; and to interpret and present this evidence for all sectors of society”. The organization has over 1000 members and is operated by a fourteen-member council and a director.
It features several galleries – The African Gallery, Social History Gallery, Military Gallery, Aall Gallery, Decorative Arts Gallery Cunard Gallery, Harewood Gallery and a Children’s Gallery – each containing various artefacts of Barbados’ history. They detail the historical development of armed forces from the 17th century right up to the culmination of World War II, contain various artefacts that educate about the ecology of the coral reef, mangrove swamps and sea grasses, and exposes patrons to the mode of life of the earliest of the island’s inhabitants.
The Museum, located in the Historic Garrison Area has and continues to play a key role in the protection and preservation of Barbados’ cultural heritage.
- Barbados Seventh Day Adventist School
Located on Dalkeith Road in St. Michael, the Barbados Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School was founded in 1953 by the Leeward Islands Mission (now known as the East Caribbean Conference). It is a Christian school that provides a full curriculum of 21 subjects offered at the CXC level.
The school was originally based on Culloden Road, but in January 1961, it was relocated to its present site. Although it was founded to provide secondary Christian Education for young people of the Seventh Day Adventist faith, students of other faiths are accepted as well.
- Barbados Yacht Club
The Barbados Yacht Club officially opened on December 26th, 1924 and was the first organization formed in Barbados to promote sailing. The club offers sailing and other recreational activities, in addition to dining facilities to its members and visiting yachtsmen (who also receive 7 days complimentary membership from the club).
The yacht club is viewed today as a meeting place and a social club for its members. However it was previously the private residence of the Chief Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers stationed at the Garrison. In recent times, it has been used to host many private events ranging from BBQs to black tie events. Facilities on site include a restaurant and bar, tennis courts, library and a boatshed.
The club is also the venue for training courses offered for adults and children by LRN2Sail in association with the Barbados Sailing Association and Barbados Optimist Dinghy Association. Additionally, the Barbados Yacht club hosts several annual yachting events including the Mount Gay Rum Barbados Regatta.
Bridgetown is the capital city of Barbados and a World UNESCO Heritage site. This city contains several buildings and monuments of national and historical interest:
- Heroes Square – formerly known as Trafalgar square. Heroes Square is located in the heart of Bridgetown and is the home of the Lord Nelson Statue, a bronze statue erected in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson. Admiral Lord Nelson was considered a hero in the early days of Barbadian history for his battles against the French. Heroes Square is also the venue for Barbados’ annual Remembrance Day service.
- Dolphin Fountain – After piped water was introduced into Bridgetown in 1861, this tri-dolphin fountain was erected four years later as a commemoration of this historic event. The fountain, which was imported free of charge into Barbados, portrays dolphins spewing water into a base. Today however, the fountain is not often active.
- Ice House – located on Broad Street, Ice House was purchased in 1924 by Joseph Goddard of Goddard Enterprises and was significant aspect in expanding the enterprise. It became the first refrigerated cold storage meat store in Bridgetown before it was later converted to a supermarket. Before it was purchased by Goddard it was a multipurpose building containing a club and restaurant, public library and reading room and also served as a general liming spot.
- Parliament Buildings – The Parliament Buildings are located at the top of Broad Street and were once known as the public buildings and are. Erected in 1874 using Gothic-style architecture and from local limestone, these buildings are the location of the House of Assembly and Senate. The Parliament Buildings are divided into the west and east wings, with the historic clock located on the west wing.
- The Cenotaph – The Barbados Cenotaph is a tall, narrow, four sided monument erected in 1925 in order to commemorate those persons who died during World War I. After World War II ended, the names of those Barbadians who died during this war were also inscribed on the monument. The Cenotaph is located in Heroes Square and at each Remembrance Day service, persons (including government officials and family members) gather to remember the sacrifice of those who served in the war by laying wreaths at the Cenotaph’s base.
- The Chamberlain Bridge – named after Joseph Chamberlain, this bridge was constructed in 1872 to provide a path across the careenage. This bridge allowed merchants, labourers and workers to conduct their business and made a living. It is a type of Draw Bridge (or Swing Bridge) and was originally called Indian River Bridge, due to Bridgetown’s previous name Indian Bridge. The Chamberlain Bridge underwent a series of replacements between 1628 and 1898 after several structural issues and damage by fires and hurricanes.
- The Independence Arch – this was erected in 1987 to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Barbados’ independence. The arch is located on the southern end of the Chamberlain Bridge and displays all the national emblems of Barbados: the Barbados coat of arms (at the centre of the arch), and the dolphin, the pelican, the national flower and the broken trident (on its two pillars).
- The Jewish Synagogue – this synagogue is the first constructed of its kind in the western hemisphere and many members of the local Jewish Community gather here for meetings and services. After a restoration project in the early 1980s, the synagogue was transformed into a piece of architectural beauty having its own cemetery (where only Jews are buried). It is recognised as heritage site due to its location in Bridgetown.
- The Spirit Bond – this structure dates back to the 18th century when it was used as a warehouse for different rums and spirits. It is expertly located next to the careenage, which also happened to be the spot where trading vessels would conduct their business in Barbados. The building has since been refurbished and although it houses many small shops, it has still preserved much of its original architecture.
- The Screw Dock – built using Victorian style engineering between 1887 and 1893, this dock is also known by several other names: the Dry Dock, the Blackwood Dock or Blackman’s Screw Lifting Dock. The dock had a lifting capacity of 1200 tons and was able to handle vessels drawing no more than 14 ft. of water. The Screw Dock originally operated on steam, before it was converted to electricity. Vessels entering the Bridgetown careenage would be cleaned on the dock and it was also used by the British Navy for boat repairs during World War II. It is the only dry dock of its kind known to exist in the entire world, but it was finally closed in 1985. Since then, it has been restored and is now a great spot of historical interest and is also home to Blackwoods Tavern, a nice hangout spot for locals and visitors.
- The Wickham-Lewis Boardwalk – named after a radical journalist and newspaper editor (Clennel Wickham) and a politician (T. T Lewis), this boardwalk begins at The Chamberlain Bridge and stretches down to Carlisle house, all along the careenage. Located along the boardwalk are vintage style street lamps, side rails and several benches where you can sit and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Constitution River and lovely evening sunsets.
- Calvary Moravian Church
Previously known as the Roebuck Moravian Church, the Calvary Moravian Church was established in 1834, the 3rd Moravian church to be created on the island. It was dedicated on May 3rd 1835 and since it was the only chapel in the area, it also served as a school for many in the surrounding neighbourhood, before it developed into the Roebuck Boys School and eventually fell into ruin in 1982.
The current chapel that stands at Roebuck Street in the city serves as the place of worship for many Moravians and was the third structure of the Calvary Moravian Church built in Barbados.
- Cockspur Beach Club at Brighton
Cockspur Beach Club, formerly known as Malibu Beach Club, is a fantastic lime spot for many. It offers the use of beach chairs, umbrellas and changing facilities with lockers and showers and has a fully stocked bar hat specializes in, cocktails made with Cockspur Rum. The club also has a beachside grill that serves hamburgers and sandwiches. The Cockspur Beach Club souvenir shop on site gives patrons the opportunity to purchase mementos of their trip and there are also free rum tastings on the site. Cockspur Beach Club is truly the perfect place to relax with a cocktail and enjoy a variety of water sporting activities (snorkelling equipment can be rented for the day). Due to its convenient location on Brighton Beach, it is also a very popular location for cruise ship passengers.
- Cotton Factory
The Barbados Co-operative Cotton Factory Limited (BCCF) was formed in 1906 and was located in White Park Road (the site of the Supreme Court). Taking over the initial work of the Barbados Cotton Committee, the BCCF erected a large cotton ginnery and a factory for the manufacture of cotton-seed oil and other by products of cotton. Cotton was the most cultivated of crops in Barbados in 1650, but eventually declined and came to a standstill in the early 20th century, as a result of the rise of the industry in the United States. However, production soon began again as cotton was used as a rotation crop on sugar plantations and a cash crop for small farmers.
- Garrison Historic Area
The Garrison Historic Area, recently designated a World Heritage site in June 2011, is a very significant historical area in Barbados. It contains several well-preserved sites of historical and architectural interest to Barbados.
- Drill Hall – erected in 1790 and was originally used as the barracks for soldiers. However, since then it has had a variety of uses; first in 1822, it was used an an Armory and in 1881 as the headquarters for the Garrison. In 1905, it was purchased by the Barbadian government and used as a gymnasium and drill hall for the volunteer force and since the 1970s it has been used as the Officers’ and Sergeant’s messes of the Defence Force.
- George Washington House – this house was visited by the late George Washington, former President of the United States in 1751. It was the only place he ever visited outside of the USA.
The Barbados Museum and Historic Society – established in 1933 and was previously used as the British Military Prison.
- The Garrison Savanah – the home of horse racing in the island since 1845 but has since been a major attraction for various activities such as kite flying and parades.
- The Main Guard – built around 1804 and is one of the most architecturally outstanding buildings in the Garrison Historic Area with its Georgian architecture style. It consists of the main house, a clock tower, a gallery and a guard house. In the 1800s the Main Guard was the area where judgements and punishments were handed down, up until 1905 when the British forces withdrew from the island.
- The Pavilion – this Georgian style building was built in 1806 and was formerly the residence of the Medical Officer to the General Hospital for the Garrison. However, it was sold in 1928 and converted into apartments but was destroyed by fire in 1979. These residential apartments were eventually rebuilt.
- St. Ann’s Fort – housed the finest collection of authentic 17th century English cannons, many of which can still be viewed on tours to the Fort. It also housed the commonwealth cannon of 1652, one of only two known to still exist, and also has a collection of English military memorabilia, maps, and much more.
- Government House
The Government House of Barbados was built in 1702 and now serves as the official residence of the Governor General of Barbados. Government House is the location for several government functions and other official engagements as well. Recently, it welcomed Prince Edward and Countess Sophie to Barbados for the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the II.
The landscape of the site of Government House is quite stunning, with beautifully landscaped gardens adorned with tropical flowers, mahogany trees and royal palms. Within the garden there is also a cannon ball tree, one of only three in Barbados. At times, the gardens are open to the public for viewing and exploration.
- Harrison College
Harrison college is one the of the oldest, most prestigious schools in Barbados. Founded in 1733, the school is named after Thomas Harrison, a Bridgetown merchant, whose vision was for the school to serve as a public and free school for the poor and indigent boys of the parish. As such, the school was an all-boys institution, right up until the 1980s, when it became co-educational with the introduction of girls.
Harrison College considered to be the top school in Barbados, receiving the top performers in the Barbados Secondary School Common Entrance Examination and offers a broad range of subjects both at the junior and senior levels. Thus, it has a high academic reputation.
The school not only has a great reputation for academic excellence but sporting excellence as well. Harrison College has a proud athletic tradition and has produced a number of athletes who have represented the country regionally and internationally, right up to the Olympic levels. Obadele Thompson, who won Barbados’ first individual medal at the 2000 Olympic games, is a former Harrisonian. The school also has a strong music tradition; popular musicians such as Nicholas Brancker and Cover Drive member Amanda Reifer are former Harrisonians. The motto of the school is In Deo Fides which is Latin for “In God We Trust”.
- Hindu Temple
Located at Welches, St. Michael, this temple is a place of worship for the Hindu community in Barbados. It is used by different Hindu groups: those who adhere to Sanathan Sharma (Hindu in its original form), those who follow prophet Guru Nanack and those who follow prophet Sai Baba. Of these Hindus, the more prominent group is Sanathan Dharma, with over half of the Hindu population in Barbados adhering to this form of Hinduism.
Within this temple, several rituals dedicated to the various Hindu gods are performed. Worship occurs at the temple every week and sometime more than once a week when necessary.
- Illaro Court
Conceptualized by Lady Gilbert Carter, wife of the former governor general of Barbados, Illaro Court was constructed in the 1920s and named after the state of Illaro in Nigeria where Lady Carter’s husband was based prior to Barbados. It is a piece of architectural beauty with white washed walls and strong architectural lines and stunning grounds.
Illaro Court was eventually purchased in 1976 by the government of Barbados after a period where it remained largely unused. The government intended to turn Illaro Court into an arts centre but decided it was well suited to be the official residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados. It was officially opened on Independence day 1980 and has been host to a number of fund raising activities and children’s parties. One of the most popular events held annually a Illaro Court is Carols by Candlelight.
- James Street Methodist Church
The Methodists came to the island of Barbados in the eighteenth century with the intention of “Christianizing enslaved Africans” Their effort were not taken too kindly by the locals and the original church on James Street was burnt down by vandals, who opposed the Methodists’ actions.
Located in the capital city of Bridgetown, the new structure was built in 1848, using Georgian architectural style. It has a Palladian port of three arches, and a pedimented fontal rose window. One of the most interesting features of the church is that Barbados’ only national heroin (Sarah Ann Gill) is buried in the church’s yard. This was due to her ties to the Methodist church, as she was pioneer in keeping Methodism alive in Barbados, despite the danger to her life and property.
- Kensington Oval
Kensington Oval was originally a pasture on a plantation. However, since these days, it has grown into one of the best and most impressive cricket venues in the Caribbean, being called the “Mecca of the Caribbean”. It has been the home for the Pickwick Cricket Club since 1882 and had an official capacity of just over 12 000 persons. However, at the end of the 2004-2005 season the ground was closed and demolished in order to build a new $135 million dollar stadium in time for the 2007 Cricket World Cup which the West Indies were hosting (the Oval was due to host the final). The capacity of the grounds now stands at 28 000.
Kensington Oval is a ground seeped in cricketing history. It hosted the first England touring side in 1895, the first combined West Indies side in 1910-1911 and was the venue of West Indies’ very first test in 1930.
Of late, Kensington Oval is not only a cricketing venue that hosts many local, regional and international matches, but is also used as the venue for popular concerts. In fact, Rihanna’s very first concert as an international artist was held at this location.
- Law Court
The new Supreme Court of Barbados was opened on Whitepark Road St. Michael on June 10th, 2009. The court is the highest judicial body in Barbados made up of the High Court and the Court of Appeals.
- The Lazaretto
Located in Black Rock St. Michael, the Lazaretto has a very interesting origin story. The name is derived from Lazar, meaning a person who has a repulsive disease much like Lazarus from the Bible. Therefore, it is no surprise that it was formerly the home of sanatorium for victims of leprosy.
Built during the 1850s, the sanatorium was eventually able to house over 600 patients. It also had its own cemetery, located close to the nearby Batts Rock Beach. Today, it is home to a number of organizations and a trip there is well worth the visit as the area features well-manicured gardens what have a wide array of tropical trees and flowers. There’s also a waterfall that captures the attention of many visitors to the property.
- Montefiore Fountain
Montefiore fountain/monument is located at Coleridge Street in Bridgetown in the Montefiore gardens and although called a fountain, there is no water there. However, it was previously a drinking fountain in 1865 when it was donated to the city by Jewish John Montefiore as a memorial to his father (John Castello Montefiore) who had died from cholera in 1854. John Castello Montefiore was a respected merchant in the city who owned a wholesale and retail store in Swan Street.
The fountain is described as “a little gem of architectural beauty” with “nothing in Barbados to compare it with”. It was originally located at Beckwith Place before it was moved to its current location at Coleridge street in 1940. Built in the neo Gothic decorative style and made from cast iron, the monument has several marble statutes each representing 4 key principles and ideals: Justice, Fortitude, Temperance and Prudence.
- Mutual building
The Barbados Mutual Building, previously known as the Barbados Insurance Society Building, was built between 1895, designed by Jethro Anstice Cossins and Frank Barry Peacock. This Victorian structure is characterized by its ornate cast iron and twin silver domes and has a unique veranda that almost fully encircles the second floor. It was named after the Barbados Mutual Life Society (The Mutual) which was established after emancipation in 1849 and was the oldest surviving indigenous insurance company in the Caribbean before it was demutualized.
Located at the lower end of Broad Street, the Mutual Building previously housed the Mutual Bank of the Caribbean and has changed hands several times over the years. Most recently it was the home of the First Citizens Bank.
- National Stadium
The National Stadium in Barbados was opened in 1970 at Waterford, St Michael as a multi-purpose sports facility. It is the home of track and field, cycling (with its 500meter cycling track) and football in the island, hosting many local and regional sporting events for persons of all ages.
There is also a shooting range and netball stadium adjacent to the National Stadium. It was originally slated to be built at Weymouth but due to a poor foundation, Waterford was chosen instead. The stadium has 5 stands, each named after key persons in the sporting arena in Barbados: Stand A: Clarence Jemmott, Stand B: O’Donnell `Don’ Norville, Stand C: James `Jim’ Wedderburn and Stand D: Patsy Callender. The 5th stand is a VIP stand named in the honour of a pioneer in organized sports, Mr. Louis Lynch. The stadium is not only known for its sporting events but has also hosted several cultural events, specifically those related to the annual Crop Over Festival such as Junior and Grand Kadooment.
However, after Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley in 2015 noted that the five stands around the track were damaged beyond repair, these stands were closed to the public and spectators now use the cycling track as their vantage point to view events. It was later announced that there are plans to build a new National Stadium, estimated to cost around $50 million.
- Pelican Village and Craft Centre
Pelican Village and Craft Centre was opened in 1999. It is named after from Pelican Island, a small island that was located off Barbados. It is comprised of shops (most with wheelchair access) operating out of brightly painted chattel houses and is located on the outskirts of Bridgetown. Due to its convenient location near the Bridgetown Harbour, Pelican Village serves as the first stop for many cruise ship visitors. Shops in the village sell a wide range of local handicrafts and there is a bar and restaurant on site for those needing a bite to eat.
The shops located at Pelican Village have some of the best and most unique arts and crafts in Barbados. Many of the items on sale include paintings, mahogany carvings, souvenirs, cigars, pottery, clothing and more. If you are lucky you will be able to see some of the artisans at work.
- Public Library
The Barbados Public Library was first established in 1840s and was first located on the west wing of the Parliament Buildings before eventually relocating to what is now known as the old public library building at Coleridge Street in 1906. This structure was erected of coral stone, utilizing English renaissance architectural style. However, due to structural and health issues, the library was closed for two years, before reopening in December 2008 at its new location at the Old Modern Living Building in Speedbird House in Independence Square.
The library has an impressive reference section and heritage collection, stored in print and non-print formats. While the new building is less spacious than the previous building, the reading room is bigger and the new library is also equipped with 15 new computers. Additionally, there is expected to be a new digital registration system and full online access in the future.
- Queens College (Original Ministry of Education)
Queens College opened as an all-female grade school in 1883 at Constitution Road, St. Michael (current site of the Ministry of Education) with 33 students aged 3 to 19 years under headmistress Miss Helen Veich-Brown, an Englishwoman. Queens College was firmly established as an institution of academic excellence when Elsie Pilgrim, one of its students, became the first female to win a Barbados Government Scholarship. She then became the first Barbadian Headmistress of the school (in 1970) and introduced co-education in 1980, granting 38 first form boys entry into the school.
In 1990, the Queens College relocated to its present location of Husbands’ St. James. To date, 22 subject areas are taught under 11 departments of the school. Enrolment is approximately 1000 students and studies are drawn from a wide cross section of the community. Queens College students receive several Barbados Government Scholarships yearly and its students attend various universities across the world on completion of their studies. The school motto is Fiat Lux (Let there be light).
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is Barbados’ primary acute care medical facility. It is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus that assists in the training of those persons who desire to become doctors.
The QEH was opened in 1964 with a view of addressing the medical, surgical, clinical and treatment needs of the Caribbean. It previously had a bed capacity of 464, which has now been expanded to 600 beds. There are also several specialised units in the hospital including the Stroke Unit, the labour ward, the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) all dedicated to treating persons with specific ailments and injuries. It provides several services as well including radiotherapy, haematology and urology to name few.
The QEH vision is to be the leader among healthcare facilities in the region and has several core values including integrity, respect, compassion, quality service, loyalty, teamwork, leadership, innovation, safety and continuous education and research.
- Queen’s Park
Located in the capital of Bridgetown is Queen’s Park, home to one of the largest trees in Barbados, the baobab tree, which is approximately 61 and a half feet (18m) in circumference. The park also has a main house, originally known as King’s house which was constructed in 1789 and was the residence (during the 18th and 19th centuries) of the commanding officer of the British troops based in Barbados.
Queen’s Park is a great area to stop off for a quick rest as you peruse the city, with numerous benches under large trees for shade. The park also hosts several activates throughout the year, one of which is the popular “Christmas Morning in the Park” where persons visit the park early on Christmas morning in their best outfits and enjoy the music emanating from the bandstand (the focal point of the park). Other features of the park include a fountain and a fully functioning house, the Barbados Solar House, that uses solar energy as its main source of energy.
- Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC)
The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre was established in 1994 as the Sherbourne Conference Centre and is the largest standalone conference facility in Barbados. It is the premier conference venue both locally and internationally and has been awarded a few accolades including ‘Caribbean’s Leading Conference Centre’ by the World Travel Awards (2003-2006 & 2009) and the ‘Achievement of Excellence – Support Services’ by the Barbados Tourism Awards 2009.
The centre can cater groups of 10 to 1200 persons in its spacious rooms and has excellent parking facilities. Additionally, it has 11 meeting rooms and therefore can host a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, conventions, award ceremonies, exhibitions and weddings.
- St. Mary’s Anglican Church
St. Mary’s Anglican Church is located on Lower Broad Street in Bridgetown and is rich in history.
It is situated next to Jubilee gardens and occupies the previous site of the very first church in the city, the St. Michael’s Cathedral, before the latter was destroyed and rebuilt at another location.
The church was constructed and dedicated in 1827 and is well maintained and is larger and more impressive than some of the other parish churches in Barbados. Its Georgian, neo-classically inspired exterior architecture is beautiful and the church is so solidly built that it has managed to withstand some serious hurricanes in Barbados, specifically the infamous great hurricane of 1831. There is a clock on the church’s tower, which was a gift from Cave Shepherd and Co. Ltd. The church
Samuel Jackman Prescod, one of Barbados’ National Heroes was buried in the church’s cemetery and the silk cotton tree at the east end of the church’s yard is known as the “Justice Tree” as it was used for public hangings in the past.
- St. Michael’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of St. Michael or All Angels, known as the St. Michael’s Cathedral `to Barbadians and previously known as the Church of St. Michael, was first built in 1628 where the St. Mary’s Church on Lower Broad Street now stands. However, the wooden structure of the church became very rotten and thus had to be rebuilt in 1641 at its present location. However, this church was not big enough to accommodate the increasing congregation. Thus, when it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1780, it was rebuilt into a much grander church.
The new church was rebuilt at the present location on St. Michael’s Row in 1784 with a maximum seating capacity of about 3000 persons and is a very architecturally impressive building. It has a barrel vaulted ceiling and an arched ceiling above the altar, once considered to be the widest ceiling in the world. It also has galleries running along the three sides of the church, stained glass windows as well as a clock and stout square tower on the outside. The pulpit and choir stalls are all carved from Barbados mahogany.
There is a bit of folklore attached as well to the Cathedral. In the early days, black persons who lived in the city could not worship in the cathedral. However, many of them would gather outside in an alley to hear the sermons and when the customary “Amen” came throughout the service they would all join in. Today the alley is known as “Amen Alley”.
- St. Paul’s Anglican Church
This church is knowing as “the chapel in the bay” as a result of its location in the middle of Bay Street. The bishop of Barbados at the time, William Hart Coleridge played a key role in the construction of this church – he purchased three plots of land across Bay Street out of his own pocket to facilitate its construction. The cornerstone of the church was laid by Governor Sir James Lyon on April 23rd 1830, one year prior to the great Barbados hurricane, a massive category 4 hurricane, which struck the island. Unfortunately, during this hurricane, the church was destroyed.
By 1833 however, the new church building construction was completed, albeit a simpler version of the original church. Thankfully since the major devastation of the original building in 1831, the church has been spared any other severe damage, with the exception of ta roof collapse in 1998. After extensive repairs, the church was rededicated on July 10th, 1999.
The church has an attached cemetery, like many churches across the island, which contains many tombs, some over a hundred years old. The Gothic Revival architectural style of the church is inclusive of pointed arched windows, steep gabled roofs and stout buttresses.
- The Statue of Bussa
Bussa was born as a free man in Africa but was bought to work as a slave in Barbados at Bayleys’ Plantation St. Philip. On the plantation, Bussa worked in a privileged position as a domestic slave and a ranger. In this position, he was not subjected to the hardships that the other slaves had to endure. Usually, slaves in positions such as his felt superior to other slaves and often would go as far as exposing possible rebellion plans in order garner favour with their masters. However, Bussa used his position in order to help the other slaves and helped plan and execute the rebellion of 1816.
Due to his role in this rebellion, a statue was erected in his honour and unveiled in 1985 to honour the 150th anniversary of emancipation and to symbolize that the chains of slavery had been broken. This statue is also known as the Emancipation Statue and was sculpted by Karl Broodhagen, one of Barbados’ most revered sculptors. The Statue of Bussa is located at the St. Barnabas Roundabout.
- The Wildey Gymnasium
Also known as the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, the Wildey Gym first opened its doors as a sporting facility in November 1992, designed to promote sports tourism in Barbados. However, since then, the Gym, as it is known has become one of the most popular locations in Barbados for special events such as graduation ceremonies, wedding receptions, concerts, religious and cultural events and sports such as basketball, badminton, boxing and volleyball (to name a few). This is of no surprise given the seating capacity of the gym is about 4000-5000.
The gymnasium is just one aspect of the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, which also has an aquatic centre, an astro turf playing field and ball courts. The Gymnasium is currently undergoing renovations, which will see improved outside lighting, installation of a photovoltaic system, and security cameras.
- Tyrol Cot
Tyrol Cot was built in 1854 and was the former home of the first Premier of Barbados, Sir Grantly Adams. His son, Tom Adams, who was also the second Prime Minister of Barbados was born here.
Tyrol Cot has now been transformed into a heritage village setting, reflecting the former colonial days in Barbados. Set on 4 acres, the property has been expertly maintained. The main house itself has been beautifully maintained and details the lives of the Adams’ – both father and son. Built using Palladian style architecture, Tyrol Cot has a long-paved driveway, hooded windows, statues and palm trees, while on the inside are mahogany furniture and bookcases.
After exploring the property, stop into the “Cockspur” Rum shop and have a taste of Bajan food such as fishcakes and sandwiches and quench your thirst with a splash of rum.
- University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies is perched on the Cave Hill, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is a centre of academic excellence both regionally and internationally and is the top tertiary institution in Barbados. Originally designed to accommodate 500 students, the campus can now accommodate 7000 to 9000 students per year from over 35 countries.
The entire campus spans approximately 98 acres. In addition to state of the art buildings with unique architectural designs, the campus has many sporting facilities including a FIFA rated football field, an IAAF rated athletic rack, excellent cricket training facilities, sports labs and gyms.
The University of the West Indies offers a variety of Masters and Bachelor programmes in a variety of disciplines, and has also developed centres of excellence including The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) and The Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit.
These are just a few of the most interesting points of interest in St. Michael. Fom this article it is clear that St. Michael is a parish of deep historical significance to the island of Barbados