Arlington House museum ... a new museum in Speightstown Barbados
The Arlington House Museum in Speightstown, Barbados has been open to the public for a little over a year and has turned out to be quite an attraction for locals and visitors to the island alike.
It's an extremely rare survivor of a unique type of building which evolved from England.
Because of the connection that Barbados had with the USA similar buildings could at one time be found in Charleston South Carolina, USA.
Examples of such houses are shown in a 1695 engraving of Bridgetown.
The Arlington House has recently been completely renovated and transformed into an interactive three story museum that opened to the public just this year.
Using unique displays with sound effects, video and electronics, the new museum lays out the history of Barbados from three points of view.
The ground floor was the working area of the house as it was used by ships chandlers to carry on there business.
Today the Arlington House Museum calls the ground floor "Speightstown Memories," after the second largest town and provides a backward look into the lives of its early citizens.
The second floor was made up of the main living quarters for the family such as a sitting room and formal dining room.
The house also had a second floor covered balcony around three sides of the house. A stone staircase led up to the balcony and to the entrance of the house.
This entrance allowed the store on the ground floor and the family living quarters to remain separate.
There used to be a beautiful frangipani tree next to this staircase it was said to have been the largest and oldest in Barbados. During construction work for the museum the tree had to be removed.
Today the second floor of the museum is called "Plantation Memories," and tells the story of colonization and the sugar cane industry on the island.
The Arlington House Museum also tells of the role Barbados had in the slave trade as Barbados was the first destination that was reached on the journey from Africa.
The third floor of the house were the sleeping quarters and is where the bedrooms were located.
Today the third floor of Arlington House museum is called "Wharf Memories".