Barbados open house tours for 2011 and directions on how to find them

Barbados open house tours presented by the Barbados National Trust showcases all types of homes in Barbados from the grand old plantation houses rich with centuries of history to newer, luxurious Barbadian style villas.

The Barbados open house tours are every Wedneesday from 2:30 p.m .- 5:30 p.m.

January 12th to March 30th, 2011

There are usually speakers at the open house tours presenting the history of the property.

Dr. Henry Fraser, a past president of the Barbados National Trust, is the author of Historic Houses of Barbados and Treasures of Barbados.

Dr. Karl Watson, the Trust's current president, is the editor of the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, and author of the forthcoming book, History of the Sephardic Jews of Barbados.

Both men have credits too numerous to mention, and are lively lecturers.

These Lively Lectures take place at 3:15pm

The open house tours are a great way to spend a few hours finding out about the beautiful and historic homes of Barbados.

January 12th, 2011

Elsewhere Villa, St. James

The splendid book, Barbados in Bloom, features this Grand Sandy Lane home under its former name, Dar es Salaam. Built in the 1980's, its style is essentially Middle Eastern. Rushing down terraces through landscaped channels, water is a big motif in spectacular gardens. Thanks to Altman Real Estate for providing Elsewhere.

Speaker: Dr. Henry Fraser on the impact of Tourism in Barbados.

Directions to Barbados open house tour: from Highway 1 (the West Coast road), turn inland at the Sandy Crest Medical Centre onto Cemetery Road. Pass the graveyard, and keep up hill. Look for Open House signs. From Highway 2A, turn onto Bennetts Road by the Sandy Lane sign. At Molyneux Road, turn right and follow Open House signs. Please park only as directed.

January 19th, 2011

Ker Avel, Polo Ridge, Holders St. James

Once planted in canes, Polo Ridge now gives its elegant homes a stellar view of the coast. Here, the vista begins as you enter the house. With its atrium and open plan, Ker Avel blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living. Jenny Blanc did the interior to suit both adults and children. Ker Avel is opened compliments of the owners and Realtors, Ltd.

Speaker: Dr. Karl Watson on the Human Geography of the West Coast.

Directions to Barbados open house tour: From Highway 1, turn inland up Holders Hill (opposite Daphne's). About 1 km later, turn left onto Polo Ridge.

January 26th, 2011

Fisherpond Plantation House, St. Thomas This 300 year-old mansion sat empty for years until John Chandler's magic touch transformed this over into the jewel it is today. Built of rubble stone in Caribbean Georgian style, it was later extended with an enclosed gallery. It is now beautifully filled with antiques, paintings and objets d'art. With a magnificent dining table that can seat 24, it is a splendid spot for planter's lunches and private parties, for which the Chandlers are renowned hosts. Luckily, you can book one.

Speaker: Dr. Henry Fraser on Agricultural Land and "Development Kings"

Directions to Barbados open house tour: Fisherpond Plantation House is off Highway 3 in St. Thomas, shortly before you get to Andrews Sugar Factory in St. Joseph. Look for our signs.

February 3rd, 2011

Hopefield Manor, Christ Church

A fine classically designed Barbadian house built in 1831 and filled with artwork and well-preserved antiques. It is now home to Sir David Seale and Lady Seale, of R.L. Seale and Co. Ltd. They also own the nearby Foursquare Rum Distillery and Heritage park. Prepare to stroll, the gardens are expansive and beautiful, and even the stables are impressive. So are the occupants; the Hopefield horses have won at least 5 Cockspur Gold Cups!

Speaker: Dr. Henry Fraser on Rum.

Directions to Barbados open house tour: Hopefield Manor can be reached from the ABC Highway. Just before the airport, turn left at Charnocks and follow the road to the junction. Turn right and watch for Open House signs.

February 9th, 2011

Porters Great House, St. James, Barbados

Built in 1735, this truly magnificent and stately house was for many years the Barbados estate of Martogh Guinness. The magic begins as you drive through its mahogany woods to be greeted by the stately house which has its own private chapel. Looking eastwards across extensive grounds, the hilltop is graced with a domed folly from where the view west towards the house is unparalleled. The house is opened this afternoon courtesy of Altman Real Estate.

Speaker: ?

Directions to Barbados open house tour: Porters is located n Highway 1, north of Holetown, Its entrance is at the turn-off to Royal Westmoreland, opposite Colony Club. Off highway 2A, turn off at the Royal Westmoreland junction and travel downhill past Sugar Hill going toward Highway 1. Look for Open House signs.

Monday February 14th, 2011

Congo Road Plantation House, St. Philip Sprawling grounds, a lovely old home and outbuildings, and an equestrian centre are only part of the attraction. The main event is a rare exhibition of the world's best Sailors' Valentines, elaborate shell mementos that originated in Barbados in the mid 1th century. Here at Congo Road, the art has not only been revived by our hostess, but has reached a new zenith. Overseas 'Valentiners' have brought their masterpieces, too.

Speaker: ?

Directions to Barbados open house tour: From the ABC Highway, turn east at the Emancipation statue onto Highway 5 and continue to Six Cross Roads, St. Philip. At the roundabout there, take the second left and follow the Open House signs.

February 23rd, 2011

Reed Court, Pine Hill, St. Michael Set amidst acres of well manicured lawns, trees and shrubs. Reed Court is the Grand Lady of Pine Hill. This afternoon, the home will be partially furnished but let your imagination run wild and you can provide the other furnishings. Reed Court's neighbours' include the British High Commissioner's residence, the Canadian High Commissioner's residence, the Governor of the Central Bank residence. Owned by the Leo Leacock family, this home this afternoon is opened courtesy of Altman Real Estate.

Speaker: ?

Directions: Find your way to Government House, the Governor General's residence. St. Winifred's school is next door. Look for our Open house Signs. Signage and parking attendants will direct you where to park.

Sunday February 27th, 2011

The Synagogue and the Nidhe Israel Museum, Bridgetown, St. Michael By 1654, the Sephardic Jews of Barbados had consecrated Nidhe Israel, one of the two earliest temples in the Western Hemisphere. This architectural jewel shares a walled urban sanctuary with a stylish and engaging museum, an intriguing cemetery, and a spring-fed mikvah (ritual bath) whose recent discovery 12 feet underground is of tremendous historical importance. The whole atmosphere is mystical.

Speaker: Dr. Karl Watson shares excerpts from his forthcoming book, History of the Sephardic Jews of Barbados.

Directions: Take High Street, which runs beside Parliament, turn left on James Street and follow our signs. Parking is opposite the Central police Station on James Street.

March 2nd, 2011

Pollard's Mill, St. Philip Pollards Mill combines the best of old and new. Built circa 1722, the spacious old stone property has had many lives: as a plantation, a hotel, and a fine restaurant. It was renovated in the 1970s by a renowned South African architect who exposed its hand-hewn coral-stone walls. The next owners made changes that imparted a Scandinavian ambience of light and space. Combined with features for Caribbean outdoor living, the effect is a good way! The stables are now a guest cottage, the mill wall still stands, and the whole complex is surrounded by 2.5 acres of walled tropical gardens.

Speaker: Dr. Karl Watson discusses a nearby landmark in The Life and Death of Sam lord's Castle.

Directions: Follow ABC Highway to the Emancipation Statue. Turn on to Highway 5 heading East to St Philip. At Six Cross roads roundabout take first left fork to St Philip's Parish Church. Turn right after the church and continue along this road. Follow Open House signs.

Friday March 4th, 2011

Fundraiser There will be a "Headdress / Mask" Carnival type fundraising event at George Washington House, The Garrison. More information later, but keep this date open.

March 9th, 2011

Manager's House, Jordan's Plantation, St. George Sometimes obscurity wonderful surprises. This may be the case at Jordan's Manager's House. Now under renovation, this is a fascinating glimpse of a work in progress.

Speaker: ?

Directions: From the ABC Highway, turn East at the Norman Niles roundabout onto Highway 4. At the tiny roundabout, keep left and pass the St. George Secondary School. At the T junction, go right on 4B, and start looking on the left for the turnoff to Jordans soon after.

March 16th, 2011

Foster Lodge, St. George This beautifully proportioned plantation house was built in the early 19th century and has a rich history. Purchased in 1976 by Brian and Sandra Parsons, now Baron and Lady of Ormiston, it has been sensitively updated and lovingly maintained over the years. A collection of crystal, silver, furniture and Mrs. Parsons' personal paintings add to the ambience of historical continuity.

Speaker: Dr. Henry Fraser on Caribbean Georgian Architecture.

Directions: Make your way to the Norman Niles roundabout on the ABC Highway and get onto Highway 4. Going East, make the left at Salters / Haggatt Hall junction which takes you to Gun Hill. At Charles Rowe Bridge with Chefette on your left keep straight ahead keeping the gas station on your right, continue straight ahead and watch for Open House signs and parking.

March 23rd, 2011

Chummery, Sandy Lane, St. James Chummery is one of the charming villas in the Sandy Lane Estate. It was built in the 1970's as a vacation home of the chairman of Macy's and RCA. The bedrooms overlook a splendid pool while the drawing and dining rooms open onto an elegant verandah and inner court yard.

Speaker: ?

Directions: Turn onto the Sandy Lane Estate across from the entrance of the hotel and follow the road up the hill to West Ridge Road. Turn right and follow the road to the left. Chummery is on the left.

March 30th, 2011

Wildey House, St. Michael

Our headquarters, Wildey House is a classic Georgian style mansion, thought to have been built around 1760. It was last owned by the Leacock family, who bequeathed it to the trust. The house has been carefully restored and its ground floor is furnished with the Leacocks antiques. Offices occupy the former bedrooms upstairs.

Speaker: Dr. Henry Fraser tells you about Wildey House and its furnishings.

Directions: On the ABC Highway, go south from the Bussa (Emancipation) roundabout, and after the Polytechnic's tiny roundabout, get into the right lane. Pass Cable & Wireless, turn right at the junction by the gas station. Turn right again just after the next gas station and ease into the left lane. Wildey House is up the hill at the first left.

Admission: Your entrance fee gives you access to the house as well as provides you with historical and architectural information which you can take home with you as a souvenir.

Adults - $20 Children (5 - 12 years) - Half Price Children under 5 - FREE. BARP Members - $15 Members of the Barbados National Trust, reciprocating Trusts and Societies (including the National Trusts of Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and certain heritage societies of the USA and Canada) - $10 on presentation of membership card.

Dress: Casual, comfortable tropical clothing.

Refreshments will be on sale, sip your rum punch in a stunning tropical setting.

For more information contact: The Barbados National Trust Wildey House, Wildey, St. Michael Barbados, West Indies Tel: (246) 426-2421 or (246) 436-9033 Fax: (246) 429-9055 E-mail:

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