Magazine article History Today

From Colonial Past to Proud Colourful Present 13 Days for 1,595 [Pounds Sterling]: November 18th - December 1st, 2002. (Tour Barbados with History Today)

Magazine article History Today

From Colonial Past to Proud Colourful Present 13 Days for 1,595 [Pounds Sterling]: November 18th - December 1st, 2002. (Tour Barbados with History Today)

Article excerpt

Specially arranged for readers of History Today, this two-week trip introduces the island's rich past as well as exploring one of the most friendly and beautiful islands of the Caribbean.

Although distinct in many ways from neighbouring islands, Barbados shares much of the region's history of colonisation, sugar and slavery. From the 17th to the later 20th century Barbados was a British colony but is now very aware of its African heritage; both cultures contribute to its unique identity.

Accompanied by our guest lecturer Graham Norton, we shall explore the island from end to end, discovering sites of historic and cultural interest from early plantation days to modern times. Our tour includes the impressive ceremonial of Independence Day, and there will also be a day trip to the nearby island of Grenada, as well as opportunities to experience the rolling tropical landscapes, beautiful gardens, long sandy beaches and modern culture -- and cuisine -- of Barbados.

ITINERARY (at time of press)

Monday 18th November

Fly from London to Barbados by scheduled Virgin flight, arriving in the early evening. Transfer by coach to our hotel on the south coast near Bridgetown. Check in, dinner and introductory talk by Graham Norton.

Tuesday 19th November

Travel along the west coast to Holetown, near the site of the island's first settlement, where we visit St James' Parish Church, one of the island's oldest churches. Continue to Speightstown, once known as `Little Bristol', where the architecture retains a flavour of the 18th century. From the waterfront, sugar was shipped. North Point is the rugged northern tip of the island and there will be a stop here. Then travel along the east coast to Bathsheba, a fishing village famous for its stunning landscape and crashing surf. Returning towards the hotel, see St John's Parish Church, located on an 800-foot cliff, and also Codrington College, which opened in 1745 after being founded under the will of Christopher Codrington who had become Captain General and Governor of the Leeward Islands at the age of 30. It is the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere.

Wednesday 20th November

Our exploration of the colonial era continues with a tour of the Garrison Savannah area. The Garrison was the island's key military location, and fine buildings still surround the vast parade ground. A privately arranged visit of the Barbados Museum, housed in a former British Military Prison, includes lunch. Visit the African Gallery with archaeological discoveries and contemporary exhibits on local Black culture and survival, as well as Barbadian and imported Georgian mahogany furniture, artefacts, maps and paintings.

Thursday 21st November

Today's visits concentrate on the story of sugar, travelling to the Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum where exhibits capture the history of the sugar industry in Barbados from the 1640s to the present day. Continue via Grenade Hall Signal Station to St Nicholas Abbey built in Jacobean style in the mid-17th century and with many mementoes of 350 years of plantation life. Continue to the Morgan Lewis Mill, the only remaining windmill in full working order. Dutch Jews came from Brazil and pioneered the cultivation and manufacture of cane sugar.

After lunch, visit Mount Gay Distillery where rum has been produced since the 1800s. If time permits, visit one of the plantation houses before returning to the hotel.

Friday 22nd November

Visit some of the island's most beautiful locations -- including plantation houses, churches and chattel house tenantries. …

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