Farley Hill - Barbados Colonial Past
Duration: Half Day
Rich in history, the beautiful island of Barbados boasts a fascinating colonial past that dates back to the early 17th century when the first British settlers came to the island. This tour will give you an insight into the lives of the wealthy Barbadians during the 19th century as we visit the ruins of Farley Hill, a once regal mansion that stands in the beautiful Farley Hill National Park.
Set in 17 acres of verdant tropical parkland in the parish of St Peter, Farley Hill was once the site of a grand plantation house, built from 1818. Additional rooms were later added over the following 50 years and it eventually grew to be regarded as the most impressive mansion in Barbados.
During the late 1800's, Sir Thomas Graham Briggs, a wealthy British planter and legislator, lived the high life there, hosting extravagant dinner parties for royal guests such as Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh; Princes Albert Victor and later King George V of England. This was a far cry from the poor living conditions of the lower class citizens on the island.
The mansion is tucked away in a forest of mahogany trees high up on a hill, and one of the highlights of this area is its spectacular views that overlook the rugged Atlantic coast. Farley Hill is an idea spot to enjoy a picnic and get close to nature in beautiful surroundings. Due to its picturesque setting, Farley Hill mansion was used in the filming of the classic movie "Island in the Sun".
Unfortunately the house was destroyed by fire in 1965, after which the site was opened as a national park by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1966, the same year Barbados gained independence. Despite the fires and hurricanes that ravished the house, the building walls are made from coral stone and are still standing today.
As well as being one of Barbados’ biggest attractions and a popular picnic spots for locals, Farley Hill is also used for theatrical events and concerts such as the annual Barbados Jazz Festival, a week-long festival that features the world’s leading jazz musicians. During this time the magnificent ruins of Farley Hill House are transformed, becoming the background for a beautiful open-air stage. If you are on holiday in Barbados in January, this is a wonderful experience not to be missed.
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