Sunbury Plantation House - Barbados Colonial Past
Duration: Half Day
Step back in time to an era of great wealth and splendour during your holiday in Barbados as we take a tour of Sunbury Plantation House. This beautifully restored colonial mansion is over 300 years old and hosts a unique collection of 18th and 19th century antiquities. This is a fascinating opportunity to gain an insight into life on an 18th century Bajan sugar plantation, at a time when wealthy owners reaped the rewards from the booming sugar industry.
Located in the parish of St Philip, in the heart of the countryside, Sunbury Plantation House was built around 1660 by Matthew Chapman, a British planter and one of the early settlers on the island. According to records, this grand old ‘great house’ was first called Chapman's Plantation, but when brothers John and George Barrow purchased the estate in 1775, it was renamed ‘Sunbury’ after their home in Kent, England. Steeped in history, the house has survived numerous hurricanes over the years, as well as damage from the slave rebellion and a disastrous fire in 1995. Sunbury was fortunately lovely restored to its former glory in order to preserve its rich heritage, and today it is the only house in Barbados that has all its rooms open for viewings.
This guided tour will enable you to view one of the country's most superior collections of antiques, which include beautiful mahogany furniture, china, silver, glassware, domestic items and old prints, as well as the largest collection of antique horse-drawn carriages in the Caribbean. These unique items will give you a true glimpse of what life was like for wealthy plantation owners during this opulent era, when Barbados was the largest sugar producer in the world. Sunbury Plantation also boasts beautifully landscaped gardens and surroundings, which are a delight to explore, and in the grounds of the estate you will also see authentic old carts and machinery that were once used in Barbados to cultivate the land.
Sam Lord's Castle, an impressive Georgian mansion, is also located nearby, and is certainly worth a visit if you have time. Set in 72 acres of tropical land, this beautiful house was built in 1820 by the notorious buccaneer Samuel Hall Lord, who allegedly acquired his wealth by plundering goods from wrecked ships after luring them onto the treacherous reefs.
You can round your day off with a sumptuous seafood lunch at L'Azure restaurant, which is famous for its fantastic cuisine and panoramic ocean views, or perhaps you would prefer to soak up the sun on one of the beautiful secluded beaches nearby. Crane Beach, Harrismith Beach and Bottom Bay are just some of the options available on Barbados’ idyllic, unspoilt southeast coast.
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