Historic Bridgetown and the nearby Garrison are the first areas to be nominated by the government of Barbados for inclusion on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Many believe that should this bid be successful it will be a boon to our tourism industry. Supporters also believe it will ensure that these areas, so closely linked with our colonial history, are well preserved for future generations as development in Barbados continues.
In The Red Book 2010 Professor Henry Fraser discusses this very challenging situation of controlling development to protect our heritage. In his article “The Treasures Of Barbados And Heritage Tourism”, Professor Fraser indentifies key areas where property development and historic preservation must go hand in hand, including historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.
Several aspects of real estate development should be considered in the attempt by developers, individuals and the Town and Country Development Planning Office to maintain the historical integrity of the island as a whole and of the important historical districts.
Professor Fraser also cites five properties, which in his view have been sensitively, and successful adapted for reuse. Among them is Sweetfield Manor, an old plantation-styled property just northeast of the Garrison area that was restored in recent years and is used as a bed and breakfast. We invite you to re-read this article here as our island goes forward in this remarkable enterprise.
Tell us what you think of Barbados listing sites on the World Heritage List. Do you think it is a good thing for the island?