Clifton Hall Great House St. John. (246) 240-5198. M-F 10am-3:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-1pm. US$25.
Dating to 1656, when it belonged to Prince Ferdinando Paleologus, this grand Georgian mansion is one of the oldest and largest historical properties on Barbados. It is constructed of coral rubble stone formed into 2-foot-thick walls and has 87 external doors that are designed to keep the sun out and let the breeze in. The double doors can be closed up tight, and in fact the house is a designated hurricane shelter.
Originally this 13,500-square-foot house had only one toilet. In England, every stately home has a Poor Relations Room, or sick room, to which a person was sent to die, and it sounds like most of the time it wasn’t a pleasant demise. In Barbados only two are left, and this house has one of them. The pool here was formerly a 16-foot cistern.
Furnished rooms are a delight to view, and visitors here see a stunning crimson dining room with a long table set with Minton china in the delicate floral Marlow pattern. A crystal chandelier hangs above. Owner Massimo declares that “save for the ocean and the Bajan accent, you could be in England having tea.” The tour ends with complimentary refreshments, including cake, to enjoy while you sit and relax.
|dining room in Clifton Hall Great House in Barbados|
|Marlow pattern of Minton china in dining room in Clifton Hall Great House in Barbados|
|owner Massimo shows coral stone shower at Clifton Hall Great House in Barbados|
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images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers