April 29, 2019

Bridgetown, Barbados: The Garrison Savannah Historic Area; things to do


The Garrison Savannah Historic Area  St. Ann’s Garrison, St. Michael. 

This district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was once the largest British military headquarters in the Caribbean, and remains the most complete British garrison in the world.  Because this is a limestone island most buildings are constructed with it, but some buildings here were built of brick in the 1800s.  St. Ann’s Fort is an example.  It is also a perfect hexagon and isn’t visible from the sea.  Historic 18th- and 19th-century military buildings encircle the savannah and horseracing track, which consist of a hot flat field without shelter.  It was once known as a “death hole,” because at one time up to 10 deaths occurred per day.  The extensive cannon collection here is one of the world’s largest and contains several that are extremely rare.

exterior of Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos
exterior of Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos

Main Guard House/Clock Tower  This is the geographic center of the garrison and the main parade grounds.  Soldiers were dispensed from here to guard houses around the garrison.  The formal Changing of the Sentry stopped in 1905, but was started up again in 2011 for show and now takes place every Thursday at noon in front of the building’s Clock Tower (it uses Big Ben chimes to announce the time).  As the noon chimes start ringing, the colorful parade begins.  The sentries dress in the Zouave uniform originally worn by the famous West India Regiments.

sentries in the Zouave uniform at the Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos
sentries in the Zouave uniform at the Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos


Changing of the Sentry at the Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos
Changing of the Sentry at the Main Guard House and Clock Tower at The Garrison in Barbabos




The Garrison horse racing track  One of the world’s oldest race tracks--certainly the oldest in the Americas--this track started up in 1843, and races are still held here.

horse racing track and line of cannons at The Garrison in Barbabos
horse racing track and line of cannons at The Garrison in Barbabos

Also in The Garrison:

Barbados Museum & Historical Society

George Washington House Museum



More things to do in Barbados.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images and video ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


3 comments:

  1. What a cool looking site. I love the uniforms with their colors and would like to watch the changing of the sentry in person. Thanks for showing us this view of the Garrison Savannah.

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  2. Wow, Barbados has a UNESCO Workd Heritage Site, the most complete British Garrison in the world and a perfect hexagon that can't be spotted from the sea!

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  3. I only had a very short time when I visited Bridgetown, so missed all of this... What I remember is a nice town with some good places to eat. I'll have to go back!

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