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Barbados National Trust

Monday 19, April-2004

by Mike King

The Barbados National Trust wants to develop four acres of land around the Morgan Lewis Windmill as a $3 million tourist attraction.

Richard Goddard, a member of the Barbados National Trust Council, revealed the plan yesterday, noting that to use the land exclusively for tourist activities around the Western hemisphere’s only functional mill of its kind would be well worth the expenditure.

Speaking on the final day of grinding for the year at the historic 19th century St Andrew facility, Goddard said the redevelopment of the entire area not only offered spin-offs for the tourism sector, but could mean employment possibilties for Barbadians.

The National Trust owns the one-quarter of an acre of land which houses the unique stone mill, the cornerstone of the development, but the plantation is owned by the Bannister family and their consent would be required for the project to become a reality.

“We did some surveys about a year ago and we have noted the high number of tourists who pass this property in buses, cars, mokes and coaches, with Sunday our biggest day. When we get the coaches from the cruise ships, we have hundreds of visitors coming through.

“There is tremendous scope for it as a tourist attraction. It is a beautiful area, the Scotland area, and I believe it would give employment to the local crafts people. The plantation is about 265 acres, but we would only need about four-and-a-half acres from the Bannister family,” Goddard said.

He said it could be at least two years before any plans come to fruition, but he was happy with the preliminary surveys that had been conducted.

Yesterday, Barbadians, along with American and English visitors, visited Morgan Lewis in droves to see grinding at the last surviving sugar windmill in this hemisphere and more especially, to collect bottles of appetising cane juice, made from organic sugar cane.

The canes that were ground were grown organically at Burnt House Plantation in Indian Ground, St Peter, and were donated to the National Trust.

Six-and-a-half tonnes of sugar canes were ground at the mill, which was built in the 1850s and given by Egbert Laurence Bannister to the Trust in April 1963.

Grinding at the mill is done four times a year – the second Sunday of each month from January to April – the dry season, windy time and the visitor season.

Compliments of the the Nation News

There is much to be said for reviving interest in the visual arts.
It is equally worthwhile to preserve historic properties, albeit with appropriate modifications where necessary to meet the needs and standards of a modern developing society.

These aspects of Barbados’ cultural heritage help to define us as a people and have recently been receiving reed attention in Parliament, largely as a result of compulsory acquisition of land for beach accesses and the need for funding to support artistic endeavours.

At the centre of our critically important cultural endeavour, is also Government’s support for work by the Barbados National Trust.


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