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BARBADOS - Parish of St. Peter

Traveling north along Highway 1 you enter the parish of St. Peter. There are some interesting features in this parish, below are listed a few.

SPEIGHTSTOWN

Speightstown, the island's northern-most town, was once a major seaport and important fishing village. Founded in 1635 it was named after William Speights, a rich landlord and merchant. In the past Speightstown was our most important port, exporting sugar and molasses, indigo, cotton, tobacco and ginger. It became so prosperous, with UK connections, it was known as 'Little Bristol'. Prior to the development of proper roads Speights sent schooners back and forth to Bridgetown carrying passengers and the brick ballast that the Bristol vessels brought to our island. These were used to build all the red brick buildings that still stand at the Garrison and Pavilion Court. In 1941 a great fire destroyed many historic buildings and with the decline in commerce and the improvement in transport Speights became rather run-down. It remains however delightfully charming, with its wooden Georgian-style two-store balconied buildings that give Speightstown so much character, creating a quaint old-e-world atmosphere. It remains predominately untouched by tourist but is still a great place to wander around and soak up our history.

     

    NICHOLAS ABBEY

Built in the mid 1600's, this grand old home, is one of the few Jacobean style houses left in the Western Hemisphere. Approached through an ancient mahogany grove with a gully behind filled with green monkeys, this property is an excellent example of the 'landed gentry' lifestyle of that era. Its three curvilinear gables remain intact a tribute to a by-gone era. The interior is meticulously furnished much as it was 300 years ago.

Some interesting features are the fire places in the upstairs rooms, hardly needed in our climate but designed to cope with the colder conditions that the architects left behind in England in the 1640's.
Nicholas Abbey was also a working sugar plantation and many of the plantation buildings remain.

Five generations of Caves have owned the Abbey for more than 150 years.

It is now a popular tourist attraction, opened for tours throughout the house and grounds.



 

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