Lil Bar­ba­dos His­tory — Arling­ton House

Arling­ton House


Built in the late 18th cen­tury, Arling­ton House was in Speight­stown con­structed by the early set­tlers on the island in a clas­sic “sin­gle house” design. The house was for­merly the home of a wealthy mer­chant and is the only remain­ing piece of architech­ture in the island that shows Bar­ba­dos’ influ­ence on Charleston’s archi­tec­ture in the USA. It was built of coral, lime­stone and rub­ble masonry, while egg whites and molasses were used to cre­ate a paste which was then used to cre­ate the thick walls of the house. The ground floor was orig­i­nally used by ships’ chan­dlers to carry out their busi­ness and thus was the work­ing area of the house.The house was restored in 1999 and has now been trans­formed into the inter­ac­tive Arling­ton House Museum, which was opened in 2008.

The museum is an inter­ac­tive 3 story museum that offers a unique expe­ri­ence. There are inter­ac­tive audio-​visual fea­tures in the museum which make learn­ing about Bar­ba­dian her­itage fun and engag­ing. Each of its three floors has a dif­fer­ent theme of inter­ac­tive exhibits. Speight­stown Mem­o­ries, intro­duces patrons to the lives of the first set­tlers of the islands. Plan­ta­tion mem­o­ries looks at the influ­ence of col­o­niza­tion and the plan­ta­tion sys­tem on the island as well as sugar cane. The Wharf Mem­o­ries theme fea­tures a talk­ing pirate recall­ing the impor­tance Speight­stown used to have in Bar­ba­dos as a lead­ing port and trade hub. A film is also shown, giv­ing an overview of Bar­ba­dos from the past to the present.


Tri­pAd­vi­sor Reviews

“Very Infor­ma­tive” — Nayzbee

A good place to escape the heat, this museum is very infor­ma­tive and the staff help­ful, didn’t visit the whole museum, down­stairs is free and upstairs is around 25 Bar­ba­dian dol­lars for adults. Worth a visit if you’re inter­ested in the his­tory of Bar­ba­dos, their pro­fes­sions, lives before and after slav­ery etc.

“Best Museum on the Island” – PhD2007

If you are a his­tory buff, do not miss this museum. I am actu­ally a pro­fes­sional his­to­rian and I was really impressed by this place. The exhibits were amaz­ing and many had inter­ac­tive fea­tures. For instance, you could weigh your­self and trans­late that into a sugar price and see how much you would bring on the sugar mar­ket. The house is really beau­ti­ful with an impec­ca­ble restora­tion and it is air con­di­tioned, which is unusual in house muse­ums in the Caribbean. My spe­cialty is archi­tec­tural his­tory and I am from an island so when I see a good restora­tion I am impressed

“Exceed­ingly good” – Tina B
Museum 2

It just goes to show what a bit of invest­ment can do. This his­toric build­ing had been beau­ti­fully refur­bished and the right up to date inter active museum is a sight to behold. A great lit­tle his­tory of Speight­stown and the island in general…Staff and guide help­ful and knowl­edge­able — time well spent mad most enjoy­able. Tina B

For more infor­ma­tion on Arling­ton house and its Museum, and to book a tour, con­tact 4224064

© Arti­cle of Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
© Photo 1 from vis​it​bar​ba​dos​.com
© Photo 2 & 3 from totally​bar​ba​dos​.com

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