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Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison

Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison
Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison
Product Code: BARCOM1202
Availability: In Stock

Price: BDS $5.50


Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison is located to the south-west of the parish of St. Michael. Historic Bridgetown occupies the northern end of the historic harbor, Carlisle Bay, while the Garrison, two kilometres away and linked to the city by Bay Street, is strategically located at the southern end. Bridgetown’s historic urban core is dissected by the east-west flowing Constitution River, which empties into the Careenage Basin and, eventually, Carlisle Bay.

For much of its urban history, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison has been an integral part of the maritime, commercial and military administration of the British Empire and its colonies in the Caribbean. During the first 100 years after its initial settlement by English colonizers in 1628, Bridgetown played a leading role in the English trading system in the New World. Comparable to other seaport towns in the Caribbean and North America, such as Kingston, Boston and New York in terms of population size, Bridgetown grew alongside these major port-towns during the 17th century. By the late 18th century, Bridgetown was a well established port-town, linking the local and regional economies to the metropolitan economy. By the late 18th century, the commercial and military centrality of Bridgetown in the British Caribbean determined the need for a significant military presence concentrated within the port town’s vital harbour, Carlisle Bay. To this end, Bridgetown’s Garrison was a critical component of the vast network of fortifications built to defend the political and economic interests of the British Empire in the Caribbean.

The Barbados National Trust

The Barbados National Trust is a charitable, non-profit body founded in 1961 to preserve the unique heritage of Barbados, be it historic buildings and sites, or places of natural beauty or environmental importance. It is linked through its aims, goals and structure, to other international National Trusts.

The Trust is based at the recently-restored Wildey House, a Georgian mansion from the 1760s - one of its many restoration projects. In addition to the conservation of Barbados’s architectural heritage, they are also pioneers in environmental conservation in Barbados.

The Trust is the premier organisation on the island dedicated to preserving Barbados’ considerable architectural, historical and ecological wealth for future generations of visitors and Barbadians to enjoy. The Trust has now acquired eight major visitor attractions. These range from the Welchman Hall Gully to the imposing Gun Hill Signal Station. The beautiful blooms of Andromeda Botanic Gardens to Tyrol Cot Heritage Village - home of one of the founding father of Barbadian democracy, and site of a unique recreated 1920s model village, complete with blacksmith’s forge and craft shops.

The Trust also publishes books of historical interest, and has a membership of over 1,500 members, spread throughout the world.


Gunhill Signal Station

Gunhill was built in 1818 and is strategically placed on the highland of

St. George. This tower is the finest of a chain of signal stations that once carried news across the island at the approach of enemy or cargo ships. The station arguably offers a stunning view of the south and east of the island and houses a fascinating collection of military memorabilia. Below the station is the famous lion, carved from coral-stone in 1868 by Captain Henry Wilkinson who was assisted by four military labourers. Gun Hill Signal Station is now under the stewardship of the Barbados National Trust after being restored from ruins by the Trust in 1983.


The Clock Tower

The most notable and recognizable building facing onto the Savannah is the ‘Main Guard’ (or ‘Clock Tower’), built in 1804. This Tower is situated to the west of the Savannah and near geographical centre of the entire Garrison area. As the internal security headquarters for the complex, it commands a complete view of the Savannah and surrounding structures and an almost complete view of the western side below the ridge on which it sits. Though not the largest building, its colonial architecture with its Roman arched portico and pediment in front of the octagon domed tower is synonymous with the Garrison and unique in Barbados.


St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church is one of the Anglican Churches that dominates Historic Bridgetown’s town centre. Built in 1825; the legislature of Barbados passed an act which provided a grant of five thousand pounds to facilitate the construction of the new church. St. Mary’s Church was constructed as one of the oldest Chapels of Ease in the island. Sited on the Old Churchyard of the original St. Michael’s Church, St. Mary’s Church was built on one of the oldest consecrated grounds in the English Americas.

The grave of the Rt. Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod (1806-1871), the first non-white member of the House of Assembly, is located in the churchyard. 

Built of brick in the Caribbean Georgian style, the Church survived the hurricane of 1831. Many other features make it one of the most attractive buildings in Barbados, including the jalousied south porch and decorated barrel-vaulted ceiling.


The Public Library

In 1847 an Act was passed “establishing a Public Library and Museum in this Island”. This was three years before the first Public Libraries Act was passed in Britain. The Public Library was started in Codd’s House (where the termination of the Apprenticeship Period was signed into law in 1838, fully

emancipating the former enslaved population) and it was given the collections of the Literary Society and the Library Association. In 1874, the Public Library was moved to a section of the Public Buildings or Parliament Buildings. At the turn of the century, Scottish American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated a grant to sponsor the construction of a free library.

In 1904, the Carnegie Library was opened to the public. It is a coral stone building built in the English Renaissance style. The Library is now part of the National Library Service (established 1985), which is a major repository for Barbadians dating back to the 18th century.

Technical Details




50th Anniversary of the Barbados

National TrustHistoric Bridgetown

and its Garrison


CASCO Studio


BDT International Security Printing



Stamp size

28.45mm x 42.85mm


14 per 2cm


50 (2 x 25)


10¢, 65¢, $2.00, $2.65

Release Date

18th July 2012

Research information provided by:

Mr. William Gollop – The Barbados National Trust

Ms. Jamila Solumski – Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

Customers in the United States are reminded that one U.S. Dollar is equal to Bds $1.98

For Standing Order Accounts and other services offered, please contact:

Barbados Philatelic Bureau

General Post Office


Bridgetown, BARBADOS

Tel: 1-246-426-0381


Fax: 1-246-429-4118



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