Bridgetown and it's Garrison

Barbados Enters World Heritage List With Bridgetown And Its Garrison Inscribed

The World Heritage Committee has inscribed three new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List so far today: the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany as an extension to the World Heritage site of Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians (Slovakia, Ukraine), Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, the first heritage site of Barbados to enter the World Heritage List; and Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land (Japan).

A total of 35 nominations, including natural, cultural and mixed properties were reviewed by the Committee which held ist 35th session at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris ending June 29, 2011.

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados), an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire. The oldest building is c.1650.

The property also includes a nearby military garrison which consists of numerous historic buildings. With its serpentine urban lay-out the property testifies to a different approach to colonial town-planning compared to the Spanish and Dutch colonial cities of the region which were built along a grid plan.

Barbados in many respects was England's first experimental tropical agricultural export colony, and was successful for a number of related reasons. Contemporary opinion in the late seventeenth century acclaimed it the 'richest spote of ground in the worlde.' Private English capital, with the Crown's blessing, financed settlement in 1627. Market conditions for its first commercial crop, tobacco, enabled the accumulation of quick profits, which were later utilised to finance the shift to sugar production in the 1650s, after large scale, high quality Virginian tobacco production caused a glut on the European market and prices plummeted.

Various sources including:
Karl Watson, Barbados Underground, BBC History