Barbados’ Historic Garrison

Preserving the island’s military history from as far back as 1650, the Barbados Garrison area includes the National Museum and George Washington House among an impressive collection of military buildings.

Officially bestowed the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (shared with the likes of the Pyramids and Grand Canyon), you can opt to take a guided tour of the area, where you will view one of the most authentic 18th Century British Garrisons and some of the 70 odd buildings of national significance associated with this area.

Your tour guide will invite you to George Washington House, an 18th century plantation where the founding father of the United States spent nearly two months as a young man.  Barbados was the only foreign country the past president ever visited.

You will witness the recently rediscovered “Garrison Tunnels”, a series of secretive underground tunnels dating back to 1820.

You can be one of the lucky few to visit the National Armory Museum, built in 1801, which houses the finest collection of 17th century English cannons in the world, and was also a site for hangings, while firing squad executions were held at a nearby military cemetery.

And, if your timing is right, you will catch the changing of the sentry at the Main Guard built in 1804 any Wednesday between 11.30am and 12 noon and it switches to every Friday, during the winter season.   It can only be compared to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Though this tour will give you an insider’s in depth look at the historic Garrison, a second trip to George Washington house for a very different experience is highly recommended.

Throughout the winter season one can experience Dinner with Georgeevery Monday (starting December 16th, 2013 to March 31st, 2014) is an intimate and interactive presentation of George Washington’s story. Performers, all dressed in period wear, rewind to the year 1751 in the exact dining room in which young Washington ate his meals while he visited the island.

The sound of horses clip clopping through the courtyard, the absence of electric lighting, the costumed service, the scrumptious meal consisting of cultural icons such as “Corn & Oil” (rum & Falernum) and “Rumbullion’d Bread Pudding” will easily transport you back 350 years for a night.  This dinner theatre experience can be rightly dubbed an authentic 17th Century experience.  

In 1789, the British army converted the Garrison to their headquarters for the windward and leeward islands, where they remained in force until 1905. Now, this  UNESCO World Heritage Site is the headquarters for much of Barbados’ history.


Price of ‘Dinner with George’ – USD$125

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