Parliament Buildings, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados Pocket Guide

Parliament Buildings of Barbados

Still somewhat steeped in parts of its British heritage, but definitely having created a rich culture of its own post-Independence, Barbados possesses a polite marriage of quaint simplicity versus what might be considered opulent extravagance. The former, in terms of its natural beauty and attractions and the latter, in terms of aspects such as prime residential developments and advanced financial structures which can be availed of here in Barbados. 




One esteemed part of the Barbadian heritage is its political and legal framework and its Parliament Buildings are the third oldest in the entire Commonwealth, foreshadowed only by Britain, from which the island was granted independence in 1966 and Bermuda. The stately cluster of buildings, which were completed in 1874 are almost majestic in appearance and designed on a base of Gothic architecture are home to the local House of Assembly and the Senate.


The main purposes for the erection of the Parliament Buildings (previously called the Public Buildings) were to ensure that adequate and appropriate accommodation was in place for the honourable members who were responsible for running the country, that Public Records were both securely confined and that all of the essential public offices were centrally domiciled for the sake of both security and efficiency.


In terms of structural order, the West Wing was the first to be completed in 1872, followed by the East Wing in 1873. Over the years, various offices and services have had a period of stay in the Buildings, including The Income Tax Department and The Public Library. In 1988, the entire cluster of Buildings was relegated for full parliamentary usage.


It must be noted that all key legislation is effected through representation to the House of Assembly and Senate bodies and given the final stamp of approval by the Governor General of Barbados. The Buildings are therefore still very much in use today and are periodically reviewed and upgraded to ensure that they remain relevant and safe to the persons which use its structures.


Parliament Clock Serviced

Reassurance of the historic 136 year old clock of the Barbados Parliament striking again by the end of July, came from traditional clockmaker and servicer, Andrew Hinks. He, along with his colleague Brian Parry, both from English-based traditional clock company Smith of Derby, flew in to carry out the necessary servicing required. Plans are in place to keep as many of the original parts as possible.


Such a venture came under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), whose technical officer Richard Austin, said that restoration work will also be done on the tower. The historic clock has been out of service from October 2010.


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