Swan Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados Pocket Guide

Swan Street

In 1656, the streets of Bridgetown were laid out by way of an Act passed by the Legislature. As a result, Swan Street was named and still holds its current position parallel to Broad Street. This street is located in Barbados' capital city Bridgetown and was known in the past as Jew's Street predominantly due to the successful merchant Jews that had their shops and businesses on this stretch of street. Imported goods from Europe were in high demand at the time and as a result, the Jews literally had exclusive control over the importation and sale of such.




Swan Street's large Jewish population saw those merchants residing on the upper level of the stores while their respective businesses operated on the ground floor. A lot has changed since then as the buildings are predominantly used as stores with their upstairs sections used as warehouses for merchandise.


Swan Street comprises of a number of small businesses and quite a number of wayside vendors. Merchandise on this street tends to be a lot cheaper than that on Broad Street with bargains in the way of fabric, household items, jewellery, shoes, clothes and lots more.


Back in 1845, an enormous fire ravaged Mr. Lobo's property at No. 20 Swan Street. Numerous houses and acres of Lower Bridgetown were burnt, which subsequently became aptly known as Burnt District.


Two theories exists with regards to the genesis of the name Swan Street. One theory suggests an inn by the name of 'The Swan' while the other theory points to the street being named after Captain Swann, a surveyor.


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