Porters Great House, Porters, St. James, Barbados Pocket Guide

Great Homes

The construction of plantation houses or great homes on the island of Barbados was orchestrated by the British after their arrival on the island in 1625. Plastered with both tradition and history, great homes are usually built of solid structures and sit on acres of land, these houses were built with style and ventilation in mind.


The very structure of these great homes in Barbados was due to the weather patterns that existed and still exist in the Caribbean Region. They were built by African craftsmen who designed them to sustain winds in the event of a hurricane. Open spaces throughout these houses and their large windows, aided in ventilation.


Georgian and Victorian architecture was quite prevalent in the 17th century and so many plantation houses in Barbados were built with this architectural guide in mind. The Garrison Historic Area is awash with this Georgian style of building.


To this day, Barbados still has a number of great homes that have been restored to their original style but there are quite a few that have been left to the elements. A lot has occurred since the time of these great homes as some have been converted for both private and commercial use.


On the island of Barbados, two (2) plantation houses have been restored to their original state and are open for public viewings. There are Sunbury Plantation House and St. Nicholas Abbey.


Barbados National Trust Open House Programme

Visitors to the island of Barbados and locals are given an opportunity to view many of the historic homes on the island as the Barbados National Trust hosts its Open House Programme. This programme runs from January to April and showcases some of the most exquisite historic homes Barbados has to offer. The showcasing of these homes is not just about history but also about socialising on the grounds.


Further information on the Barbados National Trust Open House Programme can be sourced by contacting them at (246) 426-2421, (246) 436-9033, email address: or click here to visit their website.


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