Old Buildings on Bay Street, Barbados Pocket Guide

Bay Street

Bay Street in Barbados provides a wealth of history, entertainment, cuisine and relaxation all on one street. With Carlisle Bay running alongside its entire length, this street is opened up to many windows-to-the-sea featuring yachts and tankers at anchor.


Back in the seventeenth century, the Dutch enjoyed strong connections with Bay Street through shipping and trading. So much so that in the 1640s, the first 10 acres of land on the seaside were bought by a Dutch merchant.


In 1660, between Lower Bay Street and River Road, 55 acres belonged to Captain Robert Collymore and his wife but in 1668, they both sold it to a merchant and member of the House of Assembly by the name of Thomas Pargiter. He was John Washington's second cousin, the great grandfather of George Washington who was first president of the United States.


Old Martineau House

This was once the home of James Martineau who was an entrepreneur, first treasurer of the Barbados Progressive League and forerunner of the Barbados Labour Party. It is this very house that the Barbados Labour Party was founded.


Due to the disturbances of the 1937 Riots, this historic movement began back in March of 1938. The end result was a powerful and peaceful revolution in Barbados.


Social Welfare Department

This current site with its attractive Georgian buildings was once the site of the Old Eye Hospital. Originally, it had housed the offices of the Quarter Master General and Adjutant General. However, the British military withdrew, it became the Pellagra Ward of the Hospital first and then the Eye Hospital.


Woodside Gardens

This elegant nineteenth century home, was the home of Barbados' first Barbadian born Governor General, Sir Winston Scott.


The Bay Street Esplanade

The Bay Street Esplanade is located on Bay Street Barbados where it has become the home of a few popular shipwrecks on the island. It is located opposite the Government Headquarters, where the statue of Sir Grantley Adams was unveiled on his centenary.


Bay Street of Years Gone By, Barbados Pocket GuideIt was the Honourable E.T. Grannum who introduced a Bill into the House of Assembly to purchase this land, including the section now occupied by the Ministerial Buildings. This was known as the “Bay Street Improvement Act” and became Law of the 26th April 1890. The land was purchased but was rented to the owners of the house for some years.

In 1904 it was proposed to erect a Police Guard at the Southern end, now the Police Boys’ Club, and the row of Cabbage Palm trees were planted by Mr. John R. Bovell. There were many debated as to who was to look after its upkeep – the Government or the Vestry. The latter refused, until proper breakwater was erected. The Bandstand was erected between 1918-1919.

The Civil Circle, an Association of Ladies who did voluntary work, came to the rescue, and it was opened on the 14th December 1929. It was taken over by the Parks and Beaches Commission, re-conditioned and re-opened on the 10th February 1972. To the north of the Bandstand there is a Memorial Drinking Fountain, designed by Lady Carter and unveiled in 1936 by Lady Young, to the memory of Miss Margaret Packer. M.B.E.


The Boatyard

The Boatyard, is a very popular open-air beachfront nightclub in Barbados, which was formerly a shipyard of shipbuilder's establishment. This old Bridgetown townhouse sits just beyond the area that was completely destroyed by fire in 1860.


Harbour Lights

Harbour Lights is yet another popular open-air beachfront nightclub in Bay Street, Barbados that offers live entertainment and great food.


The Bayshore Complex

The Bayshore Complex is the home of Whispers on the Bay Restaurant. This site was the original location of the Harbour Police Station which was once the 'Lock Hospital for Contagious Diseases'. The British Government passed an Act in 1866 'for the better prevention of Contagious Diseases at certain Naval and Military Hospitals'. In 1869, the local hospital opened its doors and was discontinued some 18 years later but promptly closed its doors and was given over to the Constabulary. However, in 1999 it was demolished to make way for a cruise visitor complex.


The Barbados Yacht Club

This social meeting place located on Carlisle Bay, was founded on August 23rd, 1924 but officially opened on December 26th of the same year. The Barbados Yacht Club was set up in an effort to promote and facilitate sailing in Barbados. Every year, members and visiting yachtsmen gather here for a racing programe that is held at the Club. The Barbados Yacht Club is also used for learn-to-sail instructions that are given by the Barbados Sailing Association.


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