The Barbados Museum is a popular historical attraction for many visitors to the island.
Often referred to as the home of Barbadian culture and heritage, the museum in Barbados serves as a comprehensive reference to the history of Barbados and its inhabitants.
This is all presented through the wealth of artefacts, paintings, historical objects and literature contained within this impressive building.
When Was The Island's Museum Originally Opened?
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society was founded by Mr. Eustace Maxwell and established by an Act of Parliament in 1933.
The object of the society was to put in place a permanent record of the history of the island and to fully represent the island’s families, public men and buildings, for locals and visitors to observe and enjoy.
The museum in Barbados first opened its doors to the public in May 1934.
Since 1934, the Barbados Museum has been situated within the former military prison at St. Ann’s Garrison in the St. Michael Parish, just to the south of the island’s capital of Bridgetown.
This is right next to the Garisson Savannah Thoroughbred Horse Racing Track and nearby The Hilton Hotel, The Savannah Hotel, Amaryliss Beach Resort, Coconut Court and other Bridgetown Barbados Hotels.
What Does The Museum Offer?
The Barbados Museum houses an impressive collection of over 250,000 artefacts and over 270,000 items which represent the culture, heritage and natural history of the nation.
These historical artefacts and items include period furniture and objects, maps, paintings and prints. This collection includes an eclectic collection of items, as diverse as snow shoes from the Inuit to a Duckbilled Platypus from Australia!
The museum also boasts an extensive collection of historic photography and postcard images. These include photographs of various historical scenes within Bridgetown and the rest of the island, as well as previous images of the West Indies cricket team, dating as far back as 1925.
Situated within the museum, the Shilstone Memorial Library houses a vast and comprehensive collection of Caribbean themed literature and research material. Within the collection there are over 5,000 volumes and 2,000 historical photographs and pictures, depicting an interesting permanent vision of historical life and culture in the Caribbean.
Of particular interest to visitors to the Barbados Museum are the various and diverse collection galleries.
These include the Charles A. Robertson African Gallery, which provides visitors with a glimpse of the diversity of the African continent, through images of man’s first footsteps on earth, to modern structures within the largest cities on the continent.
The museum also includes a Natural History Gallery, which depicts images and objects which represent the indigenous fauna and flora to be found on Barbados, along with the steps taken to protect the environment.
The museum also boasts both Social History and Military Galleries, as well as a Fine Art Gallery. Here, the extensive collection belonging to Sir Edward Cunard, a prolific collector of West Indian prints, is displayed for all to see.
Younger visitors to the museum are well catered for with the interactive Children’s Gallery.
Admittance Costs and Opening Times
You can visit this Barbados attraction any day of the week as The Barbados Museum is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm, as well as Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.
However the Shilstone Memorial Library is only open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm and the museum is closed on all public holidays.
Admission for adults costs BDS $15.00 (USD $7.50), BDS $7.50 (USD $3.25) for children.Prices are also available upon request for tour groups.
Barbados Museum Quick Facts
Location: St.Ann’s Garrison, St.Michael
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 9am to 5pm / Sun: 2pm to 6pm
Rates: Adults: BDS $15.00 (USD $7.50) / Children: BDS $7.50 (USD $3.25)
No. Of Galleries: 7
Nearest Hotels: The Savannah Hotel, Grand Barbados, Hilton Barbados, Amaryliss Beach Resort, Coconut Court.
Telephone: (246) 427-0201 / (246) 436-1956