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15 February 2017
Open House: St Ann's Fort, National Armoury & Drill Hall

The Open House programme is presented by the Barbados National Trust.

St Ann's Fort, National Armoury & Drill Hall is this week's Open House.

This is a rare opportunity to visit two of the Garrison’s historic military buildings – Drill Hall and St. Ann's Fort – occupied by the Barbados Defense Force – an integral part of the UNESCO inscribed World Heritage property of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison. 

Built in 1702 during the reign of Queen Anne, the fort’s picturesque upper keep invites strolling.  
The naval magazine beneath displays the finest known collection of seventeenth century English iron canons.

In the Drill Hall, built onto the fort’s moat that was never flooded, enjoy the West India Regiment memorabilia and view the remarkable Garrison area.

Expect to stroll the Fort's upper keep with its observation tower, which was outfitted with radio transmitters during WWII, then into the upper floor of Drill Hall before descending to the fascinating National Armoury collection deep in the unfinished bastion.  There, a 15 minute video shows shipboard life and how the big guns were fired. An interpretive leaflet specially prepared for Open House gives even more context and meaning to the many sights on offer.

There will also be a lecture by National Trust President and Garrison Historical Consortium Vice President, Peter Stevens, at 3:15, live entertainment by the Zouaves and refreshments plus a panoply of artists and craftspeople on the lawn. A door prize will be drawn at 4:30.
From Bridgetown, go south on Bay Street to the Garrison and watch for our signs. From the ABC Highway, head to the Garfield Sobers roundabout, come down Rendezvous Hill towards Worthing and turn right at traffic lights at the bottom. About a mile later, look for the bright blue Hastings Police Station. Enter there for parking. You may also park around the Garrison. DO NOT try to enter via the Defense Force gate. Entry is around through the carpark adjacent to the police station.

General Bds $35.00
Children 5-12-y-o Half Price
Children under 5 Free
BARP, AARP and CARP Members $30.00
Members of the Barbados National Trust $25.00 upon presentation of membership card. Also applicable to reciprocating Trusts and Societies members.
Students (school children in uniform with adult): Bds $10.00

Dress nicely casual.

No pre-booking is needed. Just follow the directions - look for the signs.

Call the Barbados National Trust at 426-2421 for more information and to ensure that the viewing is on as advertised.

Start time: 2:30 PM   End time: 5:30 PM

Venue: St. Ann's Fort, The Garrison, St. Michael

The Open Houses Programme is a Winter Season Tradition in Barbados presented by the Barbados National Trust (BNT).  It allows visitors and residents alike access to some of the island's loveliest houses.  Discover more about our island's diverse architecture and history.

The programme includes all types of houses - from the grand old plantation houses rich with centuries of history, to the newer, luxurious Bajan-style villas.

Grounds and gardens are part of the attraction.  Sip your rum punch in stunning tropical settings.

The BNT sets up a bazaar with books and crafts people.  Refreshments are on sale.
In addition, they provide historical and architectural information which you can take home with you at no additional cost.

At 3:15 pm, short lectures are given by the BNT's experts on heritage.  These are:

Prof Henry Fraser -
a past president of Barbados National Trust and the author of 'Historic Houses of Barbados' and 'Treasures of Barbados.'

Dr Karl Watson - BNT's current president and the editor of the journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. He is also the author of the forthcoming book 'History of the Sephardic Jews of Barbados.'

The Barbados National Trust was founded in 1961 to preserve our unique heritage - be it historic buildings, place of natural beauty or out flora and fauna.

It's a very active Trust and was recently successful in achieving UNESCO International Heritage Site status for Bridgetown and its Garrison.


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