The island of Barbados has a rich history and vibrant culture beckoning travelers from near and wide to our shores. Visitors to the island are encouraged to stop at any of the Barbados heritage sites that tell our unique story and provide a glimpse into the history of this piece of paradise.
This week we take a tour of Tyrol Cot Heritage Village, a stunning architectural achievement that is the creation and property of the Barbados National Trust. The main house, Tyrol Cot, stands out among other Barbados historic properties as this was the home of Sir Grantley Adams, leader of the Barbados independence movement.
The house is an interesting combination of Palladian architecture with distinct Caribbean influences. Constructed in 1854 using native coral stone and ballast bricks, Tyrol Cot houses numerous beautiful antiques and keepsakes of the Adams’ family. Like many other Barbados historic properties, there are numerous mahogany pieces, including a beautifully crafted Regency-style double-ended couch and a Regency-style dining table.
Visitors can stroll through the bedrooms admiring the cordia wood bedroom suite in the Master bedroom, a wedding gift from Sir Grantley to his wife, Lady Adams, or view the bedroom of Sir Grantley’s son, Tom, who became a celebrated Prime Minister of the island of Barbados.
Other treasures include a collection of photographs documenting key moments in Barbados’ history as well as other souvenirs and collectibles. The infamous collection of Wedgwood china acquired by Lady Adams is proudly on display and one can readily paint a picture of the fancy dinner gatherings that must have occurred. Her husband’s traditional liquor chests are also on show – these ingenious, handmade structures still contain bottles (rum not included).
Stories abound throughout the house and it is easy to envision Sir Grantley Adams engaged in intense political discussion about Barbados while sitting on the patio peering through the large jalousie windows or imagine Lady Adams and her young son, Tom, crouched in the basement hiding from Sir Grantley’s political opponents as they shot at the house.
A tour is most definitely a trip back in time and Tyrol Cot remains a significant Barbados heritage site. Investment is presently being sought to restore sections of the property as it is in need of some repair. Island Villas strongly supports the work of the Barbados National Trust and we encourage you to check out our next post when we continue our tour of the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village.