OFTEN DESCRIBED AS INFORMATIVE, entertaining and equally fascinating by visitors, the “little gem”, Arlington House Museum, located in Speightstown; St. Peter offers a unique opportunity to the intrigued soul. This house, originally the home of a wealthy merchant, was of a classic “single house” design. Due to the connection Barbados had with the United States of America (USA), similar buildings could at one time be found in Charleston, South Carolina.
Upon arrival, be prepared to experience life in a “bygone era” as the museum’s history is contained in a restored eighteenth century three-storey building. The architectural spectacle was reportedly constructed using cement paste made from egg whites and molasses to fuse together coral, limestone and rubble masonry. Today, it boasts of walls over two feet thick.
With stories of sugar, seafaring and trade, each floor of the museum carries a different theme. And if you’re planning to take your children to the antique site, the possibility of becoming bored is slim to none as the interactive and audio visual features ensure an educational and engaging occurrence for the entire family.
The ground floor, Speightstown Memories, provides an insight to the lives of its early citizens. The second floor, Plantation Memories, tells the story of colonization and the sugar cane industry on the island. While the third floor, Wharf Memories, is especially a treat for children as a talking pirate takes you on a historical journey of Speightstown as a leading hub and port.
According to the Visit Barbados website, a beautifully produced film also gives an overview of Barbados, from its geological origins to the present. Moreover, the showcase emphasizes the importance of Speightstown and Arlington House Museum by extension to Barbados’ history. Additionally, it tells of the role Barbados had in the slave trade as the island was the first destination that was reached on the journey from Africa.