Barbados Sights

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St. Nicholas Abbey Review

The island's oldest great house (circa 1650) was named after the original British owner's hometown, St. Nicholas Parish near Bristol, and Bath Abbey nearby. Its stone-and-wood architecture makes it one of only three original Jacobean-style houses still standing in the Western Hemisphere. It has Dutch gables, finials of coral stone, and beautiful grounds that include an "avenue" of mahogany trees, a "gully" filled with tropical trees and plantings, formal gardens, and an old sugar mill. The first floor, fully furnished with period furniture and portraits of family members, is open to the public. A fascinating home movie, shot by a previous owner's father, records Bajan life in the 1930s. Behind the greathouse is a rum distillery with a 19th-century steam press. Visitors can purchase artisanal plantation rum produced nearby (the Abbey's production will become fully aged about 2018), browse the gift shop, and enjoy light refreshments at the Terrace Café.

Updated: 02-27-2014

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