Fodor's Expert Review Barbados Museum
Established in 1933 in the former British Military Prison (1815) in the historic Garrison area, this intriguing museum has artifacts from Arawak days (around 400 BC) and galleries that depict 19th-century military history and everyday social history. You can see cane-harvesting tools, wedding dresses, ancient (and frightening) dental instruments, and slave sale accounts in spidery copperplate handwriting. The Harewood Gallery showcases the island's natural environment, the Cunard Gallery has a permanent collection of West Indian prints bequeathed by Sir Edward Cunard, and the Warmington Gallery contains decorative arts depicting the planter's lifestyle. One gallery has exhibits for children. The Shilstone Memorial Library houses rare West Indian materials—archival documents, genealogical records, photos, books, and maps—dating to the 17th century. There is also a gift shop and café.