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Revisit to St. Nicholas Abbey

Sixth Visit


View 2018-Christmas and New Years Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

This was our sixth visit to Barbados.

The first time was in 1996 when we spent a week on the island and toured many of the attractions including the Barbados Museum, Harrison's Cave, Cherry Tree Hill, Grenade Hill, Gun Signal Hill, and
Andromeda Botanical Gardens

Andromeda Botanical Gardens


Toothpick tree in Welchman Hall Gully

Toothpick tree in Welchman Hall Gully


Morgan Lewis Mill machinery 1996

Morgan Lewis Mill machinery 1996


Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary Sign

Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary Sign


Farley Hill

Farley Hill


Sea crashing on rocks near Animal Flower Cave

Sea crashing on rocks near Animal Flower Cave


Folkestone Snorkeling 1996

Folkestone Snorkeling 1996


St Nicholas Abbey 1996

St Nicholas Abbey 1996


On cruise ship visits in 2006 (twice), 2007, and 2013 we visited lighthouses,
Ragged Point Lighthouse

Ragged Point Lighthouse

Harrison's Point lighthouse

Harrison's Point lighthouse

Needham Lighthouse

Needham Lighthouse

South Point Lighthouse

South Point Lighthouse


St. John's Parish Church

St. John's Parish Church


Orchid World

Orchid World


Sudbury Plantation

Sudbury Plantation


and we revisited the
Barbados museum

Barbados museum


Stalactites in Harrison's Cave

Stalactites in Harrison's Cave


Five Visits to Barbados
But we were not able to get back to St. Nicholas Abbey because it was always closed when we were there. I wanted to go back there because they showed old home movies taken in the 1930s and I wanted to see them again. The film is listed by the Barbados Tourism Authority as one of the "Seven Wonders of Barbados,

We went up to breakfast and ate with the infamous Carol who has been a widow for 5 years (she is my age) and she is up at the casino whenever it is open. I had
Spiced apples

Spiced apples


and poached eggs on toast but the eggs were almost hard boiled which was disappointing because I like to have runny yolks to sop up with the toast.

We got ourselves together and exited the ship. At that point, we were the only ship in port. I figured that most of the other ships that left Ft Lauderdale when we did on 7 day cruises would be back there, or near there today because Barbados is about as far south and east as you go in the Caribbean.
Bob walking ahead of me getting off the ship

Bob walking ahead of me getting off the ship


We went out to the taxi place where there was a lady with a clipboard. I asked her if she was the Taxi Mother (thinking about the Cheese Father in Alkmaar) and she laughed and said she was the dispatcher. I said that I had a limited amount of cash and I wanted to go to St. Nicholas Abbey and to St. Philip-the-Less Anglican Church. She asked how much and I said $100 (I really had $200, but before when I wanted to go to the museum which is quite close and have the driver wait, he charged me $40 so I thought that $100 should cover the morning). She beckoned a driver over and we discussed what I wanted to do and I asked him if he could do that for $100.00 (US). He said he could and maybe I could give him some extra. (In the Antigua it was $200 for the morning, and St Barts it was 150 euros). We put the scooter in the van and started off.
Seventh Day Adventist church and Mini-van AKA Regae Bus

Seventh Day Adventist church and Mini-van AKA Regae Bus


Caribbean shore

Caribbean shore


He showed us the
Monument to those who lost their lives in the 1976 bombing of the Cubana DC8

Monument to those who lost their lives in the 1976 bombing of the Cubana DC8


which crashed off Barbados (this was something I had not known about), and also the monument to the 1605 landing of the English.
Explanation of the Holetown Monument

Explanation of the Holetown Monument

Tercentenary monument commemorating the first landing of Englishmen July 1605

Tercentenary monument commemorating the first landing of Englishmen July 1605


We also passed what the taxi driver told us was the house of Rihanna
Rihanna Fenty's house

Rihanna Fenty's house


who is a singer that was born in Barbados. I have been informed that she doesn't own the whole house and probably just has and appartment here. We saw a
New marina

New marina

Hay rolls in a field

Hay rolls in a field

Electric station

Electric station


and some old chattel houses.
Chattel house

Chattel house


The chattel houses are always interesting to me. They are distinctly Bajan and may be the first "Tiny Houses"
Chattel Houses

Chattel Houses

Old chattel house

Old chattel house


After emancipation, the former slaves built small houses on the plantations where they worked, but the land they were built on did not belong to them. So if they lost their job, or wanted to move to another one, they built houses on blocks so they could easily be dismantled in sections, put onto a cart and moved to another spot. At some time in the past the chattel house owners were allowed to purchase the land, so the houses now have running water and electricity.
Road between sugar cane fields

Road between sugar cane fields

Entrance road St Nicholas Abbey

Entrance road St Nicholas Abbey


We got to St Nicholas Abbey about 10:15 (shortly after they opened at 10:00).
Entrance kiosk at St. Nicholas Abbey

Entrance kiosk at St. Nicholas Abbey


I paid for the tickets ($23US each or $46BD) with a credit card, and the driver parked and we went through the front garden and past the herb garden into the house.
St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Abbey


St. Nicholas Abbey’s is not a religious institution. It has always been a sugarcane plantation house. The great house, built by Benjamin Berringer in 1658, is one of just three Jacobean style mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere. (The others are Bacon's Castle in Surry County, Virginia and Drax Hall Great House in Barbados.) Architectural details include the curvilinear Dutch gables with tall finials of carved coral stone Tudor arches, casement windows and decorative corner chimneys. Benjamin's neighbour, friend and business partner was John (later Sir John) Yeamans. When Yeamans began to pay attention to Mrs. Berringer, a feud erupted between Yeamans and Colonel Berringer, culminating in a duel in which Berringer was killed. Soon afterwards, Sir John married Mrs. Berringer and claimed the Abbey. A court ruling returned the property to Berringer's children

The current owner, the Barbadian architect Larry Warren purchased the property in 2006 from the last previous owners the Cave family. It is thought that the Cave family is responsible for the property name when they combined the existing name, ‘Nicholas Plantation’, ‘St. Nicholas Parish’, where the Cumberbatch family lived in England, and ‘Bath Abbey’, where the couple married.

Their website said no motorized wheelchairs or scooters would be allowed, but they did let me ride around the ground floor of the house on the scooter.
Chandelier

Chandelier

St Nicholas Abbey drawing room

St Nicholas Abbey drawing room


Sir John Gay Alleyne added the Georgian-style triple arcaded portico and sash windows in 1746. The cedar paneling was installed in 1898 to protect the home from dampness, likely taken from trees that fell during the strong hurricane that hit the island that year. The Mahogany door, added in 1910, was also felled on the planation.
Drawing room antiques

Drawing room antiques

Dining room

Dining room


The English Sheraton sideboard c. 1780 is one of the few pieces dating to the original owners of the house. The dining table and chairs, made locally from Barbadian Mahogany in 1850.
English sheridan sideboard

English sheridan sideboard

WIndow

WIndow


I particularly remembered, and wanted to see again, this
Gentleman's chair manufactured in 1935 by Foot and Co. (a manufacturer of hospital equipment during WWI)

Gentleman's chair manufactured in 1935 by Foot and Co. (a manufacturer of hospital equipment during WWI)


which was in the study. It could be transformed into a semi or full length couch with the push of a few buttons. Featuring adjustable tables, a book holder, reading lamp, backrest and footrest, it was a common spot for impromptu napping. If the gentleman was disturbing others by snoring too loudly, the chair could be easily wheeled into another room for the duration of the nap.
Window in the study

Window in the study


A Sailor's Valentine was a popular souvenirs of the period which featured intricate designs created from local and imported seashells and other natural materials. The patterns typically centered on a compass, heart or sentimental message. Although the name suggests the sailors made these valentines themselves, most originated in Barbados.
The Sailor's Valentine

The Sailor's Valentine


The grandfather clock, built by James Thwaite of London in 1759, has stood on the landing ever since
Grandfather clock on the stair landing

Grandfather clock on the stair landing


The Chippendale staircase, featuring a different pattern on each flight, replaced the original in 1746
Close-up of the Stair railing

Close-up of the Stair railing


Indoor plumbing was installed on the second floor in the 1930s; there is a full bath on the landing. The 2nd and 3rd floors of the home feature seven bedrooms, two with cornerstone fireplaces, but these areas are not open to the public. Then we had to go out the back (several steps) and we met the son of the current owner when we went into the museum part. In order to get there on the scooter I had to go through a little gate
Going through a little gate

Going through a little gate


and along a path and turn through the terrace cafe that was behing the Rum and Sugar Bond which was where the museum was
Bob taking a photo of the Museum and tasting room

Bob taking a photo of the Museum and tasting room

Son of the current owner

Son of the current owner


Museum and tasting room

Museum and tasting room

Rum barrels

Rum barrels

Models of buses under the tasting table

Models of buses under the tasting table

Visitor's book

Visitor's book

Monkey statue

Monkey statue


Me on the scooter coming from the museum

Me on the scooter coming from the museum


There was rum tasting (which we didn't participate in) and a free drink - either rum or fruit punch.
House back door

House back door

Back yard of St Nicholas Abbey with bird cage

Back yard of St Nicholas Abbey with bird cage


Another thing I remembered from 1996 was this 400 year old Sandbox Tree (Hura crepitans) with the spines on the trunk
Sandbox or Monkey-no-climb tree

Sandbox or Monkey-no-climb tree

Close-up of the bark

Close-up of the bark

Looking up at the Sand Box tree

Looking up at the Sand Box tree


I was able to scooter a little way into the side yard because I wanted to revisit the bath house and the outhouse
Side of St Nicholas Abbey

Side of St Nicholas Abbey

Side yard

Side yard

Bath house

Bath house

Four hole outhouse with a chandelier

Four hole outhouse with a chandelier


Then we went to get good seats for the movie.
large_IMG_2769.JPG
Outside this window was a bird cage with two birds in it. Lance & Baby, two Moluccan Cockatoos (Cacatua molunccensis) or Salmon Crested Cockatoos. I didn't get over to see them, except through this window.
Photos in the film room

Photos in the film room


We got to see the 1935 movie which had been made into a video and now in addition to the section on harvesting the sugar cane and plantation operations
1930s movie

1930s movie


it also included the trip over on a steamship that took 3 weeks. There was a scene which was not in the original movie of the passengers swimming off the ship in some kind of pool attached to the side of the ship. I thought it was very interesting and was happy to have the chance to see it again.

We got back in the taxi and we went down Cherry tree hill where lots of people had stopped to see the view,
View of the Atlantic from Cherry Tree hill

View of the Atlantic from Cherry Tree hill


and past Morgan Mill which has now been restored since we saw it in 1996
Morgan Mill

Morgan Mill

Cows near Morgan Mill

Cows near Morgan Mill


and we were going south down the east coast.
Morgan Mill from down the hill

Morgan Mill from down the hill

Milk Truck

Milk Truck


We passed St. Andrews church and I made the comment that we could go to St. Andrews instead of St. Philip and the Juel the driver said that St. Philips was all the way at the other end of the island. And I said that it was not - it was quite near the Abbey. Well of course he was thinking of a different St. Philips. I got the ap out on my phone and it gave us directions. The only problem was - the GPS location on the church was off by a couple of blocks. So we stopped and asked and were told to go back to the road we had been on and turn right and go up the hill to the old sugar mill.
Old sugar mill behind St. Phillip the Less Cemetery

Old sugar mill behind St. Phillip the Less Cemetery


And the church was there.
St Philip the Less sign

St Philip the Less sign


I had looked it up on the internet to see when they might have a service (so that I wouldn't interfere) and they were having a service at 8:30 in the morning. I thought they would be done and gone by the time we got there, but the minister was still there.
Part of the cemetery

Part of the cemetery

Old tree in the cemetery

Old tree in the cemetery


It was a nice little cemetery and Bob took photos. We were even able to take a photo of a memorial for a soldier that was entered by the International War Graves Commission.
British West Indies Regiment WWI

British West Indies Regiment WWI


Then we started back for the ship.
Back of St Nicholas Abbey

Back of St Nicholas Abbey


Got back about 1. I wanted to be able to contact the cab driver again so I took a photo of his ID (since he was out of cards).
Cab driver's ID

Cab driver's ID


We stopped and did a little shopping at the Best of Barbados store to get a little gift for the cat lady and my cleaning lady. We got oven mitts, rum cake and some coconut coffee. The other ship had gotten in by then it was the Marella Explorer - based in Barbados and does 7 day cruises from there. 925 cabins. It was formerly a Celebrity ship
Marella Explorer

Marella Explorer


We went up to the lido and had lunch. I had a piece of pizza and sat at a table with an old man who turned out to be 88 years old. We were near the automatic door out onto the deck and he said the door malfunctioned yesterday and closed on a lady and knocked her down. He said the ship people tried to say that she just fell, but he saw it and the door knocked her down.

I asked Bob to bring me an egg and watercress sandwich, but he could not find them, so I ate the ice cream he had with fudge sauce. He had a sandwich and potato salad and two piece of cake so he was not going hungry. We finished a little after 2 and they were clearing away lunch so when he went to get ice cream it was gone. We went down to the cabin and after awhile, he went back up for his ice cream.

We had dinner - I had salad and jerk chicken.
Jerk chicken

Jerk chicken


Bob had two kinds of soup (split pea and mango) and salmon. Then since the George and Ann were celebrating their 50th anniversary, they sang to them and gave them a little chocolate cake.
Florida Key Lime Pie

Florida Key Lime Pie


I went to the casino and one of the ladies showed me how to set up an account to use the slots, and I put $100 on my card and played a little bit and then cashed out $92.00.

Tomorrow it is another port - Bequia in the Grenidines

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:15 Archived in Barbados

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