Barbados Through the years.

Barbados Through the years.

This November marks 55 years of Independence from the United Kingdom and the year that Barbados become a Republic. Join us on a brief journey through time from Barbados’ discovery to today.


1500s – Barbados first appears on Spanish Maps and is referred to as Los Barbudos (the bearded ones) named after the bearded fig trees found widely on the island. 


1625 – A passing trade ship “Olive Blossom” landed at “St. James Town” (today known as Holetown) and erected a cross with the inscription ‘for James King of England and this island’


1628 – A settlement was established by Lord Carlisle in Bridgetown was declared the capital of the island and remains the capital today.

1639 – The House of Assembly held its first meeting. Did you know Barbados has the 3rd oldest parliamentary system in the Western Hemisphere, behind Virginia and Bermuda?


1640s – Sugar cultivations began on the island and a large influx of people arrive on the shores of the island.


1733 – Harrisons College was established and remains one of the leading secondary schools today.

1751 - George Washington visits, making his only journey outside the American mainland. Today you can visit the George Washington House in the historic Bridgetown to learn more. 


1816 – The Bussa Rebellion, the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history takes place. Today you can see the Bussa Statue at the J. T. C. Ramsay roundabout in Haggatt Hall.


1833- The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 is passed, ending the practice of slavery throughout the British Empire. Celebrated every year on August 1st, Emancipation Day. 


1861 – Piped water is introduced in Bridgetown. Today Barbados has some of the freshest water in the world filtered naturally through our limestone underwater caves. Visit Harrions Cave to learn more at their fascinating tour. 


1934 – Grantley Adams (one of Barbados’ National Heroes and founder of the BLP) is elected to the House of Assembly. Our Airport is named after Grantley Adams.

1938 - Barbados Progressive League-BPL. (The precursor of the Barbados Labour Party) is formed by Grantley Adams.


1944 – Women gain the right to vote.


1954 - Grantley Adams was appointed as the colony's first Premier.


1955 – The DLP (Democratic Labour Party) was formed led by Errol Barrow (another National Hero of Barbados). You can see his face on Barbados’ $50 bill.

1961 – The Deep Water Harbour is completed after beginning construction in 1956. Today it is home to the many cruise ships who visit our shores. 


1966 – Barbados gains Independence from the UK lead by the nation’s first Prime Minister Errol Barrow.

1972 – The local Central Bank was established by Act of parliament.


1977 – The first Concorde flight from London to Barbados arrives with Queen Elizabeth II on board.

2003 – The last Concorde commercial flight from London to Barbados. Today you can visit the Concorde tour, conveniently located next to the airport. 


2011 – The Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison were added as World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.


2018 – Mia Mottley became the first female Prime Mister of Barbados and her party, the BLP won all 30 seats of parliament. 


2021 – The year that Barbados becomes a Republic after 55 years of Independence from the United Kingdom. A decision led by Prime Minister Mia Mottley that will see the first President and further ties from the UK.



Interested in escaping to Barbados? Contact our team at and let our team of holiday reservation specialist match you with a holiday home that suits your needs and interests.


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