Things Bajan:Harrison’s Cave
Sat, November 24, 2012 - 10:52 AM
For the month of November, we will focus on things Barbados as this country celebrates its independence. Every day we will be highlighting Barbadian sayings, artefacts unique to the country, as well as personalities, icons, some places and things that reflect Barbados.
The focus today is on Harrison’s Cave in St Thomas.
Much of the coral limestone cap with covers Barbados, except for the Scotland District, is permeated by underground streams.
Being mildly acidic from absorption of carbon dioxide, the water continuously breaks down the calcium carbonate of which limestone is formed, creating an extensive system of caves. By far the most spectacular of these is Harrison’s Cave, now perhaps the most famous attraction in Barbados.
The first account of this remarkable cave system is given by a visitor, Dr George Pinckard, in a vivid letter of February 27, 1796. Schomburgk (1848) dismissed it as being of little interest and it was more or less forgotten until Danish speleologist Ole Sorensen rediscovered it in 1970 and saw its potential as a great tourist attraction. Sorensen entered it through a hole in the floor of Welchman Hall Gully.
The development of the caves began in earnest in 1974. Jeanne and Russell Gurney supervised the development and with ingenious lighting, have opened up a magnificent and unlimited kaleidoscope of vaulted chambers of stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and pools. Visitors are taken on a guided tour, in electrically driven open vehicles for a unique experience.
• Source: A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage
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