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Open house season a success

Heather-Lynn Evanson

Open house season a success

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THE HOME of the Barbados National Trust was the curtain closure when the Trust’s Open House Programme came to an end last Wednesday.
The Georgian-styled great house named after Daniel Wildey – at the time one of the larger landowners in the parish – was built in the 18th century.
It currently houses the Trust’s extensive photographic collection, as well as historic pieces belonging to the last owner, who bequeathed the property to the institution in the 1990s.
Scores of visitors took the opportunity to wander through the two-storey mansion in Wildey, St Michael, and to look at the photographs depicting the island’s plantation houses and churches.
Executive director William Gollop called the season a success and said this year’s Open House programme was shaping up to be on par with last year’s.
“I believe the reason for the success this year is the collection and the selection of the houses which we opened,” he said.
The season started with Clifton Hall Plantation House in St John and ended with  Wildey House.
“On average we probably did about 300 [visitors] but Colleton House [in St Peter] was a high . . . . Codrington College was a crowd puller. It drew not only large numbers of tourists but locals as well.”
The three-month season also showcased the totally eco-friendly house Sugar Water in Apes Hill, St James, and one which Gollop said highlighted the changing times in Barbados – Guinea Plantation, now owned by a black Barbadian woman.
The houses, the executive director added, further highlighted the fact that the social and architectural pattern of the island was changing.
“When we think of Guinea Plantation, which is now owned by a Barbadian who is black and who is a female . . . . that speaks volumes,” Gollop told the MIDWEEK Nation.
He added that historic plantation architecture was now being featured in more buildings, “even if it is only just in window treatment, even the use of coral stone . . . ”.
• heatherlynevanson