Lascelles Gully worth the trek
THE FAMILY’S PLANTATIONS might have been sold off but the gully that bears the Lascelles’ family name is still there for everyone to experience.
But to do so, one must be willing to hike for at least three hours, climb down vertical rock faces and scale boulders – some the size of small cars – while walking beneath two of the island’s parishes.
Yesterday, more than a dozen people, including members of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, joined the Barbados Museum and Historical Society’s assistant curator in natural history, Kerron Hamblin, librarian Harriet Pierce and other museum staff members on a sweat-drenching hike through a gully that started near St Thomas Parish Church and ended near Limegrove in St James.
Pierce, who gave some background information on the wealthy and once influential Barbadian family of Lascelles, said they first arrived on the island around 1648.
“The family came in different waves and through a process of plantation ownership, slave trading and sugar, they amassed a great fortune and they went into money lending and it was through money lending that they were able to acquire a lot of plantations here in Barbados,” Pierce told those gathered near the entrance to the gully.
The family went on to own plantations at the Castle, St Peter; Holetown, Coopers Hill and Lascelles in St James; Turners Hall in St Andrew; Guinea in St John, where mango trees were successfully introduced in 1742; Fortesque, Pot House and Thicketts in St Philip; Maxwell in Christ Church; The Belle in St Michael and The Mount in St George, as well as plantations in Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada. They sold the last plantation in Barbados in 1975.
Hamblin then led the walkers off road, under the bridge of the road, below Portvale Sugar Factory and deep in the gully until three hours later, the sound of barking dogs announced that the walkers were back to civilisation near Limegrove, St James.