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HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: A golden opportunity

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: A golden opportunity

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Sandwiched between Golden Grove Great House and Bayley’s Plantation, the recently rediscovered cave at Golden Grove could become the centre of a new attraction which has the April 14-16, 1816 Bussa Revolt as its theme. Especially if parliamentary representative for St Philip North, Michael Lashley, has his way.

With its man-made alcoves and rubble stone pillars supporting the rock shelf roof, the imagination runs wild with what could have been the possible use of the cave.

Images of candlelight shadows flickering across the cave walls, as slaves huddled together, whispering their plans in the small hours of the morning, come to mind.

Lashley, who led Heather-Lynn’s Habitat to the area, was buzzing with excitement.

From sorting out access to the area, to inviting micro businesses, and even conducting night tours from the site, similar to those ongoing at the historic Garrison, Lashley said the area had so much potential, should the cave actually be linked to the Bussa Rebellion.

Michael “Bennett” Miller said the cave was one of many in the area.

“There are caves all around here. Don’t forget this is where the slaves were from Bayley’s. There are caves and there are pathways. We used to walk underground all the way up by St Catherine’s Church,” he recalled.

Meanwhile, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley told Heather-Lynn’s Habitat that the first thing he would like to see done was for the area to be preserved.

“Once it’s a historic location, particularly where we had ancestors there, we want to first look at it. We want the (Barbados) Museum (and Historical Society) and the Ministry’s Heritage Division to come have a look at it,” he said, stressing that before the cave could be considered a feature with tourist value, it must first be of heritage value.

Noting that he had not yet seen it, the culture minister added that should it be linked to the Bussa Rebellion, it would be a significant find.

“This would be phenomenal because we have many other sites unknown where the presence of our African ancestors would have been there. And when we discover something like that, we would want to move to ensure that we first of all learn how they lived and the history of our ancestors. It is important in having that known and displayed for present generations.”

He added: “It is usually a very humbling experience because we are talking about a location where our ancestors lived and in many cases where they died. Certainly for us when we see these kinds of sites, we regard them as sites which deserve the utmost respect.”

But Lashley stressed the historians must first determine the archeological and historic significance of the find.

“The Bussa Rebellion was a turning point in the history of Barbados, where enslaved persons took a stand. And had they not taken that stand, much of modern Barbados would not be what it was today,” he said.