Bridgetown: Wikis

  
  
  
  

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The City of Bridgetown
—  City  —
Chamberlain Bridge spanning the Careenage, Bridgetown
The location of Bridgetown (the red star)
Coordinates: 13°05′41″N 59°37′03″W / 13.0947°N 59.6175°W / 13.0947; -59.6175
Country Barbados
Parish Saint Michael
Established 1628
Area
 - City 15 sq mi (38.8 km2)
Elevation [1] 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2006)
 - Metro 96,578
Time zone Eastern Caribbean Time Zone (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 246
HDI (2006) 0.971 – high

The City of Bridgetown, metropolitan pop 96,578 (2006), is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. Formerly, the Town of Saint Michael the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael, Locally Bridgetown is sometimes referred to as "The City", but the most common reference is simply "Town".

The Bridgetown port is located at 13°7′N 59°37′W / 13.117°N 59.617°W / 13.117; -59.617 (Bridgetown port), on the southwestern coast of the island along Carlisle Bay. Parts of the Greater Bridgetown area lie along the borders of the neighbouring parishes Christ Church and St. James.

The present day location of the city was established by the British in 1628 following their settlement at James Town. Bridgetown is a major West Indies tourist destination, and the city acts as an important financial, informatics and convention centre in the Caribbean region.

Contents

History

Although the island was totally abandoned or uninhabited when the British landed there, one of the few traces of indigenous pre-existence on the island was a primitive bridge constructed over the Careenage area's swamp at the centre of Bridgetown. It was suspected that this bridge was created by a people indigenous to the Caribbean known as the Arawak. Upon finding the structure the British settlers began to call what is now the Bridgetown area, Indian Bridge. It is widely believed that the Arawaks were driven from Barbados to the neighbouring island of Saint Lucia, during an invasion by another people indigenous to the region known as the Caribs. Eventually after 1654 when a new bridge was constructed over the Careenage by the British, the area became known as The Town of Saint Michael and later as Bridgetown, and the final name stuck.

Bridgetown is the only city outside continental North America that George Washington visited. (George Washington House, the actual house where he stayed, is now part of the Garrison Historic Area)

Early settlement

English settlement of Bridgetown began on 5 July 1628[2 ] under Charles Wolverstone, who brought with him 64 settlers to these lands formally claimed by James Hay, the Earl of Carlisle. Wolverstone, had been dispatched by a group of London Merchants, headed by Sir Marmaduke Rawdon. The group had been granted a lease[3] to 10,000 acres of land area by the Earl of Carlisle in settlement of debts. Each of the settlers with Wolverstone were granted by him 100 acres of land, lying on the northern side of the Careenage waterway for the purpose of general settlement.[2 ] The southern shore on Needham's Point, were claimed by Carlisle's agents that coming October, and in 1631, many acres of land directly facing Carlisle Bay were passed to Henry Hawley, the new Governor. Reports of dishonest behaviour about this Governor led to his arrest and rendition to England in 1639. After investigation by Commission in 1640, it was found that much of Hawley's land transactions were legitimate and properly showed these lands (including the town site), as being attributed to the Earl of Carlisle.

Boundaries

The earliest boundaries of Bridgetown are contain by-way of an Act passed on 4 April 1660 called, "to prevent the danger which may happen by fire, in or about any of the seaport towns of the Island".[2 ] The southern limit was declared to be the River (Careenage), whilst the western limit was declared to be the western boundary of St. Michael's (now St. Mary's) Churchyard, and extending in a direct line to the seaside. The town's other limits consisted of properties of certain citizens names in this statute, the location of which cannot now be determined with certainty.[2 ] The boundaries were not redefined until 1822.

From a Town into a City

In 1824 Barbados became the seat of the Anglican 'Diocese of Barbados and the Leeward Islands'. Due to this the Saint Michael's Parish Church became raised to the status of Cathedral, in so doing the elevation meant that thereafter Bridgetown would be conferred with city status. In December 1925 a committee sought to petition the King for a Royal Charter of Incorporation to devise local government in the city. The plan stated the desire for Bridgetown to be run by a Mayor, 8 Aldermen, 12 Common councillors, a Town Clerk, a Head-borough or Chef Constable, and such other officers as would be deemed necessary. It was proposed that the island's House of Assembly should seek to Incorporate the city instead of utilising Royal Charter.

The Coat of Arms of Bridgetown

Some time later in 1842 Royal Letters Patent under which Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent and Saint Lucia were split into separate diocese decreed that henceforth the Town of Bridgetown should henceforth be called the City of Bridgetown.

It was not until 1958 when the Local Government Act was passed in Barbados. Within the act called for separate administration for the city. The act called for a Mayor, 6 City aldermen, and 12 City Councillors—of which 4 serve each of the 3 Wards in the City.

On 20 September 1960 a grant of Arms was conferred upon the City by the Royal College of Arms in London. The Armorial bearings for the City of Bridgetown were designed by the late Neville Connell, the then director of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society along with H.W. Ince the Honorary Secretary of the Society.

Local government in Barbados was established but not for long. In April 1967 the system of Local Government Councils was dissolved and replaced by an Interim Commissioner for Local Government. The Corporation of Bridgetown thus ceased to exist, and its records and paraphernalia were deposited in both the Government Department of Archives and Barbados Museum and Historical Society.[4] Today Bridgetown and surrounding constituencies are administered by members of Barbadian parliament. Br

Geography and climate

Suburbs of Bridgetown with Harbour in the background

The city of Bridgetown, and the wider Greater Bridgetown area occupy most of the parish of Saint Michael, an area which covers around 39 km² (15 sq. mi). Bridgetown's centre was originally composed of a swamp, which was quickly drained and filled-in to make way for the city's early development.

At the heart of Bridgetown is the Careenage and Constitution River. This body of water provides the city with direct access from medium sized yachts or small craft boats. Although moderately shallow, the Careenage slices Bridgetown into two parts. During the rainy season the Constitution River flows into the Careenage area and acts as an outflow for water from the islands interior storm drainage network. Flowing into the Carlisle Bay on the southwest coast of the island, the Careenage can be observed as a marina for boaters entering or exiting the inner basin located directly in front of the Parliament buildings of Barbados.

Barbados has a tropical climate, with a record high of 35C (95.4 F) and record low of 16C (60.8 F).

Weather data for Bridgetown
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
33
(91)
32
(90)
32
(90)
35
(95)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
35
(95)
Average high °C (°F) 28
(82)
28
(82)
29
(84)
30
(86)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
29
(84)
28
(82)
30
(86)
Average low °C (°F) 21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 16
(61)
16
(61)
17
(63)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
16
(61)
Precipitation mm (inches) 66
(2.6)
28
(1.1)
33
(1.3)
36
(1.42)
58
(2.28)
112
(4.41)
147
(5.79)
147
(5.79)
170
(6.69)
178
(7.01)
206
(8.11)
97
(3.82)
1,278
(50.31)
Source: BBC Weather [5] 2009-09-10

Amalgamation of the Governor with the Windward Islands

From 1800 until 1885 Bridgetown served as the main seat of Government for the former British colonies of the Windward Islands. During this period the resident Governor of Barbados also served as the Colonial head of the Windward Islands. After the Government of Barbados officially exited from the Windward Island union in 1885, the seat was moved from Bridgetown to St. George's on the neighbouring island of Grenada.

Events

Amongst the breathtaking landscapes, and the fresh look of the city; Barbados attracts many investors from various fields. The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup tournament attracted thousands of visitors to the island and was a very prosperous event. The final match was played on Saturday April 28, 2007.

The city

A panorama of downtown Bridgetown, showing Chamberlain Bridge and Parliament Building
Bridgetown Downtown
View from National Heroes Square, Bridgetown, Barbados, April 2007.jpg

In the centre lies the main street of Bridgetown which is Broad Street which runs directly through the centre of the city. Broad Street passes the Parliament Buildings and serves as the centre of city's shopping area.

Another major traffic artery into the city is Bay Street (which turns into Highway 7) and leads toward the South Coast of Barbados and the Parish of Christ Church. There are also other notable streets in Bridgetown, including:

  • Swan Street - which is parallel to Broad Street, to the north.
  • Roebuck Street - which leads towards Queens Park to the North, and East of Swan Street.

-and-

  • Tudor Street - which comes from the north, intersects Swan Street and runs perpendicular to Broad Street.
  • The Spring Garden Highway, which lies to the west of the city, plays host to over 85,000 bystanders and participants in the annual Grand Kadooment Carnival Parade.

Neighbourhoods

  • Belleville
  • Cat's Castle
  • Cheapside
  • Fontabelle
  • Garden Land
  • New Orleans
  • Pinelands
  • Strathclyde
  • Weymouth
  • Whitepark

Landmarks/points of interest

Parliament Building
Nelson Statue
  • Independence Square and The Independence Arch
  • The Montefiore Fountain
  • Parliament Buildings of Barbados
  • The Cathedral Church of Saint Michaels and All Angels
  • The St. Mary's Anglican Church
  • The St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral
  • The Jewish Synagogue
  • The Pelican Village and Craft Centre
  • Queen's Park
  • The Lord Nelson Statue
  • The Barbados Museum
  • Kensington Oval (site of the 2007 Cricket World Cup final)
  • Carlisle Bay Beach
  • Cheapside market
  • The Tom Adams Financial Complex
  • The Frank Collymore Hall of the Performing Arts
  • The Cathedral Plaza
  • The Cave Shepherd Department Store (No.10 Broad Street)
  • The Mutual Building (lower Broad Street)
  • The Cheapside Gardens
  • Sagicor Plaza
  • The Garrison Savannah and National Historic Area
  • The Hilton Hotel
  • Martineau House

Attractions

  • Pierhead Development Complex

Harbour

The Bridgetown Port (or "Deep Water Harbour" as its also known) is the major port of entry for cruise and cargo ships docking in Barbados. The Deep Water Harbour lies a short distance across Carlisle Bay northwest of the Careenage Canal. Found along the Princess Alice Highway, and west of the city's centre around Fontabelle.

The Harbour port acts as one of the major shipping and transhipment hubs from international locations for the entire Eastern Caribbean. Recently the Bridgetown Port was dredged to allow safe access and berthing for the new league of "super cruise ships". The dredging project was completed in 2002 and the city can now host many of the largest cruise ships in the world.

The port of Bridgetown also handles goods for the domestic needs of the island. The island's main exports of mainly agricultural products also make use of the harbour facilities.

Bridgetown also has a smaller canal in the centre of the city, named the Careenage, a.k.a. "Constitution River". The Constitution River should not be confused with the Deep Water Harbour. The smaller Constitution River feeding into the west coast lies about a half kilometer south of the large harbour. The Careenage is just large enough for pleasure craft or fishing boats and has two main bridges near the city center which span the shallow Careenage.

Society and culture

Colourful Bridgetown street

Bridgetown serves as a principal centre of commercial activity in Barbados, as well as a central hub for the island's public transport system. Many of the ministries and departments of the island's government are located within the Greater Bridgetown area. The Public Buildings or parliament, which stand at the heart of the city directly north of Heroes Square, house the third oldest continuous parliament in the British Commonwealth. Indeed, at one point in the city's early history, Bridgetown was the most important city of all British possessions in the New World due to the city's easterly location in the Caribbean region.

The iconic Barbados Mutual Life Assurance Society building from Broad Street.

For a city of its size, the Greater Bridgetown area is home to several prestigious educational institutions. The city serves as the seat of one of the three campuses of the University of the West Indies in the northern suburb of Cave Hill. The campus sits on a bluff offering a spectacular view of Bridgetown and its port. The Barbados Community College is located three miles east of the Central Business District in a suburb known as "The Ivy", while the sprawling campus of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic is located just beyond the eastern limits of the city in a suburb known as "The Pine". In addition, the city houses such distinguished secondary schools as Harrison College, Combermere and The St. Michael School.

The City of Bridgetown also played host to the 1994 United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Islands States. Bridgetown has branches of some of the largest banks in the world and English-speaking Caribbean and is internationally recognised as an emerging financial domicile. The city is currently experiencing a phenomenal spurt of redevelopment in preparation for the 2007 World Cricket Cup Finals to be held at the historic Kensington Oval. The Oval is being renovated to a state-of-the-art sports facility that will accommodate 30,000 spectators. Live viewership for the 2007 event is estimated to be in the region of two billion people.

Utilities and local services

Today Bridgetown is a fully modern and thriving city, with access to many modern services including a piped water supply (said to be naturally among the purest in the world), electricity, natural gas supply, cutting-edge telecommunications, wireless services, internet cafes, and a good overall infrastructure. The city is also served by an impressive conference facility known as the Sherbourne Conference Centre.

Economy

Barbados' main exports are Sugar, rum, and molasses. The island is also involved in other industries namely tourism and the offshore sector.

Stock exchange

The City of Bridgetown also has a well regulated stock exchange with securities of Barbadian and regional Caribbean companies.

Business/specifics

Business: Banks are open 8am–3pm, Hours: Monday to Thursday, and 8am–5pm on Fridays.

The main banks are:

Automatic Teller Machines are available.

Shops are open:

  • 8am–6pm weekdays and
  • 8am–noon Saturdays.

Payment cards are widely accepted.

Electricity: 115 volts AC, 50 cycles. Most hotels have 220 AC.

Telecommunications: the international dialing code for Barbados is 1-246 followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone. When on the island, to call anywhere in the United States or Canada simply dial 1+ (area code) + seven digit phone number.

Emergency Numbers: Police: 211 (emergency only) Fire: 311 Ambulance: 511 Coast Guard and Defense Force: (246) 427-8819

Time: GMT-4

Transportation

The city has access to daily flights via the island's Airport the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) located on the ABC Highway/Highway 7 in Seawell, Christ Church. The city of Bridgetown and New York City in the United States, were the only cities in the western hemisphere to be served by regularly scheduled British Airways Concorde flights. Additionally, the GAIA has been chosen as one of only four global display sites for the retired supersonic aircraft. The Airport is currently in the final stages of an expansion project, which will also include the construction of an aviation museum to house the retired Concorde aircraft.

All seven of Barbados's primary Highways begin close to the City of Bridgetown, in the Parish of Saint Michael. They all fan out to the north, south and east to other parts of the island. Driving is done of the left-hand side of the road with a speed limit of 60 km/h (around 38 miles per hour) in built-up areas. The speed limit on the ABC Highway is generally 80 km/h (50 mph) except in built-up areas. Water transport is regulated by the Barbados Port Authority.

Public buses

Public buses that head northward to destinations such as Holetown and Speightstown, and to some locations in St. Michael including the University of the West Indies - (Cave Hill Campus), leave from the Princess Alice Bus Terminal which lies to the west of the city centre. Buses for points east and south leave from the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal, which is on the eastern edge of the city centre, near to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

Route taxis

Route taxis are privately owned mini vans that are a cross between taxis and buses. They follow certain routes around the island. You can easily flag one of these down and for a low fare they'll take you pretty much anywhere.

Re-development

Diplomatic missions in Barbados

Twin and Sister cities

Bridgetown is twinned or is a sister city with some of the following cities:

See also

References

  1. ^ http://population.mongabay.com/population/barbados/3374036/bridgetown
  2. ^ a b c d Alleyne, Warren (1978) "I "The Beginning"" (in Enlgish) Historic Bridgetown The Barbados National Trust pp. 7, 8  
  3. ^ Carrington, Sean; Fraser, Henry (2003) "Settlement of Barbados" (in English) A~Z of Barbados Heritage Macmillan Caribbean, pp. 185-186 ISBN 0333920686  
  4. ^ Alleyne, Warren (1978). Historic Bridgetown. Barbados: The Barbados National Trust.  
  5. ^ "Average Conditions Bridgetown, Barbados". BBC Weather. http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003280. Retrieved September 10, 2009.  

External links

Coordinates: 13°05′41″N 59°37′03″W / 13.0947°N 59.6175°W / 13.0947; -59.6175


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados, the eastern most island of the Caribbean. Bridgetown is the only city on Barbados and well over half the island's residents live there. Bridgetown is the port of call for many cruise ships and is known for its duty-free shopping as much as for its more cultural and historical attractions.

Get in

Bridgetown is the hub for the island's cheap and convenient buses. Buses from the south arrive at the Bus Terminal near the city center and buses from the north and center arrive at the bus terminal near Cheapside Market to the north of city center. Note that southern buses arrive outside the terminal, but you have to go into the terminal (entrance just around the corner near the bridge) to catch departing buses.

Get around

Most of the Bridgetown sites are in easy walking distance of city center. City buses run to many of the outlaying sights, such as the Savanna Green. For sights off the main roads, such as the Malibu Rum Factory, a taxi or private car is your best option. See the Getting Around section of Barbados for more about transportation options.

  • Barbados Museum, St. Ann's Garrison, St. Michael (On the western edge of the race course), + 1 (246) 427 0201 (, fax: + 1 (246) 436 1956), [1]. Mon-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun 2PM-6PM. Housed in the former British Military Prison, the Barbados Museum is an excellent place to go to catch up on the history of the island though you'll have the place to yourself. The exhibits start from the time the coral island first appeared; briefly cover the history of the indigenous people of Barbados; the arrival of Europeans and African slaves and the culture of the island during the colonial period; the emancipation of slaves; independence from the British; and more recent history. There is an interactive children's section that the young ones will enjoy. A small concession serves cold drinks. B$11.5/B$5.75 Adults/Children.  edit
  • St. Mary's Church, Bridgetown, Barbados. The current Georgian building was constructed in 1827 but there has been a church here since 1630.  edit
  • Careenage. Once a port for ships, the Careenage now houses restaurants, bars, and boutiques set in what used to be warehouses and and stores for ship supplies. Well protected from the open sea, walk along the Careenage with period buildings on one side and fishing and pleasure boats on the other, stop off for a rum at the Waterfront Cafe, and (with a bit of imagination!) you can almost step 150 years back in time!  edit
  • Parliament, Broad Street, Barbados (Near Trafalgar Square). The neo-Gothic parliament buildings are open to the public when parliament is in session.  edit
    Parliament Building in Bridgetown
    Parliament Building in Bridgetown
  • Broad Street
  • Swan Street
  • St. Mary's Church
  • Cheapside Market
  • Watch some cricket Kensington Oval is like the Lord's of the West Indies. If you're lucky enough, try to catch a one day international or a test match at the oval and you'll get a sense for the fun and excitement that goes with West Indies cricket.
  • A day at the races Barbados has an active horse racing calendar centered around the Barbados Derby Day and the Barbados Gold Cup Day. Rub shoulders with the cream of Barbados society as well as with the serious punters at the race course in Garrison.
  • Several vendors sell tourist kitsch (sea shells, beads) on the Careenage at the Southern end of the Constitution Bridge (next to the Independence Arch).
  • There are numerous stores (including Cave Shepherd, the Macy's of Barbados) on Broad Street...especially for jewelry. Most of these specialize in duty free shopping for citizens of the UK, Canada, U.S. and others.
  • Swan Street, a pedestrian only mall, has stores selling cheap clothes.
  • The Number One Music Shop at the corner of Fairchild Street and Bay Street near the Careenage has a wonderful selection of Soca, Reggae, Calypso and other Caribbean music including local Bajan bands. Also a good place to pick up tickets for concerts.

See also discussion of same topic for Barbados.

  • Lord Nelson's Pub
  • Bean and Bagel
  • Waterfront Cafe, The Careenage, Bridgetown, +1(246) 427-0093, [2]. Set on the cool side of The Careenage, Waterfront Cafe is an excellent place to sample Bajan cuisine washed down with a rum punch or Banks on tap. Live music every night. B$15-B$50.  edit
  • Harbour Lights, Bridgetown. All day. The place to go in Barbados. B$40 gets you in and you won't have to pay for a drink all night. The bar / club extends right onto the beach and its a great place to meet other travellers and live music is on every night. You won't want to go anywhere else once you've been. B$40.  edit

Sleep

There is little, if any, accommodation in Bridgetown itself. Most visitors stay either in on of the small towns on the South coast or at one of the resorts near Speightstown and Holetown on the west coast.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

English

Proper noun

Bridgetown

  1. The capital of Barbados.
  2. A town in Devon, UK.
  3. A town in Western Australia.
  4. A town in Nova Scotia, Canada.
  5. A town in Ohio, US.







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