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The country of Barbados is currently subdivided into sub-regions known as parishes. According to the Act of the Barbados Parliament they are officially styled as the "Parish of ("Parish name") as opposed to the U.S. styled naming convention with the name "Parish" coming after the name.[1][2] The areas are called "parishes" because of the island's religious Anglican history under the Church of England. The differing size and shape of each parish were primarily influenced by the mega plantation estates of cotton, sugar cane and tobacco that existed during the colonial years of Barbados. As various chaples of ease were created during the 1600s across the island, some local churches were elevated to parish church status, leading to the formation of new parishes surrounding those freshly created churches.

By 1629, the English settlers after landing at James Town formed six original parishes on the island which were[3 ]:

In 1645, the land holding of Barbados increased and the shape of the original six were reconfigured giving way to an additional five parishes[3 ]:

Thus Barbados was converted into the current eleven parishes of today. As was common under the British system, each Parish had a single main parishional church (or cathedral in the case of Bridgetown having been elevated to city status), which acted as a sort of capital for each parish.[4][5] The parishes each held their own Local Government Councils until these were abolished in 1959, following a brief administrative districting experiment within Barbados until 1967.[4]



Map of the parishes of Barbados in alphabetical order

The nation's capital Bridgetown, which is located within the parish of Saint Michael, may one day be made into its own district. Within the country, travel is unrestricted to everyone in moving about from parish-to-parish. With the rise of urban sprawl and new construction projects across the country many neighbourhoods and even parishional border-lines today are ill defined.

The eleven parishes are:

Nr. Parish Former Capitals Land Area
(Census 2000)
1 Christ Church Oistins 57 49,498 868.4
2 Saint Andrew Greenland 36 5,254 145.9
3 Saint George Bulkeley 44 17,868 406.1
4 Saint James Holetown 31 22,742 733.6
5 Saint John Blackmans 34 8,873 261.0
6 Saint Joseph Bathsheba 26 6,805 261.7
7 Saint Lucy Crab Hill 36 9,328 259.1
8 Saint Michael Bridgetown 39 83,684 2,145.7
9 Saint Peter Speightstown 34 10,699 314.7
10 Saint Philip Crane 60 20,540 342.3
11 Saint Thomas Hillaby 34 11,590 340.9
  Barbados Bridgetown 431 250,012 580,1

See also


  1. ^ (in English) Laws of Barbados (Laws, statutes, etc. compilations) Vol 1. Stamford Street and Charing Cross, London: William Clowes and Sons 1875 [1875] p. Pg. 586 Retrieved 3 January 2010  
  2. ^ Barbados Cultural Association of British Columbia - History of Barbados
  3. ^ a b "The Barbados Parliament – Parliament History". Barbados Parliament website. Retrieved 2007-05-01.  
  4. ^ a b Carrington, Sean; Fraser, Henry (2007) "Vestry" A~Z of Barbados Heritage Macmillan Caribbean - Macmillan Publishers Limited Press ISBN 0333920686  
  5. ^ Alleyne, Warren (1978). Historic Bridgetown. Barbados: The Barbados National Trust.  

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