The Barbados Museum
Step back in time, explore a complicated past, and get a glimpse of our optimistic future, as you explore Barbados' heritage, traditions and values.
The Barbados Museum, located at the Garrison, is housed in the former British Military Prison. This building, whose upper section was built in 1817 and lower section in 1853, became the headquarters of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society in 1930.
Displays and Galleries
Flora and Fauna
Step into a vibrant tapestry of Barbadian biodiversity in the enchanting Harewood Gallery, a thrill for nature enthusiasts and curious souls alike. Through captivating displays and lifelike dioramas, embark on a journey through the intricate ecosystems that define the island.
Marvel at the wonders of coral reefs, dive into lush mangrove swamps, learn how we safeguard our majestic sea turtles, and discover the migrant birds that grace Barbados' shores with their presence each passing year.
In search of Bim
Embark on a captivating journey through time in Jubilee Gallery, unraveling the rich tapestry of Barbados' pre-historic origins and historic evolution. This narrative spans over 4,000 years of human presence on the island.
Trace the footsteps of the Amerindian peoples as they first settled our shores. Witness the seismic shift to a plantation society, marked by the harrowing legacy of African enslavement and the enduring struggle for freedom. Follow the courageous resistance of enslaved individuals and the triumphant dawn of Emancipation in 1838. Engage with informative displays chronicling the post-emancipation social and economic landscape, navigating the complexities of local governance and the relentless pursuit of equality.
Immerse yourself in the spirit of resilience and ingenuity that defines the heart and soul of Barbados, a testament to the enduring human spirit against all odds.
Opulence and Elegance
Gaze into a time capsule of opulence and elegance through the meticulously recreated period rooms of a colonial Barbados plantation house. The Warmington Gallery offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the planter class during the mid-18th to late 19th centuries.
An exquisite display of glassware, ceramics, silver, and fine art textiles adorn every corner of this decadent space. Each room unfolds like a chapter from a bygone era - from the grandeur of the master bedroom to the innocence of the nursery, the sophistication of the dining room, and the warm elegance of the living room.
The Cunard Gallery is dedicated to the enduring beauty of fine art, where every stroke of the brush tells a story of Barbados and the wider Caribbean. An array of paintings and prints offer vivid portrayals of colonial life, maritime traditions, street scenes and pastoral vistas. From bustling markets to serene landscapes, these works offer a window into a bygone era, where the rhythms of life unfold in vibrant hues and timeless beauty.
This gallery is a solemn tribute to the valor and sacrifice of Barbados' armed forces throughout the annals of history. Here, the echoes of centuries past resonate as the gallery unveils the storied evolution of military prowess from the 17th century to the crucible of World War II.
Marvel at a treasure trove of regalia, armaments, medals, and photographs that bear witness to the island's military legacy. Trace the lineage of the second oldest regiment in the Commonwealth and the pivotal role played by Barbados in the 18th and 19th centuries as the strategic headquarters of the British Army and Navy in the Caribbean.
Learn about the West India Regiment and the Black lives lost in the crucible of war. In this brave act of remembrance, the gallery endeavors to diversify the narrative of World War I and II, ensuring that the untold stories of courage and resilience are preserved for posterity.
"Connection and Continuities" unfolds a mesmerizing journey through the geography, history, and enduring legacy of Africa and its profound influence on Caribbean society.
Discover the ancient tapestry of early human civilization and celebrate the remarkable diversity of Africa's landscapes and peoples. Trace the vibrant threads of Africa's engagement with the wider world through bustling trade routes and vibrant cultural centers, where the continent's influence reverberated across distant shores.
Witness the resilient spirit of African cultural retention in the Diaspora, as traditional customs endure and thrive in the Caribbean.
Step into a world of wonder and discovery at the vibrant Jairus Brewster Children's Gallery, designed to ignite young minds and hearts.
From sensory-rich experiences to engaging activities that stimulate motor skills, every corner of the gallery offers a gateway to understanding the world through a uniquely Barbadian lens.
The gallery's appeal extends beyond young visitors, welcoming the young at heart to join in the fun and discovery. Parents have the perfect opportunity to bond with their children, immersing themselves in a world of learn and play that fosters connection and joy.
Be sure to leave some time to fully explore the well-stocked gift shop which offers a wide array of local books, art, crafts, and children's toys.
Drinks and snacks are also available.
Opening Hours & Entrance FeesEntrance Fees - Self Guided Tours
Adults (Local): BDS $12 / US $6
Children (Local): BDS $10 / US $5
Adults (Visitor): BDS $20 / US $10
Children (Visitor): BDS $10 / US $5
9am - 5pm, Monday to Saturday
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Barbados Museum is located within the World Heritage Site - Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison.
If you are interested in history and heritage, be sure to visit George Washington House which is just a short distance from the Barbados Museum. The American President stayed here in 1751. In fact Barbados was the only country he ever visited outside colonial America!
Join a Barbados heritage tour for a thought-provoking and inspiring experience, sparking curiosity and a deeper appreciation for the richness of human diversity.
Genealogical Information - National Archives
The National Archives is also a useful source for those seeking genealogical information. The Archives houses all parish documents such as births, baptisms, marriages, deeds and wills. Some documents go as far back as the early settlement days of the 1600s. More information on the Barbados National Archives.