After a three-year hiatus, the Barbados National Trust’s popular Open House Programme resumes on Wednesday, January 10, when spectacular Clifton Hall Great House will be opened to the public from 2 to 5 pm.
In the heart of St. John farmland, Clifton Hall Great House is one of Barbados’ oldest, largest, and grandest great houses. It’s fascinating history and heritage value will be revealed during the Open House.
There is also a garden party to be enjoyed, with local refreshments, a fine craft and book bazaar, and live entertainment by Willie Kerr on guitar and Mexican on steel pan. At 3 pm, the house’s energetic owner, Massimo Franchi, kicks off the Open House Lively Lecture series with the tale of Clifton Hall’s arduous renovation.
These fun and informative events raise funds for the Barbados National Trust’s heritage preservation efforts.
The seven-bedroom mansion is two buildings joined together. The older portion dates from the 17th century and is medieval in its layout. Joined to it is an 18th century block in Caribbean Georgian style.
Clifton Hall appears in Robert Schomburgh’s 1848 classic, ‘The History of Barbados.’ The property’s stately residence has been celebrated in such publications as ‘Historic Houses of Barbados,’ Country Life Magazine, Maco Caribbean Living, and The Spectator.
The house is furnished in antiques and reproductions. The magnificent dining table, original to the house, seats eighteen and will be laid as if for a grand dinner party.
In addition to the house, the gardens also have been revived and the wooded area reclaimed from jungle. A stone path now leads around an orchard of over 250 fruit trees. The grounds have been landscaped as a tranquil place to ramble, relax, or entertain.
Directions: From the ABC highway, turn inland at the Norman Niles Roundabout. Where the road forks left at a bright blue wall, take it to the intersection by Chefette. Turn right and continue uphill past Gun Hill, past Tropical Gardens and onto Golden Ridge. Continue straight through Four Roads, St. John. At the Gall Hill T-junction, turn left. Continue straight for about a mile and look for Open House signs. There is ample parking at the property.