s Barbados' most northern seaside town, SPEIGHTSTOWN
is over 350 years old (founded in 1653) and was once a major seaport, commercial area and an important fishing village. It is the second most important town on the island in terms of cultural importance. Schooners also ferried people and food stuff from this area to Bridgetown during that time. Queen Street
is the main street, running directly through the centre of the town, and serves as the commercial centre and main shopping area.HISTORY OF SPEIGHTSTOWN
Speightstown received its name from William Speight, the land's previous owner who was also a member the first Barbados Parliament (Governor Hawley's Parliament
) in 1639. The town was later nicknamed 'Little Bristol' because of its great trade relationship with Bristol. On some earlier maps the area was called Spyke's Bay. Invasion
Between 1651 and December 1654 the town was attacked by Cromwellite Sir George Ayescue forces, on an attempt to invade and occupy Barbados, but his forces failed. This was the only invasion of Barbados. Reason for Invasion
Many of King Charles I followers (aka Cavaliers
) emigrated to Barbados after he was executed by Cromwell's Protectorate. Led by Humphrey Walrond, the Cavaliers forced out the government, taking power and banishing Cromwell's supporters (aka Roundheads
Sir George Ayescue was then sent with a fleet by Cromwell's Commonwealth to take control the Royalist on the island. He was joined by Colonel Reynold Alleyne and Colonel Drax both Barbadian planters. The battle was won.
In the Speightstown area were also some of the British Military Forts which aided in the defense of the island. Location of Military Forts in Speightstown:
Fort Denmark - was located at the present spot of the Esplanade
Orange Fort - was located at the present spot of the Fish Market
The wooden two-storey balconied buildings that gave Speightstown so much character still dot the town and give it a quaint atmosphere. In this area you can enjoy some shopping, roadside vendors, accommodations to suit all, great restaurants, art galleries and nice beaches. Although quaint, there is still some presence of modern development in Speightstown at Port St Charles a luxury Marina development. There are also some scenic and historic places of interest to visit.
Speightstown is located on the northerly part of Barbados in the parish of St Peter.
If is situated 12 miles north of Bridgetown the capital cityPopulation
- 3,634 (2013
FUN FACTS for Speightstown
Claudette Colbert (aka Lily Claudette Chauchoin)
(Born Emilie Chauchoin) (Sep 13th 1903 – July 30th 1996)
Colbert was French-born, and an American actress with two decades as a leading lady. She started in Broadway, later becoming a film actor and then onto television, gaining a number of award nominations and winning achievements for her body of work.
The Barbados connection…
Claudette owned a beachfront vacation home in Speightstown called "Bellerive" and stayed between there and her apartment in Manhattan.
In 1996 she died in Barbados, and her ashes were buried in the Cemetery of Godings Bay Church along with her mother and second husband.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS & HISTORIC SITES/SIGHTS in SPEIGHTSTOWN
Historic Speightstown in Barbados
Things to Do & See in the Speightstown AreaSpeightstown Esplanade & PromenadeIn May of 1941, after fire destroyed a number of buildings on Orange Street and Sand Street, the Government took over the land inclusive of the esplanade and public market. A bandstand was then erected for concerts, held by the Royal Police Band. Between 2004-2006 the esplanade and the surrounding areas were refurbished by Barbados Tourism Inc. Facilities now include a gazebo and entertainment dais, a seating area and washroom facilities.
Speightstown Fish Market
The work carried out in this project has provided significant improvements along the seafront of Speightstown, including the construction of a breakwater and coastal defense structure, the redevelopment of the public esplanade and the reconstruction of the fish market. The breakwater and coastal defense structure was completed in 2004 while the Esplanade and fish market component was completed in May 2006. Speightstown Jetty
This is where fishermen from the area anchor there boats. Historic Buildings in SpeightstownArlington House & MuseumSt Peter's Parish ChurchBeaches in SpeightstownGodings BaySpeightstown BayHeywoods Beach
Special Activities & Events in the Historic Speightstown area
View Special Events and Activities in Speightstown