The eleven (11) Parishes of Barbados were fashioned after the British Elizabethan Vestry system by the first settlers during the 1600s.
This system was derived from the church of England and was also used to form the parliament of Barbados.
In 1629 the first six (6) Parishes were created by Governor Sir William Tufton around the first six parish churches he built after terminating Governor freehold. These parishes each had parish councils to govern them and were St James, St Lucy, St Peter, St Thomas, St Michael and Christ Church.
Almost two decades later in 1645 Barbados was divided into the present (11) parishes, with five (5) new civil parishes being added after the vestries increased. These additional parishes were St Philip, St Andrew, St John, St George and St Joseph. Each parish thereafter chose two representatives for the House of Assembly.
During the two decades a number of local churches (chapels of ease) were formed throughout the island, some of which were later advanced to parish church status, due to an increase in population and land holdings.
In 1721 the parish boundary marks were laid out and the Mayo Map was later produced in 1722 by William Mayo, an English-born Surveyor.
Barbados is 166 square miles, 21 mile long and 14 miles wide. Each parish is determined by a parish church and is of a different size and shape. In colonial years the area of every parish was swayed by large plantation estates, whether the crop was sugar cane, cotton or tobacco. Every parish had its own Local Government council until 1959 when it was abolished.
Parishes in Barbados are used to divide the island into sub-regions.
Originally the parish of St Michael and St George were united as one parish, with the parish church located in the City of Bridgetown.
The first Church of Saint Michael was originally situated on the site now occupied by St. Mary's Church. The original church became inadequate as a City Church and a new church site was dedicated at St Michael?s Row. This new church would be the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael & All Angels (aka St. Michael?s Cathedral)
The West Coast is made up of mainly of St James and part of St Michael & St Peter.
East Coast is made up of St Andrew, St Joseph, St John & St Philip.
South Coast is made up mainly of Christ Church and part of St Michael & St Philip.
North Coast is made up mainly of St Lucy and part of St Peter & St Andrew.
Centrally you will find St Thomas & St George.
Here are the Eleven (11) PARISHES OF BARBADOS:
Parish of St James
Parish of St Lucy
Parish of St Peter
Parish of St Thomas
Parish of St Michael
Parish of Christ Church
Parish of St Philip
Parish of St Andrew
Parish of St John
Parish of St George
Parish of St Joseph