Chattel House, Barbados
Image courtesy of Chattel Houses
Growing up in the Caribbean these houses were a common sight, but I never knew the history behind them
Chattel houses, which is a Bajan term for these houses, were built for ease of transport. where ever the former slaves could find work they would simply pick up and move….literally, the houses were built without nails and could be disassembled easily. They were placed on bricks (which also went along when they moved)
They are less common now as the houses do not stand up well in hurricane season. In Jamaica the rural communities have more chattel houses than in the urbanised areas but many are derelict.
Today people have added on additional rooms (and they are anchored with nails now of course)
Personally I think Barbados has some of the most unusual and beautiful ones!
Many have been repurposed into shops
I would love to see the reemergence of these houses as they bring a quaint charm to any community especially if they are painted in vibrant colors
To see and learn more about chattel houses please visit Chattel House website! they are on a mission to preserve these houses,now this is a movement that I will gladly join.
A well-preserved town in the capital of Bridgetown it was one of the largest of the british colonies during the 18th and 19th centruries.It was an important trading hub for slaves and goods for the English and is protected by a fort with solider barracks and a parade ground.
The settlement has many Caribbean Georgian style buildings and the town is planned in an old english layout.
Bridgetown was a perfect site for power projection into the America’s for the British empire and helped to expand and protect its trading interests.
The Garrison was head of the British Naval and Army Forces and was a hub for transmitting knowledge trade, communications, science, culture and technology in the British Empire.
Though the building are still being used for the original purposes for which they were built, many of them are falling into decay.
These buildings are a testament to one of the earliest town settlements in the Caribbean and British engineering, keeping the original serpentine medieval layout 400 years later.