Spotlight: Chattel Houses

Growing up in the Caribbean these houses were a common sight, but I never knew the history behind themDSC_0350-1024x680

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)

Chattel house in Falmouth Jamaica

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. DSC_0362-1024x680

Today  people have added on additional rooms (and they are anchored with nails now of course)

What it would have looked like


Personally I think Barbados has some of the most unusual and beautiful ones!


Many have been repurposed into shops


Former house turned barber shop



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.



images courtesy of Island Villas and Inside Journey and Jess Weikel on Pinterest

Spotlight: The Bridgetown Garrison, Barbados

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.

Clock tower at the Main Guard

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 barracks




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.

St. Mary’s Church



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.




Information and images courtesy of UNESCO

Spotlight: Black River, Jamaica

Said to be settled by the British in the 1600’s, Black River is synonymous with the laid back, small town feel and gorgeous Georgian architecture. it was settled by some of the first Jews to inhabit the island , the most famous of these settling families are the Levy’s.


Black River was known as the first area on the island to receive electricity and phone services.


Waterloo Guest House (1819), said to be the first house with electricity.


Anglican Parish Church


Many of the first settlers were wealthy merchants who spent their fortunes on lavish buildings and private homes.

Invercauld Great House

The town was an active slave-trading port and dealt heavily in Logwood production.



Black river was once one of the most important ports for Jamaica. I suggest to take a tour of the community and learn more about its important past, and get a chance to see up close the beautiful architecture!



Sources :
Real Jamaican Vacations (background on Black River) (Waterloo Guest House photo)
Blue Marlin Guest House (Church photo)
Jones House (Invercauld Great House )
Globespots (Great House photo)