Located within the current capital and largest city of the Caribbean island country Barbados, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison had a pivotal role in the development of the English colonies in the Atlantic World and was a center for transmission of ideas concerning administration, trade, communications, science, culture and technology in the British Empire.
As one of the earliest established towns with a fortified port in the Caribbean network of military and maritime-mercantile outposts of the British Atlantic, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison was the focus of trade-based English expansion in the Americas. By the 17th century, the fortified port town was able to establish its importance in the British Atlantic trade and became an entrepôt for goods, especially sugar, and enslaved persons destined for Barbados and the rest of the Americas.
Historic Bridgetown’s irregular settlement patterns and 17th Century street layout of an English medieval type, in particular the organic serpentine streets, supported the development and transformation of creolized forms of architecture, including Caribbean Georgian.
Historic Bridgetown’s fortified port spaces were linked along the Bay Street corridor from the historic town’s center to St. Ann’s Garrison. The property’s natural harbor, Carlisle Bay, was the first port of call on the trans-Atlantic crossing and was perfectly positioned as the launching point for the projection of British imperial power, to defend and expand Britain’s trade interests in the region and the Atlantic World.
Used as a base for amphibious command and control, the garrison housed the Eastern Caribbean headquarters of the British Army and Navy. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison participated not only in the international trade of goods and enslaved persons but also in the transmission of ideas and cultures that characterized the developing colonial enterprise in the Atlantic World.