The National Trust's Open House programme runs January through March 2011.
Every week a beautiful house in Barbados opens its doors to the public to view from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.
All types of houses are on show from the grand old plantation houses rich with centuries of history, to newer luxurious Bajan-Style villas.
Check out the February 2011 calendar;
HOPEFIELD MANOR, Christ Church
A fine, classically designed Barbadian house built in 1831 and filled with artwork and well-preserved antiques. It is now home to Sir David Seale and Lady Seale, of R.L Seale and Co. Ltd. They also own the nearby Foursquare Rum Distillery and Heritage Park. Prepare to stroll; the gardens are expansive and beautiful, and even the stables are impressive. So are the occupants; the Hopefield horses have won at least 5 Cockspur Gold Cups!
PORTERS GREAT HOUSE, St. James
Built in 1735, this truly magnificent and stately house was for many years the Barbadian estate of Martogh Guinness. The Magic begins as you drive through its mahogany woods to be greeted by the stately house which has its own private chapel. Looking eastwards across extensive grounds, the hilltop is graced with a domed folly from where the view west towards the house is unparalleled.
CONGO ROAD PLANTATION, St Phillip
Sprawling grounds, a lovely old home and outbuildings, and an equestrian centre are only part of the attraction. The main event is a rare exhibition of the world's best Sailors' Valentines, elaborate shell mementos that originated in Barbados in the mid 19th century. Here at Congo Road, the art form has not only been received by our hostess, but has reached a new zenith. Overseas "Valentiners have brought their Masterpieces, too.
REED COURT, Pine Hill
Set amidst acres of well manicured lawns, trees and shrubs, Reed Court is the Grand Lady of Pine Hill. The home will be partly furnished but let your imagination run wild and you can provide the other furnishings. Reed Court's neighbors include the British and Canadian High Commissioner's residence and the magnificent Governor General's residence. The property is owned by the Leo Leacock family.
SYNAGOGUE AND NIDHE ISRAEL MUSEUM, Bridgetown
By 1654, Sephardic Jews in Barbados had consecrated Nidhe Israel, one of the two earliest temples in the Western hemisphere. This architectural jewel shares a walled urban sanctuary with a stylish and engaging museum, an intriguing cemetery, and a spring-fed mikvah (ritual bath) whose recent discovery 12 feet underground is of tremendous historical importance. The whole atmosphere is mystical.
Admission prices are $10 for National Trust members, $15 for BARP members and $20 for non members. For directions to the properties and any further information please email the National Trust.
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