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Venue Highlight: Golden Grove | Part 1 Historical Background

The Golden Grove Plantation was in existence as early as 1680. The ‘Great Barbados Hurricane’ of 1831, a Category 4 force which decimated most of the Caribbean and Louisana, possibly destroyed Golden Grove’s original buildings.

The Bussa Rebellion

On the 16th of April, 1816, this site was witness to, and impacted by, the historically significant Bussa rebellion. This was a slave revolt named after, and led by, an African born, Barbadian slave who worked as a head-ranger on the neighboring Bayley’s Plantation.

Photo Source:  Old.Antislavery.org

Bussa led 400 men and women into battle- a battle in which he ultimately died. Although the revolt failed it triggered a series of uprisings at other plantations in the region and dynamically shifted the social and political climate in Barbados.

The Emancipation Statue erected at the roundabout in Haggat Hall, St. Michael honours the legacy of Bussa. He also holds the title of National Hero and the ceremony of our national holiday, Emancipation Day, which celebrates the abolition of slavery, is held at the statue’s location.

During the rebellion of 1860, Golden Grove Plantation suffered some damage to its buildings.

Florence Daysh

The Plantation was once the home of Florence Daysh, born there in 1908 to a white planter and his “coloured” wife”-a relationship which would have been considered atypical and quite daring at the time.

In 1958, Florence, the only woman nominated to contest the elections for Federal Parliament, won by a large margin, defeating Barbados’ soon to be first Prime Minister, Sir Errol Walton Barrow.

Photo Source: Bajan Dialect

As a politician and philanthropist, Florence made a tremendous contribution to her country. She was co-founder of  the  St. Philip Baby clinic in 1948. She was also the president of the Black Rock Organisation from 1950 to 1964 and introduced the first mobile programme in childcare.

Florence was responsible for building and equipping the Joan Arundell Day Nursery from the ground up and dedicated herself to the efforts of the YMCA, the Fontabelle Day Nursery, the Girls’ Industrial Union, Youth Town and other organisations.

In 1960 she launched the Barbados Branch of the British Red Cross Society and was its first director. She was also the first president of the Barbados Council of Women.

There has been a push to nationally recognize the impact of this remarkable woman, who once said in a speech after becoming the second woman to ever be elected to the Vestry of St. Phillip,  “I am a coloured woman and proud of it”.

Present Day

Golden Grove remained a functioning sugar plantation for most of the 20th century until 1981 when most of its lands were sold off leaving the 3.5 acres attached to the house.

The building and grounds underwent extensive renovations under the current owner but has remained true to its original character and its Georgian style architecture.

The Great House features a sweeping staircase, gorgeous pine floors, “tray ceilings” and shuttered sash windows and doors as well as modern touches including a swimming pool and bar.

The gardens, designed and landscaped by John Webster boast one of the only three baobab trees on the island and the Three Houses stream flows by its border.

Bayley’s Planation sits to the west side of Golden Grove. On its east side are Thicketts Plantation and Three Houses Plantation Yard. Nearby beaches include Bottom Bay and Ragged Point.

More on Golden Grove when we post our interview with the owner, Marcus Morris. Stay tuned!

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