Drax Hall

Now for the contrast.

Before my MIL arrived, Ian and I had started with Hike Barbados. Every Sunday, they have a different hike, a great way to see the island. You can go on the 6:00 a.m. hike or the 3:30, both lasting for 3 hours.Funnily enough we had just gone on the Drax Hall hike.

As I said in the St. Nicholas Abbey post, there are only three Jacobean houses in the Western Hemisphere. Two in Barbados, and one in Virginia.

Drax Hall is still owned by the original family that built it in 1650’s.  It is the largest and oldest working plantation in Barbados. It is not open to the public, but they allowed Hike Barbados participants to park at the plantation while we were on the hike.

Wish I had taken a picture of the front of the house

Some of the buildings are not being used anymore and have fallen into disrepair.

I wish that Kilbourne Grove had a couple of these to design the garden around.

Ian, glad that he is not digging a garden border in front of these walls!

The windmill, without the top.

At one time the number of windmills in Barbados was second only to Holland, but now there is only one working windmill on the island. You see a large number of them when you are driving around. A gentleman at St. Nicholas Abbey told us a story about how children would grab the bottom of the blades when it went around, twisting their grip as the blade rose higher. Scary!

We started walking down the farm road through the sugar cane fields.

Here you see the just planted fields, and on the other side were the older fields. They are over your head, so you cannot see anything when you look around. In a month, the harvest will start. It will look quite different when the fields are cut to the ground.

 Drax Hall is near the middle of the island. You can see how much higher up it is, great views and always a nice breeze.

As I said earlier, there are 5:oo hikes and then the 3:30 ones. When we went on this we attended the 3:30. If we had been thinking, 3 hours from 3:30 is 6:30. Sunset is at 6:00.

Getting dark!

 That meant hiking in the dark, luckily someone lent us a flashlight, otherwise we would probably still be out in the cane field.


23 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    gardeningasylum said,

    Love the idea of Hike Barbados – glad you made it out of the cane field safely! Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a ruin in the garden – just a small one 🙂

  2. 3

    Edith Hope said,

    Dearest D, What an extraordinary place Drax Hall looks to be. Perhaps one day you will be able to winkle out an invitation to see inside.
    As you say, there are many wonderful architectural bits and pieces around the grounds that would be splendid if incorporated into a garden design……..if you collect just a few on each hike, then maybe by the end of Ian’s placement in Barbados you will have exactly what you need to create a part of Old Barbados in Kilbourne Grove.

    A somewhat belated but warmly sent Happpy New Year!!

  3. 5

    Barbara H. said,

    Hmm, ruined walls – that would be a nice screen for unappealing views. Hiking in the dark, in the middle of sugar cane fields – did you ever in your life imagine this? Keep on having fun!

  4. 7

    Alice Joyce said,

    Stunning setting!
    Your journey continues….

  5. 9

    Jean said,

    Looks like a great hike; it also looks cooler than I would have expected. As far as ruins for KG, are there any ruins of the Deliverance house left that you could lay claim to? 😉 -Jean

    • 10

      We were probably the lightest dressed, it is winter here, and I do see people in jeans and long sleeved jackets, I would find it to hot myself. The Deliverance house has been totally bulldozed, there was nothing picturesque there anyway!

  6. 11

    debsgarden said,

    What a great way to explore the island! I think it is amazing that Drax Hall has been in the same family for nearly 500 years. That is an incredible heritage. I would like to see the inside of that place!

  7. 13

    Some coll looking old structures there!

  8. 15

    I am loving your architectural finds. These ruins are a garden in the making and the stonework is superb. It appears you have much to find and and many places to explore, Deborah. I am glad you are taking us along.

  9. 17

    Boy do I wish I was hiking in Barbados rather than battling snow storm after snow storm here. I do like snow but a break in the heat would be wonderful. Enjoy. Carolyn

  10. 20

    Barbara said,

    Hi Deborah, that’s a pretty grim-looking place it seems to me. There’s something medieval about that windmill remnant. Your reports are giving me a different take on Barbados! And hiking must be the best way to see it. Barbara

  11. 22

    My interest is family history. I was delighted to discover your website, as I have been trying to obtain photos and information about the Drax Estate in Barbados for some years. This estate was founded by the Drax family, who married into another family at Charborough Park, Dorset, England; they are now ‘Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax’, but call themselves just ‘Drax’. The present occupier is a local MP (Member of Parliament). There are prints & photos on my own website if you are interested (drakesfamily.org). I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has further information about, or photos of, the Drax Estates in Barbados, Jamaica or England.

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