Sherman, overnighting for free at the municipal Waterfront Park in St. Albans, West Virginia. Photo taken yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? St. Albans, West Virginia.

Where are they going next? Lexington, Kentucky.

And after that? Heading towards Nashville, Tennessee.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The ruins of Sam Lord's Castle

Interesting story behind this part of Barbados history.

Samuel Hall Lord was a wealthy Barbados pirate who lived in a castle like estate that was built in 1820. Legend has it that Sam Lord would hang lanterns in the trees of the estate to look like the port of Bridgetown to lure unsuspecting ships onto the reef. He would then plunder the ships of their treasures.

The "castle" has had several different owners over the years.

In 1940, a man named George Stewart who was an English insurance magnate bought the property and spent almost £1 million to restore the castle with chandeliers, plaster work ceilings, gilt framed regency mirrors and furniture.

Thirty-two years later, Marriot took over the estate in 1972, and the Castle was then transformed into a beautiful hotel where visitors from around the world would come to stay while vacationing in Barbados.

Sam Lord's Castle in the 1970's. (Found on the internet).

However, after ending up with large amounts of debt, the property was bought and sold several times. In 2006, an auction was held to sell many of the antique furnishings in the castle and then these owners hoped to transform the beautiful historic landmark into a hotel again, but three years went by and in 2009, Sam Lord’s Castle was still crumbling with nothing being done to help save the buildings and its environs.

October 20th 2010, the castle was destroyed by a fire and the grounds were finally closed to the public.

Today, the castle grounds are being transformed into a $200 million dollar 450 room Wyndham Resort, financed by the Export Import Bank of China. Scheduled to open in late 2020.

We had heard that the beach in behind the castle was quite nice, so we hopped on a crowded bus for the 40 minute ride to the southeast coast.

The old entrance to the castle grounds isn't blocked off... but it is now the construction entrance.

Construction site, financed by China.

There was a paved side road that led through a small upper class housing development, and we walked through there. Surprisingly, you can still get right up to the burned out ruins of the castle! There is a brand new chain link fence blocking off the construction site itself, but the castle and the grounds behind the castle to the beach are completely open!

Ruth, on the steps of Sam Lord's Castle.

 The burned out interior.

Reaching up over the fence, I took a photo of the construction site.

There was an old project sign from a development that fell through.

The ruins of Sam Lord's Castle.

 The property looking towards the beach.

 The once pristine landscaping is all overgrown now.



Kevin, looking at Sam Lord's Beach.

Beaches are all public in Barbados, so we found an old set of stairs and walked across the beach. We were actually trying to get to the popular Bottom Bay, about 4 kms (2.4 miles) away. 

Ruth, testing the waters at the far end of the beach.

We found another set of stairs that led back up to the top of the cliffs.

Kevin, and the view.

We had to walk through a little residential area and then there was an open field with some old plantation ruins. I had read that there were some stairs behind the ruins that led to a beautiful secluded beach!

 Path to old plantation at Harrismith.

Sure enough, the tourists have not yet found Harrismith Beach!

Relaxing at Harrismith Beach.

We were the only ones there, and we sat for a half an hour and just watched the waves roll in. Stunningly beautiful!

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20 comments:

  1. Interesting history of the castle. And a wonderful beach.

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    1. Definitely and interesting place! The beach was lovely and it was nice having it all to ourselves.

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  2. I was wondering when you were going to cross the paths of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ;-)
    What a gorgeous location, beautiful.

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    1. Well, you knew it was going to happen at some point right?! ;-)

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  3. Wow, we visited Sam Lord's Castle back in the late 1970s and had no idea about the fire. Such a shame as it was one of the highlights of our visit.

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    1. Wow, it would have been neat to have seen this place back then when it was open. It must have been beautiful?! It is a shame about the fire. I hope that when they are all finished with the construction that they still keep the "castle" there in some form or another, even if it they just keep it as a ruin but clean it up and make it more stable, it would make for a good photo op. I would love to see the beach once it is all cleaned up, it was a beautiful looking beach.

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  4. Wow wow wow, what a beautiful beach. Great header picture.

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    1. It was a beautiful beach and it was so nice having it all to ourselves.

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  5. Very pretty beaches! But looks like TOURISTS Kevin & Ruth found beaches!

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    1. We like to think we are travelers, not tourists.

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  6. An awesome exploring day! But I guess the tourists have now found the beach... It is fun walking through ruins, I have done quite a bit of that in Scotland.

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    1. It was a great day exploring! As Kevin stated above we like to think of ourselves as travelers rather than tourists because we go out and explore and find these little hidden gems that's why there weren't any "tourists" there. :-)

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  7. Love your header photo today! So beautiful! I always love learning about the history of places so I enjoyed your castle story.

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    1. Thank you Lori! The "castle" certainly has an interesting story.

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  8. Love Sam Lord's castle and surrounding plantation and beaches...I'd spend hours on the beach...must have been gorgeous in its hay day.

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    1. Yes, it must have been gorgeous back then! We love walking on the beach but could never spend hours on it. :-)

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  9. Replies
    1. Yep, it had a little of everything except lots of people. :-)

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  10. It's a shame. It was a beautiful spot we'd visit on occasion. My Dad's name was George Stewart. However, he was only 9 in 1940.

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    1. Yep, a real shame. We have seen a few beautiful buildings just left to ruin as well. Nope, I guess it wasn't your dad then that bought it, too bad!

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