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Holetown

Country
Barbados
State
Saint James
City
Holetown
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Holetown is a small town located in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados.Holetown is located in the parish of Saint James on the sheltered west coast of the island.In 1625, Holetown was the site of initial English claim of Barbados (although Captain Cataline had previously landed to collect water in 1620).The envoy (led by John Powell) was blown off-course from South America to England and took the opportunity to claim the island for the Kingdom of England.Some personal possessions were left behind and the crew departed Holetown for England.

On February 17, 1627 the brother of Captain John Powell (Captain Henry Powell) aboard the "Olive Blossom" returned with his benefactor, Sir William Courteen, a Dutch-born English merchant trader, and fifty other shareholder settlers (and 10 captive negroes).A monument erected to commemorate this first landing on the island erroneously records the date as 1605.Since 1977, the town has also celebrated the Barbados Holetown Festival to commemorate this landing.

The name Holetown comes from the stream,The Hole, which provided a safe landing place for the settlers.Also sometimes called Saint James Town, the settlement was, until 1629, the island's only town.Holetown celebrates the founding of the first five plantations in Barbados, the first major fortification, the first place of Justice, and the first Governor's House.The town was also involved in the transatlantic trade with Bristol, London, and Boston, although this last was deemed illegal.The Island's oldest church, St. James Parish Church, was erected here in 1628, a year after the first settlers landed.The town is the home of McGill University's Bellairs Research Institute.



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How to Reach

By Road

The coastal highway runs north from Bridgetown to Speightstown through Holetown,but doesn't carry much traffic any more so noise is not too much of a problem.Both public buses and private-run mini vans run often between Bridgetown and Speightstown.

By Bus

Buses from the south arrive at the Bus Terminal near the city center and buses from the north and center arrive at the bus terminal near Cheapside Market to the north of city center.Note that southern buses arrive outside the terminal, but you have to go into the terminal (entrance just around the corner near the bridge) to catch departing buses.

Key places to visit
St. James Church, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Barbados Holetown Festival, Holetown monument


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Places to Visit

St. James Church

The first church in Barbados, the St. James Parish church has been in continuous operation since 1628.Damaged and rebuilt many times thanks to hurricanes, the present structure dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.There is a popular legend attached to St. James Church, that a gate in the north wall surrounding the churchyard, referred to as 'The Devil's Gate' is opened about one hour before service.When the bell is rung the Devil leaves the church by this gate,and it is closed as the service is about to begin, so that the Devil is excluded from the area.This is presumably derived from the old belief that church bells were rung to drive the devil out of the building.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Is a bell foundry in Whitechapel in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. The foundry is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest manufacturing company in Great Britain.The foundry's main business is the bellfounding and manufacture of church bells and their fittings and accessories, although it also provides single tolling bells, carillon bells and handbells.The foundry's premises are a Grade II listed building.

Barbados Holetown Festival

The Holetown Festival takes place in Holetown, Barbados, and celebrates the arrival of the first settlers in Holetown on February 17, 1627.The week-long celebration occurs yearly in mid-February and includes a number of activities meant to showcase the culture and traditions of Barbados. Events include folk singing and dancing,sports and games,street parades,markets,and food stalls that offer traditional Barbadian cuisine.

Holetown monument

A monument that commemorates the first English landing.The name Holetown comes from the stream, The Hole, which provided a safe landing place for the settlers.Also sometimes called Saint James Town, the settlement was, until 1629, the island's only town.Holetown celebrates the founding of the first five plantations in Barbados, the first major fortification, the first place of Justice, and the first Governor's House.The town was also involved in the transatlantic trade with Bristol, London, and Boston, although this last was deemed illegal.

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