Barbados is missing out on the opportunity to utilize the historic Glendairy Prison as a major tourist attraction, according to Sir Henry Fraser.
Sir Henry said use of the former jail at Station Hill, St Michael as a multifaceted prison museum and entertainment site would contribute to boosting the country’s development and economic status.
The noted historian explained that many Barbadians might not know that only about five per cent of the former correctional facility was destroyed in the 2005 fire.
“When the word went out that there was a fire there and that Glendairy Prison had burnt down, many people assumed that to be the truth. But it is very far from the truth,” he said in the Senate today during debate on a resolution seeking to vest in the Central Bank of Barbados, a parcel of land situated at Church Village, The City for the redevelopment of the City District by the bank.
“It is an amazing building which people gasp when they stand in front of that male block. The Glendairy Prison [sustained] a little damage in the kitchen block and one of the five blocks of the female section, all amounting to what I think is about five percent of the total prison.”
Sir Henry told the Upper Chamber that various sections of the prison remained intact, including the workshop and administrative areas and 14 acres of land.
He complained that currently only “a few ducks and a few piglets” could be found at the prison site.
He said it was an opportunity that was going to waste.
“This is an opportunity for Barbados which we are sitting on and there I say sleeping over. Prison museums around the world are the most important attraction,” the senator pointed out.
The historian also reminded Barbadians that the Old Supreme Court built in 1733 was also abandoned, with parts of it falling apart.
Sir Henry noted that the relatively minor cosmetic problem on the Court could be readily solved in a matter of weeks if the appropriate responsible authorities took note and fixed it, saving the citizens of Barbados an embarrassment. (AH)