The Quakers of Barbados


Quakers began arriving in Barbados in the mid-1650’s.  There were more than
1,000 Quakers in Barbados by 1680.  It is noteworthy that prior to their large-
scale migration to Pennsylvania, Barbados had more Quakers than any other
English colony. A Quaker Burial Ground is demarcated on the 1806 survey plan of the
Synagogue block area. Subsequently, an asphalt parking area was constructed
over much of that burial ground.  During site excavations in 2016, one Quaker
tombstone was unearthed and preserved. It is located in proximity to the
entrance of Shilstone Hall.

…not many people realize that where cars park today was once the most
extensive Quaker burial ground in the Americas.  Hundreds if not thousands of
people lie under the tarmac, which until as late as 1895 were gardens, following
Quaker custom of being buried in a garden.
— Karl Watson in “1806 Plat of the Nidhe Israel Synagogue in Bridgetown, Barbados, Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Vol. LXI, 2010

As an improvement over the previous harsh environment, the new master plan
features a newly developed parking area as a ‘park for cars’, with significantly
increased greening of the site through its realigned entrance, featuring a large
number of shade trees and decorative shrubs, pedestrian walkways, state of the
art lighting with heritage elements, and accessibility for all persons.  The Codd’s
House commemorative plaza is a dominant feature of this parking area.