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28 January 2018
Open House: Francia Plantation, St. George

The Open House programme is presented by the Barbados National Trust.

Francia Plantation, St. George (Providence School) is this week's Open House.

The name Francia comes from the Portuguese word for France. It was built around 1913 by a Frenchman, Rene Mourraille, who had been farming and ranching in Brazil. When he visited Barbados on business, he met and married a Barbadian woman, and settled here. He built a house that beautifully blends European and Caribbean styles, as well as local and Brazilian materials. For years, Francia operated a plant nursery and was open for tours, but when it was transformed into the Providence School, it stopped welcoming visitors.

Even though it has been repurposed as a school, it retains much charm and grace, particularly in its wooded, rural setting. There are tropical gardens, trees from Africa, a fernery and shady orchards, framed on one side by forest. The grounds are so expansive that ten yardsmen are employed to keep them up.

Explore the grand house, grounds and gardens of Francia with head landscaper, Mr. Anthony Gittens. 

Today's Lively Lectures will be by Sir Henry Fraser and Violet Neheli, The Principal of Providence School at 3:00 pm.

Live Entertainment by the Barbados Defense Force Band and students of Providence School.

Also on show will be presentations by the students of Providence School, the artisans' craft market and much more.

Refreshments on sale.

Directions to Francia:
From the Errol Barrow Highway, turn east at the Norman Niles roundabout onto Highway 4. Soon the road will fork. Go left towards Gun Hill. Pass The Glebe and continue towards Walkers Terrace. At the red Tyre Repair sign, take a left turn to Thorpes Cottage and continue on that road for another four minutes or so. Watch for Open House signs. Enter through Providence Secondary School.

Admission:
General Bds $35.00
Children under 5 Free
BARP, AARP and CARP Members Bds $30.00
Members of the Barbados National Trust Bds $25.00 upon presentation of membership card. Also applicable to reciprocating Trusts and Societies members.
Children 12-17 y.o. and Students (BCC, UWI and Polytechnic with ID): Bds $15.00

Dress nicely casual.

No pre-booking is needed. Just follow the directions - look for the signs.

Call the Barbados National Trust at 426-2421 for more information and to ensure that the viewing is on as advertised.


Start time: 1:45 PM   End time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Francia Plantation, St. George


The Open Houses Programme is a Winter Season Tradition in Barbados presented by the Barbados National Trust (BNT).  It allows visitors and residents alike access to some of the island's loveliest houses.  Discover more about our island's diverse architecture and history.

The programme includes all types of houses - from the grand old plantation houses rich with centuries of history, to the newer, luxurious Bajan-style villas.

Grounds and gardens are part of the attraction.  Sip your rum punch in stunning tropical settings.

The BNT sets up a bazaar with books and crafts people.  Refreshments are on sale.
In addition, they provide historical and architectural information which you can take home with you at no additional cost.

At 3:15 pm, short lectures are given by the BNT's experts on heritage.  These are:

Prof Henry Fraser -
a past president of Barbados National Trust and the author of 'Historic Houses of Barbados' and 'Treasures of Barbados.'

Dr Karl Watson - BNT's current president and the editor of the journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. He is also the author of the forthcoming book 'History of the Sephardic Jews of Barbados.'

The Barbados National Trust was founded in 1961 to preserve our unique heritage - be it historic buildings, place of natural beauty or out flora and fauna.

It's a very active Trust and was recently successful in achieving UNESCO International Heritage Site status for Bridgetown and its Garrison.

 

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