The Barbados Museum & Historical Society


The Barbados Militia (Estab. 1640) is probably the oldest in the British Commonwealth, serving until British troops arrived in 1780. The Garrison was then established making it the second oldest of its kind.
The West India Regiment was the first British Regiment of black soldiers, providing 132 years of service both in the British West Indies and worldwide.



The colorful Zouave uniform (on the far left of this page) was the ceremonial dress of the West Indies Regiment which dates back to 1858. A version of this uniform is still worn today by the Barbados Defense Force Band



The Garrison Savannah, just outside of Bridgetown, began with Charles Fort in 1650. Later in 1705 St. Ann’s Fort was added equipped with its vaulted underground magazines.
Buildings in this area were erected between 1780 and 1810 and include George Washington House and the splendid Main Guard of 1804.



The National cannon collection contains an Elizabethan cannon cast in 1600, the only one known to exist. A rare Commonwealth period gun circa 1652 is one of the only two surviving Cromwell Republican arms cannons in existence. To date over 400 cannons have been unearthed in Barbados.
Several of these magnificent cannons are mounted on the Main guard and look onto the Garrison Savannah.