twin guns

Perched high above the sprawling St. George valley is Gun Hill Signal Station, a once vital semaphore communications point for the British military in the early 1800s.
Built in 1818, the signal station and look-out command an awesome peninsula-like view stretching from the east to the south and west coasts, with a stunning vista of the St. George valley directly below.
Gun Hill was one of a series of stations strategically located around the island. With a 700 foot elevation, it proved a primary link in this flag-waving communications chain. Gun Hill's constant breeze also made it an ideal site for convalescing soldiers, most of whom were recovering from malaria and yellow fever.
Yet the site did not begin with the signal station. Its origins date back to the late 1600s when large guns were positioned there as a means of sounding the alarm in the event of an invasion.
Tucked beneath the hill is the island's landmark seven foot lion, hand carved from a single piece of coral stone by Captain Henry Wilkinson in 1868. The lion's paw, resting on a large red orb, represented England's dominion over the island and other territories during that period.
The rough, coral-walled station and its adjoining cookhouse were restored by the Barbados National Trust in 1982 and the site now houses a mini museum of military artifacts.
The grounds around the station and have been beautifully landscaped, presenting a serene, almost meditative ambience.
For our wedding, Eric and I wanted an outdoor garden-like setting that represented Barbados, but did not fall into the cliched category of the typical tourist wedding. At first visit to Gun Hill we knew it was our venue---the atmosphere, the view and the peaceful surroundings together made it ideal. The historic element was an added perk for us. The Barbados National Trust kindly obliged us in our wish to be married there, for which we are very grateful. It is believed ours was the first wedding to take place at this beautiful historic site, yet we feel many will follow us.
We chose to be married on the steps of the signal station because of the rustic backdrop and because it provided the opportunity to ‘face our witnesses' while sharing our vows. The wedding was timed so everyone could enjoy one of the finest sunset views the island has to offer. However, as luck would have it, especially since June is the start of rainy season, it was heavily overcast and occasionally drizzly throughout the ceremony. So sadly, no pretty sunset. But the wedding came off outdoors nicely, although as you will see, some umbrellas appeared occasionally.

 

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This page last updated : Tuesday December 2, 2008