Though perhaps best known for luxury resorts and beachfront villas, the Caribbean island of Barbados also has a historic side to its property market.
Across the island’s palm-covered interior are the remains of former plantation estates, relics of the Caribbean’s once-thriving tobacco and sugar industries.
Such properties sell from $500,000, or one million Bajan dollars, to over $10 million, depending on size and condition. (Real estate prices in Barbados are typically listed in United States dollars.) They date from the 17th and 18th centuries and would once have included up to 80 hectares, or 200 acres, of land.
Over time, many estate houses were abandoned because of the cost and effort of maintaining them, and land was sold for agriculture and development. Now, plots average between one and 16 hectares.
Traditional external features include wraparound porches and portico entrances with stone stairways and upper-floor verandas giving views across the estate.
Inside, ground-floor rooms are generally arranged on either side of a central hall from which a main staircase ascends to a galleried top-floor landing leading to the bedrooms.
The majority of plantations had sugar mills, often close to the great house and built from stone with canvas sails. Many estates retain the original towers, also called mill walls, which are sometimes converted for further accommodation.
One such house is Mangrove Plantation, a renovated great house on 16 hectares of land with a restored sugar mill, two-bedroom guest cottage and pool area, plus panoramic coastal views.
The house was once owned by the Skeete family, one of whom was island governor in the 1800s, and is listed with local agency, Bajan Services, at $6.95 million.