Great Plantations Make Great Houses
There are very few Great Houses left in the islands and even fewer on the market. Conversely there are many many large properties available for eco-farming projects which could be made special and become a countryside heritage highlight with the addition of Great House architecture. So why not design and build your own Great House?
By the end of the 16th century Plantation Great Houses were being built by the Dutch, French, British and Spanish throughout the Caribbean islands.
Architecturally they tended to have the same basic characteristics of a rectangular shape and hipped roof. European decorative influences came in the form of clay tiles and iron railings from the Spanish, the British the “Union Jack” rail, the French added the shutter or jalousie, and the Dutch added half round dormers to the roofs.
The roof always extended out over a porch or verandah that encircled the home with a balcony. The galleries were supported with numerous columns and a continuous wooden rail, and each room was connected to the porches via large french doors/windows. The homes could be two stories or one but were always elevated above the ground.
The decoration could be simple or elaborate but many of these homes expressed classical European details such as column capitols, bases, entablatures, arches and plinths.
The following four examples illustrate two large properties that could be turned into modern plantations with the addition of a Great House and two properties with historic Plantation homes in place and with a little of the original plantation left!
Grenada The Spice Isle – Morne Jaloux Estate is considered to be one of the few remaining Great Houses on the island. The original foundation dates back to the 1700’s, but the existing structure was built in the 1920’s. It comes with spectacular views of the Grenadine coastline, and 2.4 acres of land.
The house comes with pool and sundecks and fruit and vegetables left over from its horticultural past including manderines, jack fruit, grapefruit, acki, tangerine and water nuts and many others.
Tobago : Culloden Estate – 148 acres of beachfront land, with two beautiful beaches and dramatic sea views, located only 30 mins from the airport and with full permission for a hotel, spa and residential development.
..and plenty of space for a classic Great House on one of the hills around the bays.
Belize : Toledo District, 104 acres of pristine oceanfront land, enjoying beautiful views of the Gulf of Honduras and the southern Mayan mountains.
Room for a classic Great House along the waterfront with gentle rolling lawns leading down to the beach and the Caribbean sea beyond.
Barbados Plantation House 7 bedroom plantation house, set within 1.24 acres of elevated land, offering panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea.
Almost no land left with this property but plenty to be acquired and planted for an aspiring modern farmer.
Caribbean Great house architecture does not have to be old….it can look just as good if its brand new but faithful to the outline and ornaments of the originals!