Parishes of Barbados

The country of Barbados is divided into sub-regions known as parishes.


They are legally styled as the "Parish of (parish name)" as opposed to the American naming convention with "Parish" coming after the name.[1][2] The use of the term "parish" derives from the island's religious Anglican history under the Church of England.


The system of parish churches was originally based on the system of the Church of England and was the visible expression forming the basis of the parliamentary representation in Barbados. The differing size and shape of each parish were primarily influenced by the large plantation estates of cotton, sugar cane and tobacco that existed during the colonial years of Barbados. As various chapels of ease were created during the 17th century across the island, some local churches were elevated to parish church status, leading to the formation of new parishes surrounding those freshly created vestries.

By 1629, the English settlers after landing at James Town formed six original parishes on the island which were:[3]

By 1645, the land holding of Barbados increased and the shape of the original six was reconfigured giving way to an additional five parishes.[3] Some prior churches of the state within the existing parishes were elevated to the level of parish church and as a consequence they formed new parishes around those new vestries:

Thus Barbados was converted into the current eleven parishes of today corresponding to the earlier church parishes. As was common under the British system, each parish had a single main parishional church (or cathedral in the case of Bridgetown having been elevated to city status), which acted as a sort of capital for each parish.[4][5] The parishes each held their own local government councils until these were abolished in 1959, following a brief administrative districting experiment within Barbados until 1967.[4]


The nation's capital Bridgetown, which is located within the parish of Saint Michael, may one day be made into its own parish.

Within the country, travel is unrestricted to everyone in moving about from parish to parish. With increasing urban sprawl and new construction projects across the country many neighbourhoods and even parishional border-lines today are ill-defined.

The eleven parishes are:

Parishes of Barbados, with some details
Short name Long name Capital Land area Population
(census 2010)
Density Historic vestry
Christ Church The Parish of Christ Church[6] Oistins 57 km2 (22 sq mi) 54,336 953.3/km2
Lead church of the parish
St. Andrew The Parish of Saint Andrew[7] Greenland 36 km2 (14 sq mi) 5,139 142.8/km2
Lead church of the parish
St. George The Parish of Saint George Bulkeley 44 km2 (17 sq mi) 19,767 449.3/km2
St. James The Parish of Saint James[7] Holetown 31 km2 (12 sq mi) 28,498 449.3/km2
St. John The Parish of Saint John Four Roads 34 km2 (13 sq mi) 8,963 263.6/km2
Lead church of the parish
St. Joseph The Parish of Saint Joseph[7] Bathsheba 26 km2 (10 sq mi) 6,620 254.6/km2
Lead church of the parish
St. Lucy The Parish of Saint Lucy[7] Crab Hill 36 km2 (14 sq mi) 9,758 271.1/km2
St. Michael The Parish of Saint Michael[7] Bridgetown 39 km2 (15 sq mi) 88,529 2,270.0/km2
St. Peter The Parish of Saint Peter Speightstown 34 km2 (13 sq mi) 11,300 332.4/km2
Lead church of the parish
St. Philip The Parish of Saint Philip[7] Six Roads 60 km2 (23 sq mi) 30,662 511.0/km2
St. Thomas The Parish of Saint Thomas Hillaby 34 km2 (13 sq mi) 14,249 419.1/km2

See also


  1. Laws of Barbados, Volume 2, p.573, 286.
  2. U-Ming, Mike. "Fear and panic as Barbados regularisation deadline loom". Barbados Cultural Association of British Columbia – History of Barbados. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009.
  3. "The Barbados Parliament – Parliament History". Barbados Parliament website. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  4. Carrington, Sean; Fraser, Henry (2007). "Vestry". A~Z of Barbados Heritage. Macmillan Caribbean - Macmillan Publishers Limited Press. ISBN 978-0-333-92068-8.
  5. Alleyne, Warren (1978). Historic Bridgetown. Barbados: Barbados National Trust.
  6. Laws of Barbados, Volume 2, p.573
  7. Laws of Barbados, Volume 2, p.586

Further reading

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.