Gun Hill Signal Station & Fusiliers Cafe
Fusilier Road, Newbury, St. George
Two years after the 1816 slave revolt, The gun hill signal station was constructed and was included in a series of stations to signal the approach of incoming vessels or warn off other uprisings. These signal stations were important to the island's safety and security, and their placement was imperative to their functions, as they needed to have an excellent view of the island’s. During civil unrest, Gun Hill along with the other five other signal stations served as assembly points for the Militia. However, operations at the Signal station included time telling through time balls, issuing hurricane warnings, relaying meeting information for the Council of Barbados. It was also to be used as a recovery station where soldiers were moved to in the event of an epidemic outbreak.
After emancipation and the introduction of telephone communication, the use of signals stations came to a halt and their abandonment led to their ruin. But all was not lost, The Barbados National Trust restored the Gun Hill signal station in 1981, the restoration impacted its original style and attributes to its current hexagonal shape.
The grounds at Gun Hill are spectacularly beautiful, the landscape is decorated by various tropical flowers and trees lining a pathway that leads up the incline to the signal station. The vibrantly coloured flowers create a brilliant display in the garden area; Hedges of purple and yellow Bougainvilleas, Pride of Barbados plants with a spectrum of yellow and orange flower petals, benches are on the path covered by the outstretched branches of the trees. The far-reaching views beyond the hillside garden are breathtaking and captivating, inviting you to sit back and take in the scenery. A wrap-around deck allows you to see a great distance away, even as far as Bridgetown and the ships docked in the harbour, it also places you right above the vegetation at some points giving the illusion of floating just above the treetops, an amazing experience. A series of old fashioned lamp posts also line the pathway up to the signal station, the red, white and green structure sitting at the highest point of the hill with an excellent vantage point for a 360 view of the island.
Various plaques are scattered along with the property with tributes to a host of individuals and organizations that are significant to the signal station's history and current existence. Maps and charts of the signal station network and the other stations are also displayed with the refurbished signal station.
As with any Bajan tour, this site is complete with a bar and cafe, serving up refreshing beverages. Shingle roofed sheds cover seating areas and add a genuine old fashioned feel to space. A few decommissioned cannons sit as decorative displays and reminders of Gun Hill’s military background. The reimagined Gun Hill signal station is a charming place to get away to and just enjoy the simplicity of just being surrounded by beauty and being elevated at the perfect point to behold it.