St. John's Parish Church

St. John
Opening Hours:
Open All Year From 6-0 To 18-0 (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)
St. John
Distance From Airport:
12.3 Km (7.64 Miles)
Distance From Bridgetown:
15.2 Km (9.44 Miles)

Unfortunately, more peril was in store for the consecrated land, as only a mere fifteen years had passed before the hurricane of 1675 struck Barbados and badly damaged the new church. In 1676 the parishioners tore down what was left of the structure and through Christian faith, perseverance and determination, the church was built once again.

By 1831 nearly 200 years had passed before the property was again destroyed by one of the worst hurricanes on the local record. Undefeated, the church was rebuilt yet again and that structure, created in 1836, still remains today. Since then the church has updated to include:

  • 1.Beautiful stained glass windows.
  • 2.An elaborately carved pulpit - made from six different types of wood, four of which are native to Barbados. 
  • 3.Beautifully designed curved staircases flank either side of the entrance. 
  • 4.An altar area made of Brass rails and mahogany wood
  • 5.A Westmacott sculpture of a mother and children, which stands in tribute to Elizabeth Pinder, who was quite active in St. John.  It can be found to the left of the entranceway. 
  • 6.One of only two intact sundials in Barbados which are still in use to still tell time. The other is located at Codrington College, which is just a short distance away from the church.

The beautiful Gothic-inspired church is quite an appealing historic landmark for both locals and tourists. The history of this church includes its connection with Istanbul ( Constantinople at the time) This connection was strong since it is the final resting place of Ferdinando Paleologus, who was the last descendant of the second brother of Constantine, the last Christian Emperor of Constantinople. At the rear of the church’s cemetery, you would be able to find Paleologus’s tomb which is marked by a granite tombstone.

Ferdinando was very active in Barbados,  his newly adopted home. In addition to being a planter in St.John on his plantation (Clifton Hall), he was also a warden at the parish church. Paleologus was a hard worker and history recalls that he met his death in the 1831 hurricane. 

St. John’s Parish church has many intriguing discoveries such as the grave of Thomas Hughes directly behind Mr Paleologus’s grave. He was buried in a standing position at his request since he rarely sat in the job he held.

It is highly recommended that when you visit the beautiful romantic parish of St.John of Barbados that you pay a visit to the parish church as it is rich in history and very educational for both locals and visitors.