The History of the Trust
The Barbados National Trust is a charitable, non-profit, non-governmental (NGO) body founded in 1961 to establish and preserve the natural and built heritage of Barbados and to awaken the public to a greater awareness of Barbados' historic and architectural riches. It is linked through aims, goals and structure to all the international National Trusts from England to Australia and it is believed the Barbados National Trust is the second oldest in the Caribbean. Founded two years after the Jamaica National Trust Commission. The Trust was incorporated in 1961 as a Body Corporate under an Act of the Legislature. It is also registered as a charity, and its mandate includes:
1. Compiling a photographic record and listing of places of natural
beauty and their animal and plant life;
2. Acquiring properties for the benefit of the people of Barbados and its visitors;
3. Opening to public view, sites of historic and architectural interest.
No history of the Barbados National Trust can be written without mention of its founder Ronald Tree.
Founder of the Barbados National Trust
Ronald Tree was born in 1897 of American parents at an estate, Ashorne Hill, which is in Warwickshire England. He died in 1976 at the age of 79. His father Arthur, married Ethel Field, the daughter of Marshall Field who made a great fortune, first with his Department Store and then in real estate. They made their home in England. Tree described himself as an Anglo–American.
During the Second World War he was a member of Sir Winston Churchill‘s War Cabinet. He made frequent visits to America during the war. After the war he visited Trinidad in the late 40‘s and while there, he was persuaded by the late Sir Edward Cunard to visit Barbados.
He immediately fell in love with Barbados and brought his affluent friends, vision and a series of valuable developments to Barbados later building a gracious home “Heron Bay on the St. James coast, next door to the Colony Club. Tree would spend most of the winter months at Heron Bay, and he entered fully into the social and civic life of Barbados. He developed the Sandy Lane Hotel and Sandy Lane development of luxury villas and golf course. Throughout the rest of his life he was a benefactor of Barbados in every sense of the word, donating Trents cricket ground and establishing the Ronald Tree Cricket Cup Competition for schools. In 1961 he gathered a group of Barbadians around him and formed the Barbados National Trust. He spearheaded the purchase of Welchman Hall Gully with the Government paying half the cost of the purchase price. Welchman Hall Gully became the Trust‘s first asset.
Promote the Preservation of our Built and Natural Heritage
| The Trusts Objectives
- The listing of buildings, monuments and sites of historic, architectural and archaeological interest and places of natural beauty with their animal, plant or marine life.
- The compilation of a photographic and architectural record of the above.
- The preservation of chattels of historic or artistic interest.
- Making the public aware of the value and beauty of the island’s heritage as set out above.
- The pursuance of a policy of preservation and acting in an advisory capacity to the Government of Barbados and others interested in similar objectives.
- The acquisition of property for the benefit of the people of Barbados.
- The attraction of funds by means of subscriptions, donations, bequests and grants for the effective achievement of its objectives, the implementation of projects and the operation of the Trust.
- The establishment of an Endowment Fund in order that persons or entities interested in the objectives of the Trust may provide financial assistance to the achievement of these objectives.
Council Members & Management
The Head Office of the Barbados National Trust is Wildey House. Located in Wildey, St. Michael Barbados. You can learn more about its beautiful grounds and furnishings below.