The property was known as Anton Hall in the late 18th century, and the house was probably built between 1735 and 1750. the 60-acre plantation had its own mill and boiling house, whose foundations are near the edge of the gully.
Owners over the centuries reflect the classic Barbadian plantation names – Dowdings, Connells and Collymores. About ten years ago, developers Paul Andrews and Simon Briggs bought the property, which they recently enlarged by purchasing adjacent land to improve the entrance and add a polo field.
The original house would have been Georgian – This set of architectural styles is named for the Britsh monarchs, George I – IV – Usually built in a rectangle, sometimes with short wings, Georgian architecture is characterized by its proportion and symmetry.
The term “Caribbean Georgian” was coined to describe the many tropical adaptations to this style that evolved in the West Indies all of which can be seeing at Bellevue.
The most recent changes are in the verandahs or galleries, which were extended from small balconies and wrapped around two sides of the house. Goodbye symmetry, hello outdoor living! Updates were done by architect Aubrey Dawkins.
Enter via the stairs, where you’ll tread the original clay tile steps and into an open vestibule. Enclosed by lattice, it’s fine spot for enjoying afternoon tea in the Morris chairs and gazing at the view. Inside the house itself, a wide space with its original windows and new purple heart floors, opens before you. Back in the area surrounding the stairs going down, you might notice the skylight. Beneath in hangs a 1930s or ’40 vintage chandelier to provide light at night.
As in most houses of this era, there are not only louvered external shutters but solid interior ones that fold out of the casement for additional protection from storms or other threats. Most of the bedrooms here has the traditional pickled pine tray ceiling and simple off-white draperies.
Downstairs, in the formal living area, creamy fabrics depict travelers’ palms and bananas. Old china and photographs of old Barbados decorate the room. Among the antiques, you may spot a pretty piecrust table, an old mahogany chest, a grandfather clock, a victrola, and curvy rocking chair with carved detailing. This area mentioned above is a zone of exposed coral-limestone walls and cool, painted cement floors where you can feel the solidity of the building.
Please exit via the other exterior stairs, and turn right. En route to re-enter via the rear door to the kitchen, you’ll pass a colourful mosaic. It was done by the swedish artist, Melanie Blomgren, who has lived in barbados since 1990.
The spacious kitchen adjoin the dining room; frosted glass doors admit light but screen the work area from view.
Next is the large, formal dining room whose table seats 16 -as many the house accommodate. The alcove now used as a bar was once the house’ chapel.
To the rear of the family room, you’ll find another cozy bedroom. as you might guess from the presence of a fireplace chimney, this used to be kitchen. Now, the flue actually adds to the ventilation.
The two-bedroom cottage with verandahs extending down both long sides was made by transforming the old stables. The beautiful wood used for flooring is kabukalli, another tropical hardwood common to Guyana. The cottage features coral-stone interiors, high peaked pickled pine ceilings, romantic four poster beds with ensuite and an open plan kitchen and sitting area.
Have paths and benches, so do explore. The gravel path leads to a pond pull of water hyacinth. in the grounds you may spot anthuriums, a cordia three with vermillion blossoms, bay leaf and lignum vitae trees, a so called sago palm, coconut palm, and pride of Indian tree. Orchids grow on some of the tree trunks, but may not be in flower now. There’s also an old water tank, an old sugar boiler and the original bell above the Club House.
Behind the house is Barbados’ newest polo field, a private facility where Bellevue guests can play with their friends and the resident professional or try our famous wild monkey trail.