Lovingly restored and updated Mangrove Plantation is currently on the market

Story by Rachel Ramphal.    Photography by Jake Thomas and Dan Christaldi.

Barbados is celebrated for its rich history and as a popular heritage destination. While some historic homes have fallen into ruin or disrepair many more have been lovingly restored, offering a unique home experience. Many of these plantation houses were built on sugar estates in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. Mangrove Plantation is one of these wonderfully restored 18th century homes.

A home of prominent historical heritage, the name “Mangrove” also bears a botanical significance to the white mangrove trees which no doubt grew by the large pond that was present when the early settlers arrived on the island. The Skeetes, one of the island’s most prominent families, played an important role over time on the island. They were part of the traditional elite from the time of colonisation in 1628. Mr. John Brathwaite Skeete held the highest position on the island at the time of President Of The Council - from 21st June 1827 to 6th February 1829, when Governor Ward returned to England to retire. The Skeete family purchased Mangrove in the early 18th century and expanded it by purchasing parcels of surrounding lands. While the main house today has been totally modernized, it retains the same footprint of the original house. There is even a tomb on site where many of the family members were interred.

The current owners took over the property in 2000 and have since fully restored it together with the beautifully landscaped grounds - adding a pool and Jacuzzi. The buildings were made from coral stone excavated from the on-site quarry, now a lush private garden. Some of the desirable features of this home are the wide, wrap-around terrace downstairs, patio space off the bedrooms, hardwood floors and special architectural details like a fully restored mill wall as well as large windows and doors, allowing light and the trade winds.

The estate, at just under thirty acres, is ideally located on a hillside ten minutes inland from the West Coast of the island. Breezy and private, its elevation affords views out to the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea, which can be enjoyed from many vantage points on the property. The stately main house can accommodate eight in four bedrooms while a two-bedroom cottage, the former Carriage House, conveniently houses another two bedrooms.

The house has been updated to a very high standard with furnishings and fittings purchased and collected from across Europe, America and the West Indies. The furniture strikes a collected and cohesive harmony; a mix of antiques and classics with select Asian pieces. A grand mahogany staircase leads up to the bedrooms on the top floor. Here, the master bedroom has a private terrace and full-length windows.  A sumptuous en suite bathroom features fine fittings with a giant sunken bath as the ultimate indulgence.

Three additional bedrooms, one of them en suite, open onto a shared terrace overlooking the gardens and restored mill wall. The fully converted mill now houses a charming downstairs bar while a gallery at the top, accessed via spiraling mahogany steps, offers outstanding, panoramic views.

Downstairs the dining and sitting rooms have exposed wooden beams. Doors open from these rooms onto the verandah allowing for beautiful vistas of the gardens. Exquisite bespoke Persian rugs and wonderful artwork add warmth and sophistication. In the dining room a wet bar and wine cooler make entertaining a breeze, with a fully serviceable Butler’s Pantry, steps away from this room.

The kitchen’s commercial grade, stainless appliances have modern appeal yet, it remains cozy and faithful to the era of the house - with a farmhouse sink, an oven surround in tiles of soft blue and a butcher block island.  Just off the kitchen is a light and airy breakfast room, offering a relaxed alcove for dining. This informality continues in the TV room, where a wall mural of playful green monkeys frolicking in trees mirrors their exact behavior outdoors - a nod to the motif so popular to the island.

The Carriage House Cottage is a perfect symmetry of modern and colonial features, with exposed coral stone walls, while clerestory windows and indoor gardens maximize the light coming into the building. The open-plan kitchen and dining area open directly onto a spacious pool deck - where tables and chairs are ideal for al fresco dining and loungers for the perfect perch to relax in the sun or shade.

Steps from the house and under the shade of a majestic Bearded Fig tree the owners have built an expansive wooden deck with built-in seating. Here, a long, tiled island complete with a sink and large grill is the perfect spot for cocktail parties at sunset or terrific outdoor barbeques. This house is an idyllic retreat to raise a family and a most enchanting place to host guests. From past to present, Mangrove continues to weave her magic.


Mangrove Plantation is available for sale through Bajan Services | Knight Frank. They specialize in luxury property for sale and rent in Barbados. For more information Call +1 (246) 422-2618 or Email sales@bajanservices.com. Web: www.bajanservices.com

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