While my husband and I were in Saint Philip last year visiting the Crane Beach, our cab driver told us that if we had time, to try to find the famous Sam Lords Castle in Barbados. He explained that it was an old, historical home that had been used as a hotel for many years, before recently burning down in an unexplained fire. We never did make it during that trip, and to tell you the truth, I had completely forgotten about it…
In July, after arriving at The Crane Beach in Saint Philip, we found it covered in kelp. It was also quite windy and between the two, we didn’t see the point of making our way down the beach. When we visited in 2011 to find the beach covered in kelp, we made a go of it and ventured out. It was too difficult to swim and laying out? Not very fun in a bed of seaweed. Ariel I am not!
As we were walking back to our car, we saw a little pathway and decided to see where it led. We had driven all the way around the other side of the island to find The Crane, and didn’t want the trip to have been a complete waste.
Now, the underlying sand wasn’t nearly as pearly pink, and the waves were even more powerful on this side of the beach, but…
And then we remembered – we were somewhere near that mysterious Sam Lords Castle in Barbados…
We set off in search of the castle, not remembering exactly where it was or how we were supposed to get to it.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but we did see a sign that literally said “Sam Lord Castle” and so we followed the signs.
Simple enough. We hoped that what we were looking for was actually Sam Lord Castle. When we found the entrance (photo above), we knew we had the right place. Now, our cab driver from last year told us that it was an old castle, an old hotel, and that there had been a fire.
What we did not know was how bad it was…
I was stunned. It is so difficult to capture on film the magnitude of what we saw before us. While Sam Lord Castle isn’t incredibly enormous, it has a presence about it, even in ruins, that takes your breath away. It was literally burned to its foundation. All that was left was the original walls.
We found the remnants of extravagant landscaping in the back of the hotel. We found an empty pool, spots where Jacuzzis must have once been housed.
Just as we were about to leave, we noticed a path leading towards what we assumed would be the ocean. I was a bit frightened, so I let Chris lead the way. Yes, I was a little chicken. So sue me. The entire vibe of Sam Lord’s Castle creeped me out.
My favorite thing about this? The tire swing.
I did my research after we were back at the Hilton and found that in its day, the Sam Lords Castle hotel had very posh bungalows all along the beach, with private cabanas, bars and the usual beach amenities. Do you notice how all of the palm trees are swaying? The wind is so constant on this part of the island that the trees grow that way.
Of all of the places I’ve seen in my travels, I have to say that Sam Lords Castle in Barbados was one of the most interesting.
I can’t wait to go back and do a little more exploring!