We’ve seen Caribbean dream homes with incredible locations, pools that would be the envy of the entire island, and enough living space to keep an extended family on an even more extended vacation. Just recently, we saw one house that has all of that and then some. But what if you’re looking for something that’s heavier on history and culture? In that case, it’s time to head to Barbados, where the Clifton Hall Great House is on the market.
For aspiring permanent vacationers who’d love to have a great story to share with guests, this property comes with plenty of tales. Currently listed for $3.9 million with One Caribbean Estates, it is one of the oldest and largest of the island’s Great Houses and dates back to 1656, when it was owned by Ferdinand Palaeologus, a direct descendent of Constantine, the last emperor of the Byzantine empire. See? That’s already one great story to share over a glass of rum.
There is a Clifton Hall Rum, after all.
The property is an astounding 13,500 sq. ft., making it a remarkable choice for hosting family events or destination weddings. In addition to six bedrooms and six bathrooms in the main building, there is also a separate two-bed, two-bath cottage, which would be ideal for the couple of honor’s honeymoon quarters or simply a smaller scale vacation rental.
One of the more creative elements of the home is how the three wings reflect the historical significance and cultural influences. Two original structures boast a distinct Medieval style, while the building that was added in the late 18th century is Caribbean-Georgian. Each wing offers access to the spacious courtyard and pool, where guests can gather and enjoy the significance of their accommodations.
Clifton Hall takes its name from the Clifton suburb of Bristol, England, where Palaeologus and his siblings were raised. After emigrating to Barbados, he became a man of many titles and rests today at St. John’s Church, not far from the home. Only seven people have been fortunate enough to call themselves owner of this Great House, with the most recent being Massimo Franchi, who acquired it in 2008 and spent four years restoring its glory.
“Since then, the house has been a well-loved family home and also successfully used for tours, weddings, events, conferences because of its grandeur and architectural importance and island status,” he explained. “Since the official opening, hundreds of people annually have visited the house, exclaiming of its magnificence, its elegance and the unbelievable revival!”
Bajans are not only immensely proud of their history, but also their creative architecture. The island offers visitors a variety of tours including the Open House Programme, presented by the Barbados National Trust, which showcases the “most historic and beautiful private homes” for one day each year. Thanks to Franchi’s efforts, Clifton Hall was once a regular stop on that tour.
The home has also been featured in a variety of publications, all the way back to Robert Schaumburg’s “The History of Barbados” in 1848. But now it’s all about Clifton Hall’s future.