Francia Great House

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Francia Great House

Francia Great House is a historical plantation great house in Saint George, Barbados. It is on a wooded hillside near Gun Hill Signal Station.[1]


It was completed at the end of the 19th century[2] or in the early 20th century[1][3][a] by a Frenchman, René Mourraille, who had lived in Brazil. He met and married a Barbadian and settled in Barbados. It was one of the last plantations built in Barbados.[1] The plantation grew and exported yams, eddoes, and sweet potatoes. Sugar was not grown due to the reduction of the price of sugar internationally at the time the house was built.[4] From the time the house was constructed, it was owned by descendants of Mourraille.[3] By 2007, it had become a private school,[9] the Providence Elementary School.[7][10]

Architecture and landscaping[edit]

Dining room

The building reflects the owner's interest in French architecture in the triple-arched entrance, enclosed upper balcony, and "sweeping front staircase".[4] The house combines Barbadian coral stone craftsmanship, Demerara windows,[citation needed] and Brazilian wood panelling.[1] It has a collection of antique mahogany furniture and West Indian maps dating back to the early 16th century.[1][4] It is set in terraced English-style gardens, with bougainvillea, hibiscus, and frangipani plants and a large mammee apple tree.[4] It also has orchards.[3] The Barbados National Trust designated it a house of architectural interest.[11]


  1. ^ It is also said to have been built at the turn of the 20th century,[4] in 1910,[5] 1912,[6] or about 1913.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Harry S. Pariser (2000). Explore Barbados. Harry S. Pariser. p. PT188. ISBN 978-1-893643-51-2. 
  2. ^ Rough Guides (Firm); Nicky Agate (2002). The Caribbean. Rough Guides. p. 659. ISBN 978-1-85828-895-6. 
  3. ^ a b c Keith Whiting (December 1, 2012). Barbados. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. PT151. ISBN 978-1-58843-652-8. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Adam Vaitilingam (August 2004). Barbados Directions. Rough Guides. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-84353-320-7. 
  5. ^ Architectural Digest. Conde Nast Publications. 1992. p. 92. 
  6. ^ Arif Ali (1996). Barbados: Just Beyond Your Imagination. Hansib. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-870518-54-3. 
  7. ^ a b "Francia Plantation". Visit Barbados. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Francia". Barbados National Trust. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  9. ^ Nick Hanna; Emma Stanford (2007). The Caribbean. National Geographic Society. p. PT391. ISBN 978-1-4262-0141-7. 
  10. ^ "History - Elementary School". Providence School Barbados. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  11. ^ Keith Whiting (December 1, 2012). Barbados - Bridgetown & the South. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-58843-964-2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°8′39.49″N 59°33′55.77″W / 13.1443028°N 59.5654917°W / 13.1443028; -59.5654917