Tag Archives: Sam Lords Castle

Barbados featured in Louisa Leontiades’ new book ‘Queen of the Limbo’

Barbados Louisa Leontiades

Will Polyamorous British author tell any Barbados tales out of school?

Today BFP heard from our old friend, author and HuffPost / Salon writer Louisa Leontiades that her next book is hitting the stores in November and, surprise surprise, this time the setting is Sam Lord’s Castle in the not too distant past.


Sam Lord’s Castle hasn’t been so hot since the night it burned to the ground. ‘Queen of the Limbo’ will heat de place up again!

Knowing how rumours fly about Louisa writing real people into her books with only the thinnest of camouflage, we think that more than a few folks on this rock might have a certain curiosity about ‘Queen of the Limbo’. We will!

Well… this should be fun.


Louisa’s Amazon sales are here.


Filed under Art, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

Sam Lord’s Castle – A request for information about George Cunningham Cook, died in 1928

George Cunningham Cook. (1871-1928) Commander Royal Canadian Navy, Superintendent and representative of a the Canadian Government Merchant Marine (CGMM) in Barbados.

by Jonathan Bryan

Unfortunately, I never knew of Sam Lord’s Castle until this year, four years after it became a camp fire and opportunity to make s’more’s or charcoaled hot dogs. The pictures are amazing. The Castle must have been quite the experience in first person, and I can’t help but feel empty for what could have been. Reading the comments of many about their visit is inspiring for me though…….but you might ask yourself, why do I have any feelings for the place at all?

Well, besides being a lover of the historical, I am a genealogy researcher, live in Virginia, USA, and through my research, have been introduced to the former edifice. My wife’s had a ‘cousin’ who passed away while living in the Castle on November 21, 1928. Was he renting or owner? I’m not sure, not having access to deed information. If he owned it, what happened after he died? This cousin was George Cunningham Cook. He was a Commander in the Royal Canadian Navy, a Superintendent and representative of a the Canadian Government Merchant Marine (CGMM) in Barbados. He would often travel from Halifax, NS, Montreal, Que, and St Phillip, Barbados. Sadly, he died young due to complications of an explosion on board a steamship a few months later. He was 57, leaving a wife, Lilly, and son, George Elliott Cook (born 1901).

When George C. Cook passed away, he was buried next to Lord family tomb. That further leads me to think he may have been owner of Lord’s Castle at the time of his death. His headstone is located in St Phillips Parish Church cemetery. I don’t know where Lord’s tomb is, but would love to have a photo of George’s stone and any family buried with him.

Would anyone mind looking into Mr. Cook there in Barbados? Any photo’s and info could be posted here.

I must give credit to a fellow researcher, Patricia Lumsden, who provided much of the info I’ve shared.

(BFP Editor’s note: see book “Cook Descendants – Inlaws and Outlaws” by Patricia Lumsden)

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, History

Victor Stewart on Sam Lord’s Castle and how CLICO pillaged our island

As part of the family that owned Sam Lord’s Castle before the Marriotts, and as a current landowner at Castle Close, I find the whole CLICO subject to be somewhat ridiculous.

Isn’t it obvious what is going on??? CLICO came into Barbados with the support of powerful people in government, and proceeded to pillage our fair Island.

One of the obvious and terrible casualties was my family home (and what our family had raised to equal status with then-nacent Sandy Lane in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a premier resort hotel) that was part of our national heritage. Apparently nobody cares about tradition any more, but Barbados has a long and honoured tradition of respecting the rule of law and more particularly English common law and equity principles of how to conduct business with the people in your community. All of this has been apparently lost in the fight for political power, but I will make a prediction that sooner or later the people of Barbados will rise up and demand an explanation for what has been done in their name.

I can only pray that the burned-out shell that used to be my family’s and this Island’s delight might one day be reconstituted, unlike the sad arson memorial that is Farley Hill. Only time will tell.

Victor E. Stewart
Castle Close, St. Philip

Further Reading

BFP: October 22, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle as an over-valued asset in the CLICO – CL Financial pyramid fraud

BFP: October 21, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP: April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law

Boston Globe article about Sam Lord’s Castle – history and demise

A sad travel article by Boston Globe journalist Patricia Borns

Two years ago Patricia Borns visited Barbados and wrote a wonderful travel article for the Boston Globe. In Measured by the foot, she said “Pure air, pristine beaches, and miles of byways make hiking eye-opening.”

During a hiking trip, Ms. Borns took some photos of Sam Lord’s Castle and wondered about the (non) preservation of our historical buildings and sites. She wrote of our old friend Richard Goddard telling her “Hike Barbados started not as a tourist attraction but as a way to connect our own people with their environment and heritage.”

It’s obvious from Ms. Borns’ articles that she loves Barbados, Bajans and appreciates the unique history of our island. So it is with a bit of sadness that she writes of the demise of Sam Lord’s Castle for her readers in Boston.

Reading her article and seeing the photos, I’m also reminded that we are losing our natural heritage as well as our historical buildings. If we allow our remaining fields and wetlands and forests to be sacrificed to “progress”, this place will be nothing but concrete in short order. It’s close enough to that already on the west and south west coasts…

“Anguish for a past that can never be reclaimed”

Orhan Pamuk wrote movingly of “the melanchololy of ruins.” Today the people of Barbados are melancholy as a priceless piece of their history went up in flames late last month.

Located on a coco palm-shaded strand of southeast coast beach, the iconic coral rock castle was the 1820 Regency trophy home of a true pirate of the Caribbean, Samuel Hall Lord. At one point in the mid-1900s it was owned by family of my friend Richard Goddard, a bulldog preservationist dubbed by Bajan media the country’s “most stubborn man.” Bostonians may remember the castle as a Marriott resort in more recent times…

… read the Boston Globe article & photos: At play in the fields of Sam Lord

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History

Sam Lord’s Castle as an over-valued asset in the CLICO – CL Financial pyramid fraud

In 2005 CLICO’s Leroy Parris said he had to talk with CL Financial about Sam Lord’s Castle, but…

Isn’t the official line that Clico Holdings (Barbados) was “separate and distinct” from its parent company CL Financial in Trinidad?

The burning of Sam Lord’s Castle two days ago was predictable, and was predicted by us in April of 2009.

What is interesting though, is that the burning is causing folks to reexamine how Sam Lord’s Castle fit into the CL Financial and CLICO pyramid fraud. After reading a recently updated article at The Antillean, I think that Leroy Parris probably now regrets some of what he said in a 2005 press conference. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

No water for fire fighters at scene

In April 2009, Barbados Free Press predicted Sam Lord’s would burn. We said in our article How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

“Five years ago CLICO Barbados said they would restore Sam Lords Castle as part of a major tourist development.  Surprise, surprise… as they did in the past and have done since about other things — CLICO lied.

You see folks, this is the way it works with these irresponsible corporate beggars…

First, they spot a piece of land that they want. If, like Sam Lords Castle, it is a heritage site in need of some work the corporation promises to restore the heritage site to its former splendor — all in exchange of course for permission to develop the land. Next comes the “the condition was worse than we thought” speech. After a few years of additional neglect, the heritage site becomes nothing more than a candidate for demolition. And if that doesn’t work, well, the Corporation just leaves the place unguarded and unlocked so the paros can look after business for them. When the place finally burns down the way is clear for the development they really wanted to build.”

A strategy of neglect

That’s how it happened my friends, and it did not happen without the complicity of those in power. In this case the strategic neglect started under the BLP Owen Arthur government and continued to the present day under the DLP Thompson government.

Somebody will make a bundle on that fire, but the poor suckers who keep paying and paying and paying are we taxpayers and our children.

Coming your way soon to where Sam Lord’s Castle used to stand: some concrete condo or row housing that looks like everything else.

Crocodile Tears from Leroy Parris

Leroy Parris: Never hired a watchman for Sam Lord’s. Never put plastic on the roof to stop the water. Did nothing at all to preserve or prevent the deterioration of Sam Lord’s Castle during the years it was in his care. Now that it burned, Parris says this…

Former chairman and director CLICO, Leroy Parris, told this newspaper he was “disappointed” at the news of the fire. He also commented that it was a shame for such a historic building to have been lost in such a manner.

… from the Barbados Advocate article Island’s only ‘castle’ gutted by fire

From Barbados Free Press contributor Colin L. Beadon…

“Once, our major tourist attraction.

The car park at Sam Lords used to be full of busses and taxis, and the little restaurants outside did a bustling trade with thirsty camera- swinging tourists who came to look over the Castle, taking photos at every step, inside and out. Sam Lords, used to be the proud, shining delight of Barbados. Now it is a burnt ruin.

We spend 84 million dollars, US$, to work over our caves, yet we can’t find the wages of day and night watchmen to guard against the vandalism of our world famous National Icon, a Castle.

Shame, sick shame, shame, deep dreadful shame on us, that we have allowed such a travesty, such a tragedy; and here we had been hoping for world heritage status. How much more stupid can we become?”

Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, History, Political Corruption, Slavery

Leroy Parris and CLICO – The NEW Pirates of the Caribbean and the rape of Sam Lord’s Castle


An American Tourist Considers Sam Lord’s Castle

I decided to post these pictures anyway: first, to show what future renovators are up against; second, to show CLICO’s attitude toward the property.

If I may speculate upon Bajan politics, on analogy with American and British politics, I think what we’re seeing here is an extortion tactic. “Nice place you got here”, says CLICO; “shame if anything were to happen to it”. The longer they make the government wait, the more urgent the problem becomes.

… from  A Visit to Sam Lord’s Castle, 16 July 2009 posted on the website of David Ross, Texan and sometimes tourist to Barbados. The artwork is David’s too!


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption