Welcome to the Bermuda National Trust


The Bermuda National Trust cares for 277 acres comprised of 82 properties that represent much of the best of Bermuda’s heritage – a variety of traditional historic houses, islands, gardens, cemeteries, nature reserves and coastline. In addition, three museums display an outstanding collection of artefacts owned and made by Bermudians, and tell the intriguing story of the island’s development.

The Trust has a strong education programme, focused on encouraging appreciation of our built and natural heritage and what it means to our future. 

Our mission:

To protect and promote Bermuda’s unique natural and cultural heritage forever, by

- acquiring and conserving land, buildings and artefacts;

- inspiring appreciation and stewardship through advocacy, research, education and participation

 

 For Everyone, Forever


Trust News


 

 Built Heritage: Former Parks Department Headquarters, Botanical Gardens

BUILT HERITAGE: JULY 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda's endangered historic buildings. 

Surely, in the 21st century, a solution can be found to the problem of old buildings affected by mould and mildew. Rather than simply abandoning and subsequently demolishing them, they should be revitalised and made useful again. A good example is the Parks Department headquarters in the Botanical Gardens – a Grade 3 Listed Building – formerly the Director of Agriculture’s residence.

Under the Public Garden Act 1896, ten acres in Paget East were purchased for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an experimental station to assist farmers in the development of agriculture and horticulture. Responsibility for its supervision and control was handed over to the Board of Agriculture and George Arthur Bishop, recommended by the Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, arrived in May 1898 to take up his position as its first superintendent. A notice for tenders to build a cottage within the grounds had only been advertised a few weeks earlier so it is not surprising that Bishop and his family were obliged to live temporarily at nearby Seabright. 

Click here to read the full article

 

A legacy under threat

A piece of history was poised for destruction this week: Wantley on Princess Street, Hamilton faced demolition. The fate of this fine example of Victorian domestic architecture hung in the balance while the community looked on, horrified.
 
Yes, it bore the scars of years of neglect, including scorched walls and piles of used needles and empty bottles. Yes, it had no running water or electricity, leaving its transient occupants to find their own ways of waste disposal. But is that a reason to expunge the memory of a family that contributed so much to Bermuda and most notably, to the Black community?
 
Wantley was built in the 1870s by Samuel David Robinson, one of the most prominent Black businessmen and community leaders of the time. He and his brother Joseph Henry left a rich legacy in the city, especially in the buildings they developed, including The Emporium on Front Street, the Arcade on Burnaby Street and Victoria Terrace on Princess Street. A proponent of higher education, Samuel Robinson was a founder of the Berkeley Educational Society, an organisation dedicated to providing integrated and improved education for Black and White Bermudians. Its first meeting held in the drawing-room at Wantley led to the establishment of Berkeley Institute in 1897 at Samaritans’ Lodge on Court Street.
 
The matter is ongoing, and the BNT is engaged with efforts to save Wantley – including Maxine Esdaille of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail who alerted us all to the situation and the Berkeley Education Society.
 
 

Built Heritage: Ocean View (Formerly East Camp)

BUILT HERITAGE: JUNE 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda's endangered historic buildings. 

Tucked away off South Road in Warwick is an old farmhouse, one of the many properties that once belonged to Captain John Lightbourn. He lived at Fruitlands but maintained a residence and second family on Turks Island. In 1871 John’s son, Robert Lightbourn, by order of the Bermuda Defence Act 1865, sold the southern four acres of land bounding on the Atlantic Ocean to Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for War. In 1891 Robert’s heirs sold the farmhouse and remaining eight and one-half acres to planters Samuel and John Frederick Ingham and in 1897 the brothers sold to the Secretary of State for War.

 

By 1911 the property was being used by the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) who would march from Fort Hamilton and pitch their tents for both their annual and musketry camps. Various branches of the British military, such as the Royal Marines from HMS Constance, would also use the camp for musketry practice. It became known as Warwick East Camp or simply East Camp to differentiate it from Warwick Main Camp which was located a little further to the west. The Bermuda Cadet Corps was established in 1922 and they too held their annual week-long camps at East Camp until 1926. Unfortunately, that summer many of the boys became sick. The next summer the Cadet Corps moved to Warwick Main Camp where there were permanent buildings, cooking facilities, good sanitation and a certain amount of shade, all of which were lacking at East Camp.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Ocean View

 

 

Annual Award Nominations 2021

Bermuda National Trust Annual Awards are presented to recognise individuals, organisations, groups and schools which have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people, to preserve places of beauty or historical interest, buildings, artefacts, lands and animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.
 
Please click the link below to download the nomination form, once completed please email to palmetto@bnt.bm.
 
Deadline: Friday, May 28th, 2021
 
  

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Museums

In the National Trust’s care are 70 properties, covering 250 acres and representing much of the best of Bermuda’s heritage. Learn more about Bermuda's unique architectural...

Town of St. George

For residents and visitors alike, St. George’s is a “must see” on your list of things to do in Bermuda. Founded in 1612, the Town of St. George's has the distinction of being the oldest...

Photo Gallery

Nothing compares to Bermuda's beautiful architecture and nature reserves. Explore the different properties, houses, reserves and events of the Bermuda National Trust.

Gift Membership

Purchase a gift membership (Membership begins/ends October 1st). Show you care by giving a Bermuda National Trust Membership. It's a great gift idea for birthdays, retirement...

For Teachers

The National Trust's nature reserves and historical homes offer unique learning experiences outside of the classroom. To make it easier for you to use these venues...

Volunteer

The Bermuda National Trust relies heavily on volunteers – in fact, we could not operate without them! We run a series of volunteer programmes and are always looking for new recruits.

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