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Blackwoods Screw Dock, Barbados

Blackwoods Screw Dock is a unique historic site located in the heart of Bridgetown, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to 1893, the screw dock (dry dock) is the oldest surviving ship lift in the world. In fact, ships of up to 1200 tons were once lifted out of the water for repairs and to be cleaned in the dock.

Image source: Flickr. Copyright Kaspar C.

Delve into the island’s fascinating history and learn how the boats were turned on their sides, so the bottoms could be scraped, caulked and painted. The dock was also traditionally used by the British Navy for boat repairs during World War II. Originally, the dock operated on steam but was later modernised to run on electricity.

Once you have had a good look around Blackwoods Screw Dock, take a walk through the Historical Maritime Centre, with its interesting displays, photographs and artefacts; then stop for a drink at Blackwoods Tavern. If you’re feeling peckish, the bar here also serves a selection of meals including grills, salads and Bajan flying fish cutters.