They are legally styled as the "Parish of ("Parish name") as opposed to the American naming convention with the name "Parish" coming after the name. The use of the term "parish" derives from the island's religious Anglican history under the Church of England.
This system of parish churches was based on the system that of the Church of England and was the visible expression forming the basis of the parliamentary representation in Barbados. The differing size and shape of each parish were primarily influenced by the large plantation estates of cotton, sugar cane and tobacco that existed during the colonial years of Barbados. As various chapels of ease were created during the 17th century across the island, some local churches were elevated to parish church status, leading to the formation of new parishes surrounding those freshly created vestries.
By 1645, the land holding of Barbados increased and the shape of the original six were reconfigured giving way to an additional five parishes Some prior churches of the state within the existing parishes were elevated to the level of Parish Church and as a consequence they formed new parishes around those new vestries:
Thus Barbados was converted into the current eleven parishes of today. As was common under the British system, each Parish had a single main parishional church (or cathedral in the case of Bridgetown having been elevated to city status), which acted as a sort of capital for each parish. The parishes each held their own Local Government Councils until these were abolished in 1959, following a brief administrative districting experiment within Barbados until 1967.
Within the country, travel is unrestricted to everyone in moving about from parish-to-parish. With the rise of urban sprawl and new construction projects across the country many neighbourhoods and even parishional border-lines today are ill-defined.
The eleven parishes are:
|Nr.||Parish (short name)||Official (long name)||Capitals||Land Area
|1||Christ Church||The Parish of Christ Church||Oistins||57||54,336||868.4|
|2||St. Andrew||The Parish of Saint Andrew||Greenland||36||5,139||145.9|
|3||St. George||The Parish of Saint George||Bulkeley||44||19,767||406.1|
|4||St. James||The Parish of Saint James||Holetown||31||28,498||733.6|
|5||St. John||The Parish of Saint John||Four Roads||34||8,963||261.0|
|6||St. Joseph||The Parish of Saint Joseph||Bathsheba||26||6,620||261.7|
|7||St. Lucy||The Parish of Saint Lucy||Crab Hill||36||9,758||259.1|
|8||St. Michael||The Parish of Saint Michael||Bridgetown||39||88,529||2,145.7|
|9||St. Peter||The Parish of Saint Peter||Speightstown||34||11,300||314.7|
|10||St. Philip||The Parish of Saint Philip||Crane||60||30,662||342.3|
|11||St. Thomas||The Parish of Saint Thomas||Hillaby||34||14,249||340.9|
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