History of the House
Red Barracks was constructed during the American Civil War as a coal warehouse with a commercial wharf on the foreshore during the booming era of trade and blockade running in St. George’s. During the building’s conversion to the residential home you enjoy today, seams of coal dust were found below ground, some over 18 inches in depth. Before the construction of the building, the property comprised Crown Land, and the earliest deeds date from 1758 comprising a Royal instruction from His Majesty King George II to use the land for the Secretary and Provost Marshall General. It’s during this period that the property housed a barracks of “Red Coats” hence the name “Red Barracks,” which is still used today.
In the early 1800s, the property was “granted” to Andrew Belcher, a merchant of London, England presumably as part of a disposal of Crown Land to help finance the Napoleonic Wars. It then passed through several private owners until being purchased by the Spurling family in 1950, adding to the property east of the residence and helping to comprise the four acres on Speaker’s Drive today.
Speaker’s Drive was named after the owner’s father Sir Dudley Spurling who was the Speaker of Bermuda’s parliament, the House of Assembly in the 1970s. There are a total of five houses on the family property occupied by members of the Spurling family.
Historical Sites in St. George’s:
ST. GEORGE'S - a UNESCO World Heritage Site (a natural 18th century colonial town)
Carter House & St. David’s Island Museum C. 1640 (one of Bermuda's oldest houses)
World Heritage Center (Start your St. George's Tour here)
St. Peter's Church C. 1612 (recently designated "Their Majesties' Chappell" by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd)
Tucker House & Museum (Original home of George Tucker of Williamsburg, VA)
St. George's Historical Society Museum
Bermuda Heritage Museum
The Deliverance (Life Size replica of original ship built in Bermuda c. 1610 to sail to VA)
The State House c. 1620 (Parliament/Court)
Globe Hotel - U.S. Civil War Museum (Built in 1700 as Government House)
Unfinished Church c.1890's (fascinating story)
Fort St. Catherine (recently refurbished)
St. David's Island Lighthouse (the best view)