CURB & BNT On Watlington House Demolition

March 9, 2023

[Updated] CURB said they are “dismayed to learn that, once again, a building of historical importance is demolished” while the Bermuda National Trust [BNT] said they are ”saddened by the loss of this important piece of Bermuda’s cultural heritage.”

Watlington House Demolition Bermuda March 2023


A spokesperson said, “CURB is dismayed to learn that, once again, a building of historical importance is demolished. Watlington, a home that National Hero Mary Prince lived in as a child, has been torn down without giving the public the option of saving it. This demolition is part of a growing list of buildings that are reminiscent of the struggle of Blacks in Bermuda that have been either torn down or allowed to fall into disrepair. Such buildings include the St. Phillips A.M.E. Church in Tucker’s Town; The Marsden Methodist Church graveyard, also in Tucker’s Town; Lane School on East Broadway; and Wantley House on Princess Street, Hamilton, among others.

“It is true that in the case of Watlington House in particular, it represents a dark period in Bermuda’s history when atrocious and heinous acts were committed by Whites against Blacks. CURB, however, takes the view that the preservation of such sites, repurposed as living museums, connects the past with the present, and acts as a constant reminder of an era back to which we will never return.

“We hope that now that the building has been demolished, a monument will mark the site’s significance and CURB will support those efforts.”

Bermuda National Trust

A BNT spokesperson said, “The news that Watlington House in Devonshire has been demolished has come as a shock. In 2021, the Bermuda National Trust, along with a number of other groups, objected to the proposed demolition of the house, due to the site’s historical link with National Hero Mary Prince. In August 2021 it was announced that the Ocean View Golf Club had revised its plan and would site the new warehouse elsewhere, saving the house. It seems there was a change of heart about saving the house and this significant site has been torn down.

“The Trust is saddened by the loss of this important piece of Bermuda’s cultural heritage, which came about due to the neglect of yet another historic building to the point that it was allowed to become unsafe. We would like to see steps taken to recognise the significance of the site in Mary Prince’s legacy in some appropriate way. In addition, the Trust has advocated for Historic Monument listing of the nearby Watlington tomb and we wait to hear if that will be done.”

We asked the Ministry of Public Works for comment and if they respond we will update.

Update March 10, 11.35am: Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, “The building in question was not a listed building and had deteriorated to a state where we had no choice but to demolish it.

“I am a Black man and a descendant of enslaved people in this country. And so it touches me greatly when I hear the story of a 12-year-old girl, Mary Prince, who was housed there while she was being prepared to be sold.

“I, therefore, struggle to understand why this building would be historically significant to Black people.

“I think the building was more of a tribute to the slave master than the slaves who were imprisoned there, in my opinion.”

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Category: All, History, News

Comments (31)

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  1. Question says:

    CURB had nothing to say about Mugabe Hayward’s comments this week, of course.

    • saud says:

      “CURB” is an irrelevant, bigoted organization, bent on perpetuating racism, homophobia and xenophobia in Bermuda.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    Well, horror of horrors, I am going to agree with Rolf Commissiong on this issue. It is “unforgivable” for the PLP Government to not only allow, but arrange for, the destruction of Watlington House. It was demolished because it would have cost too much to maintain, according to the PLP Government.

    It is curious that Lt. Col. Burch was at the demolition but did not use the occasion for a photo opportunity.

    • Alan Gamble says:

      I passed this site about three weeks ago and had a good look at it and my reaction was that the building should be torn down, it was in a terrible state. If it was going to be saved and I agree that there were valid reasons for doing so it should have happened twenty years ago. But like many other government owned properties it was allowed to deteriorate past the point of no return.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Burch is full of sh*t. More news at 11.


  3. Micro says:

    So important I bet this is the first many are hearing of it. These supposed historical sites only get attention when they’re being torn down

  4. Guy Carri says:

    The gov can’t managed its finances nor physical assets and wants the public to fund their ineptness, i.e. restore this building.
    They tore this one down in the cover of darkness.
    No shame in the PLP game.

  5. Ringmaster says:

    Just another example of the PLP ineptness. Off topic, the hospital houses many seniors in the acute care wing at vast cost and taking up needed bed space, and also subsidize half empty care homes for less cost. Why not move some out of the hospital into those care homes? One way or another tax payers are paying twice. Pure stupidity.

  6. Sandgrownan says:

    Can you imagine uproar if this had happened at Mid Ocean or the ONA were in power?

  7. Not surprised says:

    With the emotional outrage but Curb and Commissiong have done NOTHing to form a fundraising committee for that building and many others. Look at the state of the lodge buildings in Somerset and St. Georges. Not a word. Shameful. So did they onject to get public attention to pick on this issue as though they have been fundraising? Sorry, just rhethoric and hot air from those saying the building should have been saved….for what…to watch it crumble? Nonsense.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Or perhaps successive governments should not have let it fall into such disrepair in the first place

  8. CURB and BNT’s joint efforts concerning the demolition of Watlington House reflect a commitment to preserving historical and cultural landmarks, emphasizing the importance of responsible urban development. Collaboration in heritage conservation is vital for maintaining the identity of our communities.

    • Truth says:

      No, “CURB” is an irrelevant, bigoted organization, bent on perpetuating racism, homophobia and xenophobia in Bermuda.

      • Facts says:

        Same for the UBP which is why they changed the name to OBA. They will never win and will die trying.

        • LOL - the real one says:


          You sound like one of those americans who work Trump or Biden into EVERY conversation.
          You have a fixation, you’re so blinded by hate that you can’t even respond in context.
          Your post is the equivalent of “My mayonnaise is bad!”

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Keep up the big lie. Never give up on the big lie!

          • Tucker says:

            It’s all they’ve got., and an electorate that doesn’t have critical thinking skills.

            • Joe Bloggs says:

              As a Bermudian living in Bermuda, I am part of the electorate.

              We do have critical thinking skills. What we do not have is a viable opposition.

              • Tucker says:

                “A majority electorate”. Is that better?
                I’ll agree, general sweeping statements are not conducive to honest debate.

  9. Answer says:

    “What we do not have is a viable opposition”

    The public can see right through the black surrogate train rotation as the OBA tries every election to appear diverse.

    • iyiyi says:

      Hello” Answer ” . If you actually read what Joe said you would be in agreement with him but a typical answer for someone who cannot think for themselves.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Do you think trolls get paid by the post, whether relevant or not?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Picture this .

      A photo of all the plp candidates and MPs and a photo of all the OBA candidates and MPs.
      Which group demonstrates diversity ?
      Oh , that’s right you’ll just say that they’re too stupid to realize they’re being used because you know everything .. lol

      • You keep believing that says:


        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Thank you for that racist rant.

        • LOL - the real one says:


        • question says:

          The OBA is a diverse party. I know you lot find the concept hard to take, because the PLP has no interest in diversity at all. In fact, only thing the PLP really believes in is hatred of white people and foreigners. So when you see black people and white people getting along, you hate it.

          By the way, when you use block capitals it always means that either you’re shouting (which is rude), or that you have very low intelligence.

        • Voter says:

          Nothing but facts with the obaubp. They can’t accept the truth. Don’t worry after the next election loss they will change the name again or read some lame statement about the voters have spoken.

    • LOL - the real one says:

      The OBA is diverse. The PLP isn’t.
      This is not a lie, you can check for yourself.