NIMAL FLOWER CAVE
Located at the northern tip of St. Lucy, the Animal Flower Cave is an interesting study in geology, local history and stunning sea activity. The cave’s history is little-known yet quite interesting, for despite its remote location, it was the venue for weekend dances and socializing soon after the turn of the century.
The Animal flower Cave is the island’s lone accessible sea cave and was discovered from the sea in 1780 by two English explorers. The cave’s coral floor is estimated to be 400 000 to 500 000 years old and the ‘younger’ coral section above the floor is about 126 000 years old. The dating was carried out by the German Geographical Institute, and visitors can see a 'map’ of the dating work in the bar/restaurant.
The cave now stands some six feet above the high tide mark even though it was formed at sea level. This is because Barbados is rising about one inch
per 1 000 years, which is yet another indication of the cave’s age.
Well-trained and amiable group of guides take visitors into the cave at a nominal fee. The huge coral steps leading down into the cave were built around 1912 and represent one remnant the dancehall days, when people from
around the island arrived by horse and buggy for a weekend of seaside relaxation and fun.
Down in the cave there are often many sea anemones, locally called ‘animal flowers’, as well as other artifacts from bygone days, including the braces in the coral ceiling where the lanterns once hung. The ‘windows’ to the ocean (cave openings) make for stunning views. On calm days you can also go into a ‘room’ off to the right and perhaps swim in the natural pool, or at least take in yet another awesome view of the Atlantic through this larger craggy sea window.
The A-framed bar and restaurant has been on the site since 1961, first as a private cottage, then as a business in 1970. Outside the bar area are a few cannons from sunken ships. You can also walk
along the edge and see the ruggedly-carved bay for added views of this awesome coast.