From civil war to grapefruit – a history of the Gully

Welchman Hall Gully is named after its first owner, a former soldier from Wales called General William Asygell Williams.

He was banished by Cromwell after losing at the Battle of Bristol in 1650 during the English Civil War.

He established a plantation here, which he named Welchman Hall.

It was this man who first developed the gully, adding many exotic trees and an orchard.

Welchman Hall Gully history

The gully is also home to the world’s smallest species of snake.

But don’t worry, Leptotytphlops Carlae, discovered by Blair Hedges, of Penn State University in 2008, is blind, harmless and lives deep in the gully.

It is so tiny, it can curl up on to a US quarter. It is very rare and hasn’t been seen for a couple of years.

The Gully was acquired by Barbados National Trust in 1962 and is now leased from the trust by Debra Branker, an environmentalist and educator.

Welchman Hall Gully has at least two other claims to fame.

It is the home of the grapefruit, formed from a sweet orange and a¬†shaddock, a large pomelo. You can sometimes see the grapefruit’s peel, discarded by the monkeys.

The first reference to the grapefruit was in 1750, when it was described by Rev Griffith Hughes, a botanist, as the Forbidden Fruit of Barbados.