The original part of the St. Ann’s River, in Spanish times called the Rio Santa Ana and known today as the Dry River, turned west at Park Street, diagonally along Fredrick Street, and south down Chacon Street to the sea. Port of Spain toward the end of the eighteenth century was restricted to development between Laventille hills and the Rio Santa Ana. With a rapidly growing population after Roume de Saint Laurent’s Cedula of Population, it became necessary to open new areas for development. The Spanish governor at the time, Don Jose Maria Chacon, to make land available to the west, in 1787 diverted the course of the river along the foothills of Laventille to the sea. Subsequently, new planning for Port of Spain included the area of Woodford Square designated as a “plaza”. Port of Spain was devastated by the Great Fire of 1808 and it was not until 1813, under the leadership of Trinidad’s first British Governor Sir Ralph Woodford, that redevelopment commenced.
Woodford laid out the town into blocks, paved the streets and ensured uniformity and good work. Under the governor’s personal direction both Brunswick Square and Marine Square, now Woodford Square and Independence Square, were planned and in 1816 planted with trees imported from Venezuela and other Caribbean islands. Around the square were established Government offices (forerunner to the Red House) in 1844, Government House, built in the early 1800’s on the site on which the Law Courts now stand, and the Town Hall, built in 1820 and destroyed by fire in 1848, the site on which City Hall now stands. During the Second World War the name Brunswick Square was change to Woodford Square in honour of governor Woodford.
Property of interest located in the City of Port of Spain, bounded on the north by Knox Street, on the south by Hart Street, on the east by Frederick Street and on the west by Abercromby Street.
Address: Frederick Street
Town/City: Port of Spain
Region: Port of Spain
Site Type: Natural Heritage
Public Accessibility: Full Access
Grade: Grade B – An area, site or place of natural beauty or repose that would be despoiled if it were to be altered by the introduction or removal of any flora, fauna or work of man;
Habitat: Gardens & Parks
Frederick Street, Port of Spain