Woodford Square

 In

This site is on the Heritage Asset Register which is the official list of Trinidad and Tobago’s historic sites that are worthy of notation and preservation. The register is authorized by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago’s Council and is by no means exhaustive. The sites on the Heritage Asset Register are not owned by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. The Trust welcomes any historical information and oral histories the public wishes to share with us concerning this site via the feedback form.

Public space/Landmark located in Port of Spain bounded to the North by Knox Street, to the West by Abercromby Street, to the East by Frederick Street and to the South by Hart Street.

Woodford Square is a public park and green space in the heart of downtown Port-of-Spain. It was historically used as a burial site for the First Peoples and was a space where slaves were flogged and hanged by the British. It was also used as the first location/site of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Trinidad. It was laid out as a park by Governor Sir Ralph Woodford in 1817. It is a place where social and political issues were raised by activists and served as a stage for many radical and notable figures in Trinidad and Tobago’s past to bring light to certain issues such as racism, inequality, labour issues and high taxation rates. The square has social and historical ties to various groups, notable individuals, and events over the years. It is one of the most important places in the capital of Trinidad because of its interconnected history and it is the centre of the Woodford Square Heritage District (the only Cabinet approved Heritage District in the country). It is associated with the First Peoples, British Colonial Government, Governor General Sir Ralph Woodford, the Water Riots of 1903, Dr. Eric Williams, People’s National Movement, Labour Unrest of the 1920’s, the Black Power Movement and the Death of Basil Davis.

It possesses very unique and precious architectural features such as the fountain, which was donated in 1866, and the cast iron railings installed in 1892, which are a fragile and extremely historic material which requires intense care and monitoring by a heritage preservation specialist. The decorative element of the fleur-de-lis is just one of the many symbols of the square popularly used in French heraldry. The square walking paths are laid out in the Union Jack design. The Bandstand is also a notable architectural element which was erected in 1917 and utilised by various legends in the country’s history, such as Dr. Eric Williams. Visiting international artistes have also performed in the bandstand.

Aside from being the lungs of the city, adding valuable green space and oxygen to the urban area, Woodford Square is an integral part of the social and pollical history of the capital city and the nation.

Address: Frederick Street

Town/City: Port of Spain

Region: Port of Spain

Site Type: Natural Heritage

Ownership: Public

Public Accessibility: Full Access

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

Eco-System: Terrestrial

Address:

Frederick Street, Port of Spain