Barbados’ Abandoned Cable & Wireless Earth Station

photography by: Kaspar C/ Flickr

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Tucked away along the eastern coast of Barbados, Congor Bay is one of the country’s most secluded nooks. The bay’s unpredictable wave patterns as well as the numerous jagged rocks around made it a less favorable spot for surfers, and as such, it was left unspoiled to these days. Perching on the nearby grassland, the former Earth Station is a derelict vestige of the nation’s glorious technological advancements, which now serves as an unconventional site to explore.

During the second half of the 20th century, telecommunication satellite increasingly became a widespread technology that was applied in everyday life. Barbados was the second country in the Caribbean region to introduce this cutting-edge technology when in 1972, the island’s first satellite earth station was opened at Congor Bay.


The opening ceremony was attended by the country’s entire political class, foreign delegates and even Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

The station’s main building

photography by: Kaspar C/ Flickr

Built and operated by the British owned “Cable & Wireless” telecommunications company, the station soon became a technologically significant site, from where the country was interconnected with the rest of the world by a telephone exchange service. Additionally, at its heyday, the station also broadcasted live TV programs from all over the world.


At its first years, only one channel was available – a far cry from today’s virtually infinite amount of content, yet a much-appreciated luxury for that period of time. In fact, the nascent nation revered its satellite station so much so that an entire series of stamps was dedicated to the facility.

The dishless satellite pedestal standing orphaned at the premises

photography by: Kaspar C/ Flickr

Following the advent of optical-fiber cables and the downsizing of satellite dishes during the 1980’s, the Earth Station was rendered obsolete and ultimately ceased all operations in 1996. Since its close-down, several attempts to repurpose the station as a hotel complex have been made, yet none of which came into fruition, and so, the building has been left abandoned even since.


The dilapidated structure unintentionally serves as a time capsule, with some of its equipment left frozen in time, including the main control room, the fuel tank storage area, the power room and the equipment room. Take note that the premises is supposedly not open for the public, albeit, in practice no guards are present. If you aren’t an experienced urban explorer, caution is needed while wandering around the decrepit facility.

The entire station’s complex on the backdrop of Congor Bay

photography by: Kaspar C/ Flickr