|The history of Sunbury Plantation House goes back over three hundred years. It was built around 1660 by Matthew Chapman, an Irish/English planter, one of the first settlers on the island. He was related to the Earl of Carlisle and through this association, was granted lands in Barbados. The name Chapman appears in the first map of the island in 1638. Thomas was married to Mary Clegett. They had three children, John,Matthew and Richard - all owning lands in St. Philip. Matthew and his wife Isobella had eight children - two of whom married into Quaker families. The Quakers owned much land in the parish of St. Philip.
The 1674 map shows Chapman Plantation operating with a Cattle Mill. Matthew purchased neighbouring lands and thus enlarged his Plantation.After his death in 1693 the Plantation was sold to Nathaniel Branker who married Ann Carter. The Carters had small land holdings near to the Plantation, and to this day some fields at Sunbury are still named Carters.
Chapman's Plantation was re-named Brankers after its second owner until 1763 when it was sold to James Butler Harris and his wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of Matthew Chapman.It was during Harris's ownership that the bell in the Bell House was erected. To this day it stands with the name " James Butler Harris 1766