Oistins, the main town in the parish of Christ Church, was named after Edward Oistine, a plantation owner in the area.
It was important in colonial times as the place where the ‘Charter of Barbados’ was signed in 1652, giving the island to the Commonwealth Parliament. It is now the main fishing port. Christ Church parish church overlooks the town and is notable for its cemetery containing the Chase Vault. When the vault was opened in 1812 for the burial of Colonel Thomas Chase, the lead coffins were found scattered around inside. It happened again in 1816, 1817, 1819 and 1820, whereupon the coffins were removed and buried separately in the churchyard.
The largest expanse of inland water in Barbados. Graeme Hall Swamp, Worthing, near St Lawrence Gap, has 80 acres of wetland and mangroves around a lake. It is a natural habitat for birds and there are 18 resident species and 150 migrants. A boardwalk is open to the public but the rest is to be a bird sanctuary for scientific research only. Three endangered Caribbean duck species are found here.