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Historical sites in Montego Bay

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The Burchell Memorial Church in Montego Bay is one of the city's major heritage sites.

The city of Montego Bay, apart from being acclaimed the tourist capital of Jamaica, also features some of the country's culturally rich heritage sites and monuments.

These structures fall under the jurisdiction of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and include, among other things, forts and churches dating back in the 1700s.

Sam Sharpe Square itself, boasts several heritage structures with unique characteristics and are of special interests to not only locals, but to visitors who flock to Jamaica year-round.

Among the diverse historical attractions that can be found within the heart of the city are the Sam Sharpe Monument, which depicts the national hero preaching to three seated slaves; The Cage - once used to jail vagabonds, drunks and vagrants overnight; and the Montego Bay Cultural Centre (formerly the Civic Centre).

The cultural centre is a reconstructed version of the 1803 courthouse that was gutted by fire in 1968; and the iconic water fountain, situated in the middle of the square, was donated by banana baron, Captain J. Kerr.

St James features many other heritage sites which serve to inspire a sense of national pride. Among the notable ones are:

• Flagstaff - Site of a small Maroon community and features considerably in the Maroon Wars, which began in 1795.

- Salter's Hill Baptist Church - Voluntarily constructed by enslaved Africans in 1825.

- St James Parish Church - Built between 1775 and 1782.

- St Mary's Anglican Church - Situated on the Montpelier Estate, which dates back to the days of slavery.

- Fort Montego - It housed four 12-pounder guns and five smaller guns.

- Goodwill - Established after the abolition of slavery, and in 1840, it was still in its infancy.

- Greenwood Great House - Built in 1790 by The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

- Rose Hall Great House - Built in the mid-19th Century by George Ash for John Palmer, custos of St Thomas, for £30,000.

- Barnett Street Police Station - Dates back to the late 19th century, constructed of cut stone.

- O.H.