Built in 1806 as a wooden jail for runaway slaves, unruly seamen and other vagrants, the “Cage” is now used as a Tourist Information Centre and a small museum.
Rose Hall Great House
This most famous of Jamaican Great Houses became famous when Haitian, Annie Mary Patterson, married its owner, John Rose Palmer, and came to live there. It is said that she practised voodoo and popular legend holds that she murdered all three of her husbands and was in turn mysteriously strangled.
The Rose Hall Great House has been restored to its 18th century grandeur. It was opened to the public on February 26, 1971.
Burchell Memorial Church
Built in 1824 and named for the pioneering Baptist missionary Thomas Burchell, this church was destroyed by mobs during the Christmas Rebellion of 1831. Its present structure is built upon the restorations completed in 1837.
St. James Parish Church
One of the most impressive churches in the island, this Parish Church was constructed in 1872. It is built in the shape of a Greek cross, with the bell tower located at the western end. Seriously damaged by an earthquake in 1957, the St. James Parish Church has since been completely restored. Excellent monuments of Sir Richard Westcott and Henry Westcott, done by the renowned sculptor John Bacon, are located here.
Old Slave Ring – Cotton Tree Lodge
A semi-circular structure which closely resembles an arena, prospective buyers came here to view slaves who were on parade. Located on the grounds of the Rerrie‘s house in Montego Bay, the Ring is said to have belonged to “Morishe” a slave leader.
The Creek Dome
The story of this creek goes back to the Spanish era when two little girls (one Spanish and one a slave) in pursuit of a crab that had disappeared under a stone, discovered an underground stream of water. The stream was named “El Rio de Camarones” – The River of the Crabs.
Montego Bay’s sole source of drinking water for many decades, the Creek was eventually dammed and harnessed. An oval shaped building, about 20 feet (6.1 m) high and 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, was erected over the stream to protect the water which rose to the surface of the road and flowed towards the area.
Popularly called “the Dome”, this structure served its purpose well until 1957, when an earthquake shifted the floor of the creek flowing under the Dome, thus changing the course of flow. There is now no water flowing at the bottom of the Dome. It stands as a historic monument reminiscent of the period of the Spanish occupancy of Jamaica.
This fort was outfitted with three old cannons and a power magazine. The original fort was located at the entrance of the town and although large, was extremely inefficient. While firing a salute to the surrender of Havana, Cuba one of the guns went off, killing a gunner. On another occasion, the guns were ostensibly fired at an enemy ship in the harbour, the ship turned out to be a British vessel.
Sugar cane is the main crop planted in St. James; bananas are next. Cattle-rearing is also done on a large scale.
• Government Forest Reserve- 2,370 hectares (5,866 acres)
• Private Woodlands- 12,191.5 hectares (30,177 acres)
Donald Sangster International Airport
Interesting Place Names
To the name first given to the waterfalls of the River Nile (Egypt) in both the French and English languages.
Originally a Scottish place name
Some of the famous persons associated with St. James include, Jimmy Cliff, Walter Fletcher, Dr. Herbert Morrison, Carmen Pringle, Tony Hart, Phillip Fraser Lightbody and Annie Palmer.
Special Attractions and Places of Interest
• Jarret Park – sporting grounds, especially used for football.
• Montego Marine Park – here can be found a variety of marine environments: mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs support seabirds, fish, conch, lobster, and many other plant and animal life.
• Sam Sharpe Square – named for National Hero Sam Sharpe, the square is located in the centre of the town, and displays life-size sculptures of Sharpe and his men in action during the famous Christmas Rebellion of 1831-32.
• Greenwood Great House – originally owned by the Barretts of Wimpole Street fame, Greenwood contains antique furniture and rare musical instruments.
• Rose Hall Great House – the infamous home of Annie Palmer the “White Witch of Rose Hall”. Now fully restored after some 200 years, Rose Hall offers exciting entertainment in addition to its fascinating tour.
• Harbour Street Craft’s Market – located on Harbour Street downtown Montego Bay
• Old Fort Craft’s Market – here, in addition to the craft items on display, one can view the 18th century water wheel and armory. The Old Fort’s canon is still pointing out to sea.
• Great River – attractions include:
An evening on the Great River- boat ride, dinner, music, dancing.
Picnic on the Great River – boat ride, nature trail, fishing, swimming, outdoor games, buffet lunch and drinks.
Greenwood, Rose Hall, Coral Gardens, Ironshore, Mahoe Bay, Providence Pen, Walter Fletcher, Doctors Cave, Cornwall Beach, Montego Freeport, Spring Garden.
Most major hotels offer a variety of watersport facilities (snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, wind surfing, parasailing, water-skiing, jet skiing, sailing, and outings in glass-bottom boats), as well as tennis, horseback riding, squash and other sports for interested patrons and other persons. Some of the major sporting facilities in Montego Bay include:
Sailing- Montego Bay Yacht Club
Racquet Sports- Montego Bay Racquet Club
Golf- Half Moon Club- 18 hole, 7,400 yard, par-72 course; Tyrall Golf and Beach Club- 18 hole, 6,700 yard par-71 course; Ironshore Golf and Beach Club- 18 hole, 6,600 yard par-72 course; Wyndham Rose Hall- 18 hole, 6,665 yard par-72 course
Arts and Entertainment
• Cinemas: Multiplex (Fairview Shopping Centre)
• Theatres: Fairfield Theatre
• Discotheques: There are a number of discotheques in Montego Bay which are situated at hotels or guest houses.