Manchester-Special Attractions

Several of the parish’s leading factories are open for public tours.

  • The High Mountain Coffee Factory in Williamsfield is a must for Coffee fanatics.
  • The Pioneer Chocolate Factory, also in Williamsfield, allows visitors to  observe the making of chocolate from fine Jamaican Cocoa.
  • The Pic-A-Peppa Factory in Shooters Hill is another one of Manchester’s famous attractions.  There, Jamaica’s answer to famous Pic-A-Peppa sauce is manufactured.

The Manchester Club

Founded in 1868 this is the oldest member’s club in the Caribbean.  It has a ballroom and lounge, four hard tennis courts and a nine hole golf course.

The town has affectionately been called “the Garden City” because of the flowers and plants which adorn most of its public buildings. The Parish Church which was built in 1820 and the Court House which was constructed in 1830 are still major attractions for visitors to the parish.

Martin’s Hill Orchid Sanctuary

Kirkvine

The 210 species of Orchids that exist in Jamaica, over 100 can be seen at this reserve. The sanctuary is home to over 30,000 plants, including 25 species which  are endemic to Jamaica.  The Epidendrum Scalpelgerum, which is hard to find to in the wild, grows at Martin’s Hill along with 20 other rare Orchid species.

Stephenson’s Gardens

Mandeville

The pride of Mandeville, this small and charming garden specialises in Orchids and Anthuriums.  The proprietor, Mrs. Carmen Stephenson holds the record for the most prizes in the Manchester Horticultural Show.

 FACTOIDS

  • Ortaniques, a citrus fruit which is a cross between an orange and a tangerine.

Manchester-Industry and Investment

Bauxite

Bauxite was discovered in Manchester in 1942 and the industry has been largely credited with the development of the parish.

Over 4000 persons are employed in the industry and Alcan Jamaican Company, the country’s first bauxite company operates its Kirkvine Works plant in the parish.

Agriculture

The agricultural industry has long been and still remains the primary provider of employment in the parish of Manchester. The soil and the climate are good for the cultivation of fruits such as strawberries and peaches, which are not typical in tropical climates.

The main crops are:

  • Citrus

Mandeville, in particular, is known for its numerous citrus groves where oranges, grapefruits and ortaniques are cultivated. The parish is also known as the home of the Ortanique.  This citrus fruit was developed by CP Jackson in 1920 and its title was coined by combining the words Orange, Tangerine and unique.

  • Coffee

Manchester is counted among the highest producing coffee areas in the country.

The High Mountain Coffee Factory in Williamsfield produces coffee comparable in quality to that of Blue Mountain, which has the distinction of being the world’s best coffee.

  • Irish Potatoes

A large portion of the Irish Potatoes that are consumed locally are grown in Manchester. Christiana is the main point for cultivation and the growers’ co-operative also has its headquarters there.

  • Snow Peas

A recent addition to Manchester’s agricultural industry, a snow peas crop matures in just 60 days.  The legume is considered a delicacy by lovers of fine cuisine.

Tourism

Ocho Rios and Negril are the towns traditionally associated with Jamaican tourism, but Mandeville has long been a player in the game.  At one point it was the site of two of Jamaica’s most popular hotels, the Mandeville Hotel and the Hotel Manchester.

Without much fanfare or promotion it remains a popular spot among tourists who seek a change from the busy North Coast beach towns.

The new wave sweeping through Manchester and much of the South Coast is community tourism. Residents in the local communities open their homes, providing meals, tours and accommodation for travelers.  Community tourism allows visitors to get in touch with the people of Jamaica, explore un-exploited areas such as mountains, valleys and un-crowded beaches.

 Libraries

The Manchester Parish Library is the largest in the parish. In addition, twelve of the towns in the surrounding areas have libraries

HEALTH

 The Hargreaves Memorial Hospital is the only such facility in the island which is community owned.  The hospital started life as a Maternity facility in the 1920s which functioned as an adjunct of the Mandeville Public Hospital.