Top 10 Great Houses

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The Top 10 Great Houses in Jamaica

History is rich here in Jamaica. For an intimate tour filled with stories and remnants of a time long gone, visit one of the great houses. These are our top ten.

Rose Hall Great House
The most famous of them all, this Georgian stone-walled great house near Montego Bay stands tall over the Caribbean Sea and can be viewed from the main road. Touring this property means visiting the inner sanctum of Annie Palmer, the “White Witch” that killed her husbands and African slave lovers in the house. It is said to still be haunted by her spirit.

Barnett Estate Great House
A tour here gives visual insight into the exorbitant plantation and 18th-century British army life. Clothing carefully laid out on the beds, and cookware displayed as if still in use in the kitchen brings the tour guide’s stories to life.

Hampden Great House
One of the oldest sugar estates still active in Jamaica, the rum distillery now operated here will welcome you to view their creation process and sample their product.

Greenwood Great House
View the library at the museum located at Greenwood Great House in St. James. It holds rare 18th and 19th-century books and musical pieces that still turn a tune. There is also poetry from the famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose family lived there.

Blue Hole Great House
An Arawak village has been recreated at this great house turned museum just outside of Montego Bay. The property is also home to a small zoo.

Tryall Great House
Currently a luxury club with villas and great house-styled guesthouses on a world-famous golf course, the original 300-year-old house still anchors this property and makes it a must see attraction - especially for golf lovers.

Devon House
Most-known for its currently famous ice-cream parlor, the great house on the property still stands in all its Jamaican-Georgian glory and is open for tours. The outhouses have been converted to eateries and shopping venues.

Cherry Garden Great House
The former sugar estate is an impressive structure that's now part of a private home in an upper-class neighborhood. George William Gordon lived there and is best known as the National Hero who was hung during the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion.

Good Hope Great House
This great house once sat on over a thousand acres of land and belonged to the largest land and slave owner in Jamaica, John Tharp, in the late 1700s. This property was valued at 4.5 million pounds after his death.

Bellevue Great House
The only gold artifact ever unearthed in Jamaica was found on this property, which sits on what is believed to be a Taino settlement area. The private property is a typical example of Jamaican vernacular architecture.

 
- by Monique Solomon