image courtesy of Boston Public Library | Licence: Public Domain
image courtesy of Boston Public Library | Licence: Public Domain

Rose Hall, St. James'

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From the Collection


From 'A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica' by James Hakewill (1778-1843).

ROSE-HALL, the property and residence of John Rose Palmer, Esq., is situated on the sea-side, at nearly equal distance from Montego Bay and Falmouth. The house of which we give a view is justly considered as the best in Jamaica, and was erected about fifty years since by the uncle of the present proprietor, at the expense of £30,000 sterling. It is placed at a delightful elevation, and commands a very extensive sea view. Its general appearance has much of the character of a handsome Italian villa. A double flight of stone steps leads to an open portico, giving access to the entrance hall; on the left of which is the eating-room, and on the right the drawing-room, behind which are other apartments for domestic uses. The right wing, fitted up with great elegance, and enriched with painting and gilding, was the private apartment of the late Mrs. Palmer, and the left wing is occupied as servants’ apartments and offices. The principal staircase, in the body of the house, is a specimen of joinery in mahogany and other costly woods seldom excelled, and leads to a suite of chambers in the upper story.

This estate, and the adjoining one of Palmyra, descended to the present proprietor from his great uncle. Rose-Hall estate has about 200 acres in canes, about the same quantity in grass, and about 250 in ruinate; the Negro grounds are on Palmyra estate, which is a more seasonable situation.

Palmyra estate contains about 1,250 acres.

The produce is shipped at a wharf at about two miles and a half distance. On the two estates are 252 negroes, and 276 head of cattle.
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image courtesy of Boston Public Library

From the Watercolour World


Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay, St. James Parish, Jamaica