The Falmouth Cenotaph is a simple, large white cross in the middle of a garden. This war memorial was erected to honor the Jamaican soldiers who fought and died in World Wars I and II. The cenotaph is located next to the courthouse.
We were arriving in Falmouth by cruiseship. With limited time and a 3 yr. old we decided against long drives to other parts of the island or one of the very popular excursions such as Dunn's River Falls. I researched various options and it was looking like we would just walk around on our own. I happened to stumble on the site for Falmouth Heritage Walks. After some emails back and forth with the owner we were booked on one of the walking tours.
Once off the ship, we met our guide Ladonna and as luck would have it we were the only 3 on her tour. We walked around exploring Falmouth for over 2 hours. Ladonna was very young but but very knowledgeable and very professional. There are so many fascinating historical buildings in Falmouth and she gave us a great tour.
We ended the tour at the Georgian home of Anne Hyatt, an American expat who lives in Falmouth with her many cats. It was nice to have a peek inside a typical local home.
I would highly recommend this tour if you happen to be in Falmouth. Ladonna even recommended THE place to go for jerk chicken.
When we were there, RCI's Oasis was also in port. RCI offered this walk as one of their ship's excursion. We happened to be on the new Carnival Breeze and Carnival did not offer this as one of their ship's excursion. I hope they add it to their list!
I recommend wearing comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunblock, and bringing water. Try to book an early tour because it gets hot, hot, hot in Falmouth!
This is one of the most historically important buildings in Falmouth. A chapel for Baptists was built on the spot in 1831 and destroyed in 1832. The Falmouth Baptist Church replaced the chapel in 1836 only to be destroyed by a hurricane in 1944. The current church was then built using materials from the 19th century church.
Up until 1830 the ministers of the church played a significant role in the struggle for the emancipation of Jamaica's slaves. In 1830 Baptist minister William Knibb, after arriving from England in 1824 and spending the years in between ministering in another part of Jamaica, arrived in Falmouth to assume the responsibilities of minister of the church.
An advocate for abolition, Knibbs often defended black slave's rights. In addition to preaching, Knibbs built schools to educate the slaves going and even bought acres of land and teaching the slaves to build houses.
During the Great Jamaican Slave Revolt in 1832, Knibb used the church as a barracks for the St. Ann’s regiment. Shortly after Knibbs was sent back to England to fight for emancipation. In mid 1833 the bill for the Abolition of Slavery was introduced in Parliament. More than a year later, on August 1, 1834, the bill was passed and slaves were finally liberated. It would take until 1838 before full emancipation was fully achieved.
Knibb died in 1845 and the church was re-named the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church.
Abolotionist and minister William Knibb died on November 15, 1845 at the age of 42. He was buried at his Falmouth Baptist Church.
The inscription on his tomb reads:
"To the Memory of William Knibb
Who departed this life on the 15th November, 1845, in the 43rd year of his age.
This monument was erected by the emancipated slaves to whose enfranchisement and elevation his indefatigable exertions so largely contributed; by his fellow-labourers, who admired and loved him, and deeply deplore his early removal; and by friends of various creeds and parties, as an expression of their esteem for one whose praise as a man, a philanthropist, and a Christian minister, is in all the churches, and who, being dead, yet speaketh."
On the 150th anniversary (1988) of the abolition of slavery, Knibb was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit in Jamaica. He was the first white man to receive Jamaica's highest civil honor.
The Falmouth Parish Church of St. Peter the Apostle, more commonly known as St. Peter's Anglican Church, is the oldest public building in Falmouth and the first Anglican church in Trelawny. Construction began in 1794 and took two years to complete. The church was built using local limestone and bricks imported from Liverpool, England. The tallest structure in town, the original square clock tower, still stands. The interior of the church is beautiful and you will find the original pulpit, baptismal font, chancel, and the originall box pews made from Jamaican mahogany all intact.
The church's graveyard holds the mortal remains of many of the parish's prominent citizens.
The lot for the Davidson House was purchased by John Gairdner and his business partner for £100. The next reference to the home shows that the home was owned by Mary Gaidrner, presumably after John took control of the property and then died, leaving it to Mary. Mary Gairdner was a free woman of color and an extensive land owner in the 1830s.
The house was one of the larger homes in Falmouth. The main house is a two-story galleried, U-shaped house with a wonderful harbor view.
When Mary died in 1837, her will bequeathed "My Bay Creole House" to her son Thomas Davidson. A keystone over a doorway bears the inscription August 1838, which suggests that Davidons embarked on a significant remodeling of the orignial home.
Today the house sits empty in disrepair, far from its glory days. About the only thing that remains from those days is the view.
Originally built as a Masonic Temple/Lodge in 1798, the stone cut building on the corner of Market and
Trelawny Streets is now known as the Baptist Manse. The house's most unusual feature are the windows surmounted by pointed arches. This early Gothic element was thought to emphasize the mystical nature of the Masonic meetings held in the house.
At the start of the 19th century the buidling was bought by the Baptist Mission. It served as a residence for preacher and abolitionist William Knibb. Today the building houses the non-profit organization, Falmouth Heritage Renewal, dedicated to preserving the historic, cultural, and architectural heritage of Falmouth.
On the corner of Market and Trelawny Streets, at 7 Market Street, you'll find the Arleigh House also known as the Moulton Barrett House. Built in 1795 it was purchased by Rebecca Lake, a freed slave.
The house is an example of the house-storehouse that was common in Falmouth, with commercial space on the first floor and a residence on the second floor. The house has the unusual feature of vertical shingles on the outside walls of the top floor and still has its original four columns.
At some point, Lake sold the house back to the Barrett family. Later it was a music school run by a Barrett, a relative of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Today the Arleigh House is a doctor's office.
In the 1800's Water Square was the main commercial district in Falmouth. It was also the original location for the Sunday market where peasants and slaves would sell provisions and fish.
Interestingly, Falmouth was the first city to have piped water in the Americas - even before New York City! In 1798 a circular reservoir was built int he town square, thus the name, Water Square. The Falmouth Water Company pumped water via pipes into private houses. The system worked for over 150 years when the reservoir was dismantled and replaced with a fountain and gardens.
Today, shops and the Albert Town Market surround the square.
One of Falmouth's more imposing buildings is a two story coral-colored masonry building located at 23 Market Street. It was built around 1825. The exterior walls are stucco-covered brick and the building has six masonry Tuscan columns that beneath the protruding upper story. This former site of the courthouse is now Club Nazz and Restaurant, both a favorite nightspot of the locals and THE place to go for jerk chicken!
For any reggae fans this tour is a must. You get picked up from the hotel and taken to chukka cove where you bored the Zion bus. It's an open windows bus painted in the Rastafarian colours. On board is a sound system playing Bob and other reggae artists tunes such as yellowman, dekker, ub40, jimmy cliff and many more. It's decorated with Bob Marley posters and has a DVD screen for video footage of gigs etc. Your tour guide talks you through stories of Bob's upbringing and rise to fame. You stop off half way up the mountain side to have a patty and drink. When you get to nine mile, the birth and resting place of Bob you are greeted by rasta tour guide capt. Crazy. This dude is awesome and will entertain you. You look around the home and gardens of the Marley family and check out memorabilia before making your way to visit the graves of Bob and his mother. In a town high in the mountains feel free to drink, smoke and enjoy yourself and take in some of the rasta culture. After the tour you are taken back to the bar you had patties in and given jerk chicken lunch included in price as was the patties and you get free rum pinch on board the bus there and back. On route back your guide tells you about Bob's children and their successes in the music industry. Finally back to chukka cove then dropped back to hotel.
Amazing trip. If you love Marley, reggae, rasta culture or just want to see some of the most breathtaking views on the island then Bob Marley nine mile tour is for you.
What a total trip.
The Lagoon is inhabited by microorganisms that glow
blueish when they are moved. So when you go there
and swim in the night the water is glowing all blueish
all around you!!!
Just plain amaizing.
Appearantly they prefer warm water, so avoid going
after rainy days as the surface will be cool and the
organisms will migrate 2,3 feet down. And the darker
the night the better (->cloudy. small moon)