Heritage Listings III

Heritage Properties of Jamaica

The Great Houses

Bloomfield Great House, Manchester

Jamaican real estate surely has nothing grander than its magnificent and seemingly eternal great houses; they are legendary and irresistibly inviting to those who love history and fine architecture.

Bloomfield Great House is one such magnificent piece of heritage property in every sense of the word.  This grand structure is located in the heartland of Jamaica in the parish of Manchester.

In the evening, the white birds start their fly past from left to right across the backdrop of the parish capital Mandeville, mushroomed on the hills;  the birds fly by almost as a mark of respect for this grand, old lady for she is still a beauty at 200 years old and the showpiece of Central Jamaica. This flawless edifice stands proudly on a hill south west of the town centre.

The two-story house was built in the traditional Caribbean colonial style and is positively gleaming after a well-deserved and well done renovation.  This marvellous, old structure and gem of Georgian architecture began life as the centre of a coffee estate and, later a citrus plantation; believed to be the site of the first citrus packing house in Jamaica.

Bloomfield is located on five acres of land in the cool (Jamaicans might even say chilly!) climes of Manchester offering the finest panoramic view of Mandeville and its surrounding hills.  Point of interest: it is now one of Jamaica’s finest art galleries featuring works by many of Jamaica’s leading artists.

Seville Great House, St. Ann

In the Garden Parish of St. Ann sits Seville Great house, highly symbolic of the English period. After the capture of the island in 1655, New Seville was abandoned by the vanquished Spanish with the conquering English dividing up and allocating the land to the English Army’s victorious officers and other soldiers of repute. In this allotment, the city of New Seville became the property of one Captain Hemmings and was thereafter known as Seville Estate. In 1745, Captain Hemmings’ grandson built the great house on the site of the original house which was built at the end of the seventeenth century.
The house was originally a two-storey structure but its top storey was blown off during a hurricane circa 1898, and was never replaced. Seville Great House is made of wattle and daub boasting beautiful timber floors and English tiling. The doors are of solid raised panel mahogany with predominantly sashed windows later modified to include jalousies.  The living and dining rooms are elegantly separated by beautiful mahogany arches.  The spectacular verandah is enclosed by a set of square wooden columns, along the entire northern end of the building specifically designed to provide adequate ventilation, sunlight, and privacy. An elegant projected entrance portico forms the landing for bifurcated cut stone steps.  Seville’s roof is made of cedar shingles with a distinct cap and comb feature.
A beautiful lush, green lawn surrounds the property enhancing it even further.
Just another two of Jamaica’s very own ‘stately homes’!

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