Portland Parish, Jamaica
Portland is a parish situated in the north-eastern tip of Jamaica. It is located in the county of Surrey, bordered by St Thomas and St Andrew to the south, St. Mary to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the north and northeast.
Portland is known for its natural beauty which includes the beautiful beaches, caves, and rivers flowing from the Blue Mountain Peak range. The parish hilly terrain trap the northeast trade winds and bring rainfall almost daily.
The parish is administered by one parochial board, the Portland Municipal Corporation.
Land Area: 813.9 km2 (314.3 sq. miles).
Capital Town: Port Antonio
History of Portland
Portland, a combination of the parish of St. George and part of St. Thomas, was named after the Duke of Portland who was a Governor of Jamaica between 1722 and 1726. The Maroons who lurked in the Blue and John Crow Mountains were adamant that Europeans would not settle in Portland. They got all their firepower by raiding plantations or purchasing from mercenaries. The 1730s saw a series of battles between the Maroons and the British. When it seemed that the Maroons were about to destroy Portland, the British captured Nanny Town, the Maroon settlement whose leader was the woman who would later become Jamaica’s first National Heroine – Nanny.
The parish is also known for its vast contribution to the country’s agricultural output, especially in the cultivation of banana, coconut and breadfruit for both the domestic and foreign markets. Most of its coastal strip has been designated as land suitable for cultivation with almost no limitation. No other agricultural land has been attributed with this description in Jamaica.
Local Attractions/ Places of Interest
- Somerset Falls
- The Nonsuch Caves
- Blue Lagoon
- Rio Grande
- Reach Falls
- Crystal Springs
- Navy Island
- Titchfield School
- Fair Prospect Comprehensive High School
- Seaman’s Valley
- Cenotaph – Port Antonio
- Old Nanny Town
- Moore Town
List of places in Portland Parish