St Thomas, Jamaica
St Thomas is a parish situated in the south eastern tip of Jamaica (Caribbean). It is located in the county of Surrey. bordered by the parish of St Andrew to the west, Portland to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south and east.
St Thomas land mass begins from Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains peak down to the sea-level. Ridges of the Blue Mountain, runs from east to west across the island and come to their eastern end in St Thomas Parish. Sweeping down from the height of Blue Mountains to the pristine coastline of south-east Jamaica, St Thomas Parish is one of the most beautiful place island.
The Port Royal Mountain Range rises approximately 1,219.2m, in some parts (4,000 feet) and stretches from above New Castle in St. Andrew, to near the sea in Albion, St Thomas.
Long before modern-day Jamaicans inhabited the parish, other peoples moved among the forests and grasslands of St. Thomas. The history of human settlement in the parish stretches back as far as 650 AD when the Taino people reached our shores. Archaeologists have unearthed Taino settlements at Spanish Wood, Retreat, Belvedere, Cambridge Hill and Yallahs. But little is left of these early settlers apart from their graves, some pottery and the refuse they left at their dump sites, called middens.
Evidence of the country’s economic role can be seen in the settlement pattern of the parish. The first Spanish settlers in St. Thomas established cattle ranches at “Morante” (later to be called Morant Bay) and at Ayala (now Yallahs).
In later years, bands of Maroons settled in the St. Thomas Mountains and eventually joined with those in Portland thus forming the “Windward Maroons.” They would play a critical role in the events that were to unfold.
The history of St. Thomas is now most popularly associated with the events of 1865 – events which led to Jamaica’s Assembly being dissolved and the island’s status being changed to that of a Crown Colony.
Those events of over a century ago have also made Paul Bogle and George William Gordon National Heroes to modern Jamaicans and made Stony Gut and Morant Bay names which stir powerful emotions.
Attractions and Points of Interest
- Bath Botanical Gardens
- Bath Fountain
- Judgement Cliff
Monuments and Historic Buildings
- Morant Bay Courthouse
- Stokes Hall Great House
- Morant Bay Fort
- Morant Bay Lighthouse
- Stony Gut (Site of Bogle Chapel)