Firefly (Noel Coward Home) - Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Located just outside the seaside town of Port Maria is Firefly, the home of the late Sir Noel Coward. Given to the people of Jamaica by Graham Payne, it is administered on behalf of the Jamaican National Heritage Trust by Island Outpost. Visitors to the Museum will see a biographical video of Noel Coward's life and achievements, a photographic exhibit of his many celebrated guests, and displays of Sir Noel's paintings and belongings.
Nearly a thousand years ago the site was declared a sacred burial ground by the Taino indians, the original inhabitants of Jamaica. Several centuries later the property was associated with the pirate Captain Henry Morgan (later Governor of Jamaica) who placed a lookout and dug a secret escape tunnel to Port Maria.
In 1948 Sir Noel bought the property from the Lindo family and built his house here. During the 50's and 60's Firefly became the winter retreat for his friends and admirers such as Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth II.
Although the setting is Edenlike, the house is surprisingly spartan, considering that he often entertained jetsetters and royalty. He wrote High Spirits, Quadrille, and other plays here, and his simple grave is on the grounds next to a small stage where his works are occasionally performed. Recordings of Coward singing about mad dogs and Englishmen echo over the lawns. Tours include time in the photo gallery and a walk through the house and grounds, the viewing of a video on Coward, and a drink in the gift shop.
Firefly House, Oracabessa, Jamaica is an Englishstyle cottage surrounded by wide green lawns and perched high atop a hill, midway between Oracabessa and Port Maria.
Visitors are greeted by a hospitable guide who hands out fruit punch or rum cocktails then leads the group to Coward's art studio, where he was schooled in oil painting by Winston Churchill.
Opening Hours: MonThu and Sat 8.30am5pm
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