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Seville Great House and Heritage Park - Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Seville Great House and Heritage Park

Seville Great house is symbolic of the English period. After the capture of the island in 1655, New Seville was abandoned by the Spaniards. Edward Long tells us, the English divided up and allotted the land to victorious officers and other soldiers. In this allotment, the city of New Seville became the property of one Captain Hemmings, an officer of the army, thus becoming Seville Estate. In 1755, Hemming's grandson built the Great House which was built at the end of the Seventeenth Century, but was destroyed by hurricane in the late Nineteenth Century.

The house originally consisted of two storeys. The top storey was, however, blown off by hurricane, about 1898, and it was never replaced. The structure is of wattle and daub construction with timber floors and English tiling. The doors of the building are of solid raised panel mahogany. The windows are predominantly sashed, with later modifications, including jalousies. The interior of the house has mahogany arches, which separates the living and dining rooms.

There is veranda, enclosed by a set of square wooden columns, along the entire northern end of the building. It was designed to provide adequate ventilation and sunlight, as well as privacy. There is a projected entrance portico, which forms the landing for bifurcated cut stone steps. The roof finish is of cedar shingles, with a distinct cap and comb feature. There are two pronounced finials at the gabled ends on the eastern and western side of the roof and aluminium gutters in the valley. The floor has a stained timber finish.

This attraction offers impressive displays of historic artifacts and ruins dating from the period when Arawaks (Indians believed to have migrated from Siberia) were the only inhabitants of Jamaica. The site also boasts many relics from the Spanish and English eras. Tours of the Great House are given, and the property is equipped with a mini–theatre and picnic grounds.

A visit to the Seville Great House and Heritage Park on Jamaica's north coast will take you on a journey through the centuries back to the very beginnings of the island's history and culture. It was here that the Tainos, Jamaica's first inhabitants established their largest town. These Arawak–speaking Amerindians had discovered the island – Xaymaca– some 1500 years ago.

This site is now operated as a heritage attraction.

Opening Hours: Daily 9:00am – 5:00pm

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