Research & Reconnoitre St Ann
Part of doing this project is identifying appropriate sites for exploration, further research and visual documenting. As a starting point, I have used the Jamaica National Heritage Trust website, where I found a list of great houses in locations around the island. The site lists many historical and heritage sites and helped me focus on areas in St Ann, where I am based on this trip. Today, we will look at three possible locations of interest to see what’s there and see whether it will be possible to do some photo work within the boundaries of the estates. The sites are
- Drax Hall Water wheel
- Belmont Great House
- Roaring River Great House
All three locations are in St Ann.
Drax Hall Water Wheel
Two out of three ain’t bad, and we managed to stop and check out the Drax Hall Water Wheel, a magnificent ruin. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my SLR with me, just the little point and shoot from which I cannot download the images at present to show; however, I was delighted that I decided to persuade my guide to make the stop there. Sadly, the picture on the JNHT website doesn’t do it justice.
We also stopped before reaching Drax Hall at a cattle farm by Llandovery. Although the farm manager was kind enough to allow us to view the chimney and remains of the house, more research is required to determine previous colonial estate owners and uncover the history of the location, the mill there and any other interesting facts.
Along the way, passing along Highway 2000 from Runaway Bay past St Ann’s Bay, we drove up to Roaring River Great House. However, we discovered we needed to have made an appointment with the Urban Development Corp. (UDC) to access the site. They are currently developing the site as a heritage site/attraction similar to Seville. However, we did pass another chimney by the Richmond estate and saw another water wheel by the roadside just before we got to Dunns River. These we will try to investigate more during the next 14 days.