#FBF – Jamaica’s First Jail


The recent visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron has got Jamaicans talking, and much of the conversation has focused on prisons. So we went diGging and found some information on what is believed to have been the first ‘house of correction’ in Jamaica, which was located at the old St Ann’s Bay Fort.

Located west of the parish capital, the fort was erected about 1750. It was built with stone blocks taken from Sevilla la Nueva. The fort was declared useless in 1795, because the sea had begun encroaching on it. Thus, a new fort was built at Windsor Point, on the opposite side of the bay. The old fort was then adopted as a jail and house for correction. It had solitary cells, a treadmill, a separate room for ‘lunatics’, a room for debtors, a ‘hospital’, and a jailers’ quarters. The fort is now in ruin.

– Source: Jamaica National Heritage Trust