Free To Live – Jamaica’s Free Villages

Trelawny

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St Thomas Anglican Church in Stewart Town

Albert Town

Named for Prince Albert, then Queen Victoria’s consort, this town is world famous for its yams grown in cool weather conditions in this hill-and-gully limestone topography. It used to have an annual yam festival to which people would travel in droves. The festival’s popularity has fizzled, but yam is still king in Albert Town.

Alps

There might not be many ruins in Alps, situated deep in Trelawny’s Cockpit Country, but there are many old graves. The Gleaner‘s Rural Xpress news team visited in 2014 and found more old graves than adults. It seems to be yam country, but there was no sign of any activity going on in the community, the greater part of which is situated in a basin (cockpit).

Clark’s Town

Clark’s Town, which evolved from 30 acres of land donated by a GM Clark, the then owner of Swandswick Estate. About 1843, a free village to provide labour for the estate was created on those acres. But for almost a century, this village of houses for sugar workers did not expand.

Granville

This village was originally 90 acres of land acquired by Reverend William Knibb, a Baptist minister. His purchase of the land for use as a free village was sanctioned by the Missionary Society of England. The settlement was named after Granville Sharpe, advocate of the abolition of slavery.

Kettering

Named after the birthplace in Northampton, England, of humanitarian William Knibb, is hardly so called nowadays. Founded by Knibb, it has grown into what is now known as Duncans, one of Trelawny’s more popular towns. Kettering Baptist Church, founded 1844, is the most prominent physical vestige of the original free village.

Stewart Town

Conceived by a royal assent of 1812, Stewart Town was established in 1815, near Trelawny’s eastern border with St Ann. Though not established as a free village, it evolved into one, and was a popular market destination for other free villages in Trelawny and St Ann. The emergence of the port of Falmouth and the growth of Brown’s Town in St Ann have eventually reduced Stewart Town to a quiet little district of mostly old buildings and ruins… Read more

Time and Patience

Located in Trelawny this plot of land was chosen as a free village after August 1st, 1838. The persons to whom lands were granted gave it this apt name, declaring time and patience work wonders.