The great house and park are located on the site of Sevilla la Nueva (New Seville), the first capital of Jamaica and the third to be established in the Western hemisphere. The area was first inhabited by the Tainos, before being settled by the Spaniards who gave the town its name.
The great house was built in 1745 by the grandson of one Captain Hemmings, who had been given the land after Seville was abandoned by the Spaniards following their defeat by English troops. The house originally consisted of two storeys, but the top storey was blown off by hurricane, about 1898, and was never replaced.
The museum, located in the recently renovated Seville Great House, provides daily guided tours. On display is a collection of the artefacts that depict various aspects of the lives of the areas various settlers over the centuries – the Tainos, Africans and Europeans. Since the renovation, the property also offers a new interactive exhibition, which includes DVDs that show simulations of what the property looked like in its early days.
The park overlooks the beautiful Caribbean Sea and features the relic of a water wheel once used to operate the old sugar mill, the overseer’s house and a barbecue. The grounds offer spots for picnics and relaxation. You can also opt to go horseback riding.
Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 9am -4pm
Rates: Tourists – US$15 (adult) and US$6 (child); Locals – $800 (adult) and $300 (child)
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