Introducing Mile Gully & Around
This village sprawls along a valley that runs northwest from Mandeville in the lee of the forested north face of the Don Figuerero Mountains. The B6 leads northwest from Shooter’s Hill, winding, dipping and rising past lime-green pastures dotted with guango and silk-cotton trees and crisscrossed with stone walls and hedgerows.
The valley is pitted with caves, including Oxford Caves, near Mile Gully.
About 1km west of Mile Gully, at Skull Point, is a venerable blue-and-white 19th-century police station and courthouse at the junction for Bethany.
Ripon Nature Park (admission US$3), dating to 1730, in Mile Gully, produces citrus, flowers, coffee and cocoa and is being developed into a bird sanctuary, wild garden and ecopark by Derek O’Connor, owner of Kariba Holidays & Leisure Tours (
The Bethany road climbs sharply and delivers you at the Bethany Moravian Church – a simple gray stone building dating to 1835, dramatically perched four-square midway up the hill with fantastic valley views. The church is rather dour close up, but the simple interior boasts a resplendent organ.
Another beautiful church – St Simon’s Anglican Church –sits on a hillside amid meadows at Comfort Hall, 6km west of Mile Gully, with huge spreading trees festooned with old man’s beard.
To the south of the B6, perched atop the Don Figuerero Mountains, at Maidstone, is Nazareth Moravian Church. One of the best-planned postemancipation ‘free villages, ’ Maidstone was founded in 1840.
The annual Emancipation Day Fair is celebrated at Maidstone on August 1, with mento bands, Jonkanoo celebrations, and maypole and quadrille dancing.