St James Parish Church

Montego Bay

Regarded as the finest church on the island, it was originally built between 1775 and 1782, but was so damaged by the earthquake of March 1, 1957, that it had to be rebuilt. With luck, the tall church doors will be open (if not, call the rector) to view the interior, one of the most beautiful rooms in Jamaica. Note the wonderful stained glass depicting the Crucifixion, and the marble monuments, including works by renowned 18th-century English sculptor John Bacon.

To the left of the altar is a memorial to Rosa Palmer, the original, virtuous mistress of Rose Hall whose history often gets confused with that of Annie Palmer, also known as the White Witch of Rose Hall. Outside are the neglected (yet romantic, in a decaying way) gravestones of old planters.

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