Rose Hall Great House and Montego Bay
Climb inside your comfortable tour van and head to Rose Hall Great House to tour the home and gardens as you learn about the slaves and its infamous owner, Annie Palmer. Legend has it she lived here in the early 19th century and killed three husbands as well as several male slaves she took as lovers before she herself was murdered by one of her slaves. Locals dubbed her the White Witch of Rose Hall as it is said her ghost can be seen in the upstairs portion of the house. Her legend lives on in the Johnny Cash recording"The Ballad of Annie Palmer."
Learn about Montego Bay's early days as a sugarcane port as well as its darker days of slavery. Head to the heart of the city and stand on the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square, named after a national hero who was hanged for leading the revolt against slavery in 1832. While in the main square you will see other notable spots such as the civic center and the National Heroes Monument. Amid the colorful Georgian-style buildings you will find the Cage, a small stone structure that was once used as an overnight jail for vagrants and drunks. While here, browse the shops and pick up a souvenir or two.
Continue to the town of Montego Bay and learn the stories and secrets beginning with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Hear about Montego Bay's early days as a sugarcane port as well as its darker days of slavery. Head to the heart of the city and stand on the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square, named after a national hero who was hanged for leading the revolt against slavery in 1832.
While in the main square you will see other notable spots such as the civic center and the National Heroes Monument. Amid the colorful Georgian-style buildings you will find the Cage, a small stone structure that was once used as an overnight jail for vagrants and drunks. Stop at St. James Parish church to see the elaborate stained glass window installed in 1911. This 200-year-old church is laid out in the shape of the classic Greek cross and is surrounded by centuries-old tombstones.
Complete your tour with a quick dip in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea before your return to the Port of Falmouth ($6 beach entrance fee). If you love history, this is the tour for you.
Please Note: Cameras are not allowed inside Rose Hall Great House. Remember your swimsuit, sunscreen and a beach towel.
Reviewer: Debbie Northrup
Jody and our drive were great! We stopped for some jerk chicken instead of shopping thank goodness. Great old church and Rose Hall was great.
Reviewer: Debbie Northrup
Great tour! They picked us up in a small van and Jody was such a great guide! They took us where we wanted to go and were so accommodating when it rained on us. Loved Rose Hall and the history of it! Stopped and ate lunch at a Barbecue for jerk pork, smoked wing and a local beer. We felt very safe with them since I always heard not to venture out with out a tour in Jamaica and never would!
Reviewer: Nancy Strayer
We really enjoyed this tour. We had our own small tour van with a friendly English-speaking guide/driver. The Rose Hall Plantation was very interesting and the drive and stop-offs in Montego Bay very good. Our driving even took us to an outdoor BBQ pit restaurant for lunch. Take this tour instead of the large bus tours offered by the cruise line.
Reviewer: Westboro Gourmand
Our cruise ship docked near Montego Bay and our excursion took us to Rose Hall and a series of other stops. Rose Hall is very impressive and the on site guide was very informative and knowledable. Our tour guide was as well. I very much recommend such smaller non cruise ship tours- it is so much better to be on one's own in a small Van versu a gaint bus with a large crowd.
Reviewer: Charlotte Baker
My husband and I found it delightful. the tales of the murderous mistress of Rose Hall were exciting. We hope that some of the grounds will be restored so that we could wander through them. Would have enjoyed lunch there at the pub. We loved the guitar player who sang calypso songs. Our driver Sterling was attentive to our every need and took us to a great place for lunch. We also visited the Catholic Church and drove around Montego Bay which we had visited 40 years before. We especially enjoyed seeing the high school girls and boys in their school uniforms.