A Day of House Visiting in Montego Bay
Anyone who is interested in architecture and myth will love two houses that are situated in Montego Bay. One of them, the beautiful Rose Hall Great House is an 18th Century mansion that was started by one Englishman in the 1750s but completed by another in the 1770s. The other house, Greenwood Great House, is located a few miles east of Rose Hall and was completed in 1780 by yet another Englishman – this time one who has his right to call Elizabeth Barrett Browning cousin as his other claim to fame!
Both of these houses were plantation houses, but the owners had different ideas of how a plantation should be run. At Rose Hall, slaves destroyed the house in 1831 during the Christmas Rebellion. Greenwood on the other hand survived the Rebellion. The guides who take you around Greenwood will explain that Barrett, the owner of Greenwood was somewhat a little ahead of his time, and believed that slaves should be educated. His treatment of the slaves would be one of the reasons Greenwood is very much intact today – including much of the original library and artwork. Greenwood can’t claim all things good about its slavery however as one of the house exhibits is a man trap that was used to capture runaway slaves! Rose Hall can’t compete with the advanced thinking that occurred at Greenwood, but instead they have witchcraft and voodoo and ghosts to offer in the shape of the legend of Anne May Patterson, one time plantation wife.
If you’re interested in seeing what life was like for the plantation owners, the way they lived – and learning a little about the real story behind Anne May Patterson’s myth, then you’ll have a great day out visiting these two great houses!