If you are interested in architecture and myths, you will be interested in two specific homes in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Construction of the beautiful Rose Hall, Great House mansion, began in the 1750s by an Englishman but was completed in the 1770s by another Englishman.

A few miles east of Rose Hall, Greenwood Great House in Montego Bay was completed in 1780 by yet another Englishman. This time by someone who has the right to name Elizabeth Barrett Browning his niece. Both houses used to be plantation houses, but the owners had different ideas about how to manage a plantation. In Rose Hall, slaves destroyed the mansion in 1831 during the Christmas uprising.

 

Greenwood survived the rebellion.

The guides that will show you around will explain that Barrett, the owner of Greenwood, was way ahead of his time, and believed in educating slaves. His treatment of the slaves could have left Greenwood intact today. Much of the original library and artwork is in a perfect state. However, Greenwood cannot only claim good things about his slavery past, as one of the houses on display has a male trap used to catch runaway slaves.

Old black carriage at ancient Great House at Montego Bay, Jamaica

Rose Hall cannot compete with the progressive mindset that has occurred in Greenwood, but instead offer witchcraft, voodoo and ghosts in the form of the legend of Anne May Patterson, a former plantation woman. Legend has it that her spirit roamed the house. She is said to have lived in the house in the past and killed three women plus several slaves. If you have interest in seeing what the life of the plantation owners was like, how they lived – and learning a bit about the real story behind the myth of Anne May Patterson, you’ll have a great day out exploring these two amazing houses to visit!

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