Stewart Castle, Trelawny

The sightseeing detours on a road trip are almost as exciting as the destination itself. On the drive home from my weekend getaway at Animal Farm, my partner and I made two sightseeing detours. Our first was the Persian Water Wheel in Falmouth which I covered in January; Stewart Castle was the second. Present-day Stewart Castle lies in ruin but was once an impressive cut stone mansion, built in the 1760s by enslaved Africans. Here’s everything you need to know about Stewart Castle near Duncans, Trelawny.


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How to Find Stewart Castle

Stewart Castle is located off the North Coast (A1) Highway in the Trelawny parish between the towns of Duncans and Corral Spring, near Falmouth. There are signs marking the turn off to Stewart Castle which is a left turn coming from Montego Bay, but a right turn if driving from the direction of Ocho Rios. The road to the castle is a dirt track, but is mostly level which makes it less treacherous. Also, the Google Maps marker is accurate, so you can rely on GPS for navigation. The surrounding area is desolate but we passed a few houses on the way.

Stewart Castle & some of its surrounding lands are owned by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), a government agency responsible for maintaining historical landmarks. The property is not well maintained, but is free to visit.


History of Stewart Castle

J.B. Kidd’s painting of Stewart Castle in 1835. Source:

Stewart Castle was once an impressive cut stone mansion, built in the 1760s by enslaved Africans. It is a rectangular building that was designed like a fortress with square towers at opposite corners, and consisted of three storeys: a cellar, ground floor and first floor. Stewart Castle served as the great house on a sugar plantation turned cattle farm which expanded considerably over the years to 1918 acres, as listed in the 1840 Jamaican Almanac. The building was strategically built to command a panoramic view of the fields and coastline, and was originally fortified for protection against attack from Maroons and possible invading European powers. There are loopholes for fire muskets placed around the entire building. The owners, James Stewart and family, are originally from Scotland. It is thought that they left Jamaica in the middle of the 19th century, after the property was passed down through three family generations. The estate changed hands several times before the Kaiser Bauxite Company bought it in 1930 and turned over the Castle, in ruins, to the JNHT in 1960.

In 1957, a Taino Midden was found on the property which offered valuable insights into the dietary habits of the Tainos. Material excavated included a variety of marine shells, such as giant conchs, giant crab limbs, breast bones of birds and turtle bones.


Wrap Up

I hope you have enjoyed this journey into Jamaica of yesteryear. The Stewart Castle ruin is another spot discovered and crossed off my Jamaican bucket list guide: Sightsee Jamaica. Purchase a copy on Amazon to support. Here are some other historical sites in Jamaica which you may enjoy:

‘Til next time.

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Rochelle | Adventuresfromelle

Adventures from Elle is a travel blog for locals & visitors who want to experience the best of Jamaica, one adventure at a time. The blog is curated by Rochelle Knight, a junior resident (M.D.) in internal medicine and published author. She began the blog in 2016 as a medical student & wants to see the world, starting with her home country. Purchase her book 'SIGHTSEE JAMAICA' on Amazon and join her in Jamaica!

19 thoughts on “Stewart Castle, Trelawny

  1. Fascinating history! The Stewart Castle ruins remind me of those seen in Ireland or Scotland…I was also wondering if one could actually go inside the ruins, or is it too precarious? Nevertheless, another great landmark to see in Jamaica!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really appreciate your tour ^ research – I am Jamaican & hope to return to visit & enjoy the beautiful spas & foods that I crave for.
    This just make me realize that I have missed out on a lot – I have’nt even visited any of those places.
    By the way, you r a beautiful girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really interesting place with an interesting history. I like that you included that because as a history major I’ve learnt a little about Jamaica but not much so places like this are always something I am looking to read about.

    Liked by 1 person

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