16 Photos Showcasing Manchester, Jamaica

Manchester is one of Jamaica’s south central parishes. It’s often said that the north coast in Jamaica is for the tourists, while the south coast is for the locals. Of course, no parish is out of bounds for tourists, but it’s just that tourists seldom visit our quiet south coast when it’s more exciting up north. Manchester was formed in 1814 and is named for the Governor of Jamaica at that time. Manchester is primarily mountainous. Over 90% of Manchester’s surface is limestone which gives it an abundance of cockpits, sinkholes, caves and underground passages. That’s why most of the parish’s rivers run underground but form delightful swimming holes during the wet season. The longest and deepest caves in Jamaica are found in Manchester, namely the Gourie Cave near Christiana and the Smokey Hole Cave in Cross Keys. Manchester has large bauxite deposits, the raw material for aluminium production. Important crops in the parish are coffee, potatoes and citrus. Ortanique, a cross between the orange and tangerine, was developed here in Manchester, Jamaica.

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St. Toolis River, Manchester

St. Toolis is a district in Porus on the border of Clarendon and Manchester, in which a gorgeous free watering hole can be found. The residents call it Blue Hole but this river is actually a tributary of the Milk River in Clarendon. Porus was founded by Baptist missionary James Phillippo and became the sixth free village in Jamaica for ex-slaves after emancipation. Porus was originally named Vale Lionel after then governor of Jamaica Sir Lionel Smith, but the name eventually changed to Porus because of the porous nature of the district’s soil.

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Alligator Pond River & Beach, Manchester

I originally hail from Kingston, but the parish of Manchester has been my home for the past two years. There’s a chance I may leave Manchester soon, but I’ll cherish the experiences and friendships I’ve built here forever. One of the things I lamented while reflecting on the end of my first year in Manchester is that I’d barely explored the parish, and I vowed to change that for my second year. One year later, I’m pleased to have explored almost all the places worth seeing in this cool mountainous parish– from Noisy River up north to Alligator Pond by the coast. I went to Little Ochi in January this year for the first time, and while the wait time was horrendous, I appreciated the experience a lot. However, who knew that another gem was so close by! I heard of the Alligator Pond River, also known as Sea Riv, just a few weeks ago and decided to check it out before my stint in Manchester expires. Read on to learn about Sea Riv, an estuary where the Alligator Pond River meets the Caribbean Sea.

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Cecil Charlton Park, Manchester

Mandeville is one of Jamaica’s more developed towns. The town is peaceful and laid-back compared to Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica’s two cities. I’m sure the residents like that a lot since Mandeville and by extension the cool cool parish of Manchester is a popular settlement for Jamaica’s returning residents. Named for former Mayor of Mandeville the late Cecil Charlton, the park’s transformation has been an ongoing initiative of the Manchester Parish Council since 2012. In these few years, the park has transformed from a mere refuge of the homeless to one which is worthy of civic and even national pride. Lying smack in the middle of the town square, this tiny attractive park brings a breath of fresh air and offers a great opportunity to learn more of Mandeville’s history. If you’re ever in this neck of the Jamaican woods, take a stroll here and even a seat for a few minutes.

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