Falmouth Town

Falmouth was created at the height of prosperity...

Falmouth is one of the few towns in Jamaica that was laid out according to a plan. A few years after it was founded, Falmouth had 150 houses and was steadily built up over the next 40 years, until around the year 1830 when its steady decline began.

Falmouth was created at the height of prosperity that came from sugar, because Trelawny was one of the richest parishes in sugar having over 88 Sugar Plantation Estates, (only three remained today) so Falmouth declined in importance.

Falmouth was also noted for the introduction of teeth and scientific experiments.

Martha Brae and the Martha Brae River...

Martha Brae is a small coastal village, the first capital of Trelawny.

Rock, a small village near the coast, was also a shipping port. When the river silted up and made the navigation at Rock difficult, the new capital Falmouth was created Martha Brae was said to have been the site of the Spanish settlement of Melilla.


Martha Brae River is one of Jamaica’s finest river and Trelawny’s longest water way, entering the sea near Falmouth which supplied water when the town was first established, before the river was bridge travellers used the Martha Brae ferry.

Legend of the Martha Brae River…

She agreed to lead them to the Gold Mine...

Martha Brae was supposed to be a Tiano girl who was tortured by the Spaniards to reveal the location of the hidden Gold Mine.

She agreed to lead them to the Gold Mine, but later she changed her mind and called on her powers which changed the course of the river and drowned her and the Spaniards, closing forever, the entrance of the Gold Mine.

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The New Falmouth Town in Trelawny, Jamaica

Falmouth, Trelawny, is located on the North Coast of Jamaica, 25 minute drive from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Falmouth Town, which is the capital of the Parish of Trelawny, was declared a national monument by the Jamaican Government in 1996 and is one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved historic towns. Falmouth has the largest intact collection of Georgian-period buildings, from the first half of the 19th century.

The New Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier was built specially for Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, two of the largest cruise ships in the world.

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The Georgian Era...

Residents in Falmouth received piped water pumped from the Marta Brae River...

The isolation of Falmouth has helped to preserve its historical heritage. No town of the Georgian Era besides Falmouth has retained its ancillary and dependent buildings most of which were slave quarters. Many buildings in Falmouth are remarkable displays of what might be called Georgian Vernacular Architecture.

Residents in Falmouth received piped water pumped from the Marta Brae River before New York City residents experienced the comfort of piped water. Believe it or not Falmouth once ruled the north coast. The now quiet town was the centre of commercial activities.


The Falmouth Water Company built a Persian Water Wheel on the near by Martha Brae river.

The water wheel scooped up hundreds of gallons of water, sending it via metal pipes to the reservoir in the centre Falmouth. Water travelled from the reservoir into buildings around the town.

Ghost Town

Falmouth became something of a ghost town because planters and traders left Trelawny for Montego Bay and Kingston, so their houses and plantation estates building began to decay in the sun and salty air.

A chilling glimpse into Jamaica’s past...

Despite periodic calls for Falmouth to be granted some kind of official protection as a ‘Heritage Town’ there as been no noticeable effort to capitalize on its historic status ‘has far as mi concern’, and there are no easy access ‘attraction’.

Most visitors pass through the town without a second glance, however passing through the streets provides an unadorned and sometimes chilling glimpse into Jamaica’s past.

The lack of tourist glitz just adds up to its easy going charm....

Falmouth Harbour

The remains of old wharves and ware-houses along the seacoast are among reminders today of the towns former importance. As many as twenty-seven ships docked the harbour at the same time, unloading slaves, foods stuff, dry goods, fine furniture and house hold wares.

In exchange for sugar, rum, log wood, limes and dyes. In those days the ships depended on the trade winds to blow them back home. Sometimes they had to wait in the port for up to one month for the right wind.

In 1803 the town had a stone cage built for the drunken sailors. Each ship carried twenty-seven sailors and while they waited they would create uproar in the town. Some times when the sailors got drunk they would walk around Falmouth and get into fight and arguments, so much that the Town Fathers decreed that the sailors could not be in Falmouth later than 6pm in the evening, if caught they were to be jailed for the night.

This had an effect on the town, for in 1803 the town had a stone cage built for the drunken sailors. Apart from the sailing ships from North America or England, Falmouth Harbour was alive with a great deal of local traffic, including canoes of fishermen. Falmouth Harbour was not deep enough to accommodate larger vessels so trades were diverted to bigger harbours.

Falmouth Court House

Original Georgian design...

Falmouth’s original Court House was built in 1815. Later the building was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1926.

Until the present one was renovated in it’s original Georgian design except for the rooflines and windows. Today the Court House house’s the office of Trelawny Parish Council and The Resident’s Magistrates Court.

Wednesday Market

The stone cage that was built for the drunken sailors was later knocked down, Falmouth market took its place, Falmouth instead became Trelawny’s main market town, a status it still enjoys.

Each Wednesday a bustling 'BEND DOWN' market spills out unto the street. Traders set out fruits, vegetables, bootleg, cloths, shoes etc, causing a whole day traffic jam.

St Peter’s Anglican Church, Falmouth...

The Anglican Church of St Peter’s was built in 1795, which now makes it 210 years old. It is both the oldest church and public building in Falmouth. No doubt the church is the most impressive structure in Falmouth with a ceiling height of over 20 feet.

The style of which the Church was built is also of the Georgian design. The bricks was said to have come from Liverpool in England. All the stones used are of local limestone. It is said that the clock was built for Falmouth, Cornwall, England, but found it's way here by mistake and never returned.

All the furniture in the Church are made of Mahogany...

The walls of the church are 3 feet thick; the tall Triple-sash Round Head windows were positioned in pairs, except for the East and West Walls of the North Transcept, which are placed as single windows, a total of sixteen windows.

The flooring is of two different materials, at the North Entrance, beneath the tower, it is of Welsh Slate tiles, while the rest is of local Mahogany.

The ceiling is made of Oiled Groove and Tongue Cedar Boards, six inches wide.

All the furniture in the Church are made of Mahogany, including the Pulpit, Altar Rail and the Bishops chair.


The inside is a little different from most Jamaican Anglican Church's because of the position of the Aisles and Pews.

Falmouth Town

Falmouth, Trelawny had five newspapers and was important for the production of sugar. Now the sugar money is long gone, but many of the original Georgian style buildings remained, some in ruins, others masterfully restored to their former glory.

Slowly the town is being restored, one building at a time. Most residents expect that in the near future their town will once again be the most fashionable and cosmopolitan town in the Caribbean. Today Falmouth town is once again one of the most beautiful and upmarket towns on the North Coast of Jamaica.

Baptist Manse

The Baptist Manse on Market Street, Falmouth, was built in 1798. The Manse is a beautiful building with finely crafted stonework and a wooden staircase. It has been tastefully restored and is currently used as an exhibition hall and offices.

Cornwall District Prison

This building is located on Rodney Street in Falmouth. It occupies the former Cornwall District Prison and is one of the town’s Historic structures. In the old days the prison consisted of a jail and a workhouse or ‘House of Correction’. The house of Correction was a notorious place of torture (before the full abolition of slavery). A favourite method of punishment in this and other prison was the Treadmill.

After Emancipation in 1838, Falmouth’s House of Correction and other correctional facilities became a prison for criminals, while the jail was for minor offenders The prisoners wore heavy iron bolts attached to their legs and were compelled to lift their legs while walking.

Black prisoners wore iron collars around their necks, and were chained two by two when they were set out to maintain the roads of the parish. Falmouth prison discipline was poor and prisoners were sentenced to hard labour enjoying a ‘soft’ life.

Knibb Memorial Baptist Church

Knibb Memorial Baptist Church was built in1844, but destroyed by fire in 1944 and later rebuilt in 1948. This building is located at the corner of Kings and George Street in Falmouth. This building has served as a centre for those professing the Baptist faith in the North Eeastern parts of Jamaica, for almost two centuries.

During the nineteenth century Knibb Memorial Baptist Church was at the forefront of the abolitionist movement in Jamaica.

They focused most of their efforts in the parish of Trelawny, because it had more slaves than any other parish on the island.

Barrett House

Barrett House at 1 Market Street, built in 1799 was one of Falmouth’s many houses of the Georgian design. Considered to be dangerous to the public.

Although many houses of the Georgian period were built from cut stone, the Barrett House was built from Tabby Blocks which is a mixture of sand, seashells, lime and water in roughly equal amount. The Barrett house is not particularly large but has a very interesting architectural detail. In 2001 the building was partially demolished by the parish council, because it was considered to be dangerous to the public.

Pheonix Foundry

The Pheonix Foundry was one of the earliest in the island. It was built in 1810, it’s primary function was to repair ships that docked in Falmouth. It also repaired boilers, pans and other sugar manufacturing equipment.

The Pheonix Foundry building, which can be seen as you enter or leave the town from the east, is located right on what was the docks of Falmouth Harbour in the days of slavery.

Rafting along the Martha Brae River!

Enjoy one of Falmouth best loved attraction, rafting down the Martha Brae River, Trelawny's longest waterway, its cool! Travel down the river and enjoy one of Jamaica's most famous rivers.


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