History of the Rhodes Hall Estate

An 18th Century Jamaican Estate

Sugar and Rum Plantation

Pirate's view of Samuel's Bay Jamaica

The Rhodes Hall estate, named for a British mercantile family that owned it in the 18th century, has been in continuous operation since the 1700s when its principal products were sugar cane and rum. Jamaican cane produces sugar of the the highest quality, and the production of rum played a crucial role in Jamaica's economy. A number of large, rusted, cauldrons, used originally to boil down the cane in the rum-making process, still dot the property.

The original shipping tallys from 1787, as seen above, are available for viewing at the hall of records in Spanish Town. Various other artifacts and implements from the era have also been discovered and preserved for display. The original paved roadway system between Montego Bay and Negril ran through the property and survives today as an internal access road.

Pirate Haven

Female Pirate Ann Bonney

This location was an especially popular site for pirates. Just 5 miles east of Bloody Bay, where whales used to be slaughtered, this is were the infamous pirate (and inventor of the original skull and crossbones insignia), John ("Calico Jack") Rackham, was captured. The tranquil setting--and, perhaps, too much rum--are believed to have lulled Jack into letting down his guard and permitting the British troops to sneak up on him and take him. His crew included the first female pirate, Anne Bonny (left).

Due to its high elevation and close proximity to Bloody Bay, this spot served as a major lookout point for the pirates as they sought their next victim to plunder. They found the area an ideal hideout--complete with caves to live in, a ready supply of fresh mineral spring water to drink, and abundant fruits and vegetables to eat.

Environmental Protection Area

Egrets at Negril Watershed Environmental Protection Area

Today, Rhodes Hall is a protected nature reserve--part of the Negril Watershed Environmental Protection Area. Our morass (swamp) contains one of the largest reserves of the American Crocodile species in Jamaica, a crocodile nursery and an adjoining lake. Endangered bird and insect species such as the Jamaican Giant Swallowtail butterfly and the rare West Indian Whistling Duck can also be seen here.

Nature-Lover's Paradise

Shoreline along Samuel's Bay Jamaica

The estate includes every type of terrain in Jamaica: from beaches to coral coastline to mountain tops as high as 500 feet that afford excellent views all the way to Negril. The unspoiled tropical forest features a wide variety of indigenous plant life, including impressive stands of bamboo, among which is our own Bamboo Lane. During the late fall and early winter season, hundreds of species of migrating birds take residence here. Truly, it is a nature-lover's paradise.

Plantain, banana, pineapple, breadfruit, ackee, coconut, june plum, mango, papaya, and avocado are in continuous cultivation and grow all around the property. You can just reach up and pick them.