Spanish Town, the former capital founded in 1534, some 14 miles west of Kingston (bus from Half Way Tree and from Orange Street ), is historically the most interesting of Jamaica’s towns and in desperate need of funds for renovation. Its English-style architecture dates from the 18th century. Well worth seeing are the Cathedral Church of St James, the oldest in the anglophone West Indies dating back to 1714. Also in need of renovation is the fine Georgian main square which houses the ruins of the King’s House built in 1762 (Governor’s residence until 1872 when Kingston became the capital) that burnt down in 1925.
The façade has been rebuilt and within it is the Archaeological Museum, containing exhibits excavated here and a site history of 1534-1872. In the old stables is the Jamaican People’s Museum of Craft and Technology. Mon-Fri, 1000-1700, US$0.20. Also on the square are a colonnade (paint peeling off) and statue commemorating Rodney’s victory at the Battle of the Saints (see Guadeloupe and Dominica); the House of Assembly and the Court House. There is a museum with interesting relics of Jamaican history and accurate portrayal of life of the country people. The park in the centre is overgrown with weeds and the gates are padlocked. Outside town, on the road to Kingston is the White Marl Arawak Museum. US$0.10. Mon-Fri, 1000-1600. Restaurant: Miami, Cumberland Rd, near the market area; food is delicious, especially the pumpkin soup.