The Falmouth Historic District, located in the seaside town of Falmouth, Trelawny Parish, Cornwall County, is on the north shore of Jamaica, latitude 18.493422 N and longitude 77.653020 W. Recognized as an outstanding and unique example of Jamaica’s rich architectural and archeological heritage dating to the late 1700s, this historic section of Falmouth was declared a Protected National Heritage Site under the Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act of 1985.  In 1996, the site, known as the Falmouth Historic District, was declared a National Monument by the Jamaican Government. The Falmouth Historic District is protected and administered by the Trelawny Parish Council and the Heritage Development Review Committee, an advisory body  created by the Trustees of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.                                                                                           

The Falmouth Historic District contains the largest intact collection of British Colonial architecture in the Caribbean.  The structures, which followed English design books, were built by enslaved craftsmen who adapted the plans to suit the tropical climate. Founded in 1769 and laid out on a Georgian grid plan, Falmouth replaced the inland port of Martha Brae and soon became the wealthiest port in the Caribbean, exporting sugar and rum and importing slaves from Africa. By 1794, the thriving colonial port boasted 220 houses. In 1830, according to Reverend William Knibb, Falmouth was a pleasant and fashionable town with 2,000 to 3,000 inhabitants.  Within a decade, steamships arriving in Jamaica bypassed Falmouth because the Falmouth Harbour was too shallow to dock.   Attempts to deepen the harbor failed, and Falmouth began to decline, never to regain its former glory.  More than a century of decay and the harsh climate, including a direct hit from Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, took a toll on the coastal town, and eventually the impoverished community fell into serious disrepair.  In 2001, Falmouth Heritage Renewal began its preservation efforts with the goal of restoring the built environment and saving the Falmouth Historic District. 

The seaside town of Falmouth is located in Trelawny Parish, Cornwall County, 23 miles east of Montego Bay.

View from the Church Tower - 2012

Adolphe Duperly’s “View from the Church Tower” - 1844

The Falmouth Historic District as seen from St. Peter’s Anglican Parish Church Tower