, Saint Ann's Bay) is the largest parish
. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county
, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called 'the Garden Parish of Jamaica' on account of its natural beauty
. Saint Ann is the birthplace of reggae
singers Burning Spear
and Bob Marley
(d. 1981), and The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey
(d. 1940), one of Jamaica's seven National Heroes.
St. Ann is one of the oldest populated areas in the island of Jamaica tracing back to 600 - 650 A.D.
It is believed to be the earliest Taino
settlement in Jamaica. When Christopher Columbus
first came to Jamaica in 1494, he landed on the shores of St. Ann. He returned to Jamaica on his fourth voyage and was eventually marooned for one year at St. Ann's Bay (June 1503 - June 1504), which he called Santa Gloria. The first Spanish
settlement in Jamaica was also at Sevilla la Nueva, now called Seville, just to the west of St Ann's Bay. Established by Juan de Esquivel, the first Spanish Governor of Jamaica, St Ann's Bay became the third capital
established by Spain
in the Americas
. The first sugar mills
were established by the Spaniards in Sevilla la Nueva before 1526.
After 1655, when the English captured Jamaica, St Ann's Bay gradually developed as a fishing port with many warehouses and wharves. The parish of St. Ann was later named after Lady Anne Hyde the first wife of King James II of England. Ocho Ríos began to develop as a modern town and a favourite tourist destination in Jamaica. Its development commenced when Reynolds Jamaica Mines built a deep-water pier, west of the town to ship bauxite ore from the mines.
In the 1960s the St Ann Development Council began the systematic development of Ocho Ríos creating a modern town.
The parish is located at latitude
77°28'W. It is bordered on the south
and St. Catherine
, in the east by Saint Mary
, and Trelawny
in the west. As with all but one parish, its coast is washed by the Caribbean sea
. St. Ann covers an area of 1,212.6 km, making it the largest parish, before Saint Elizabeth
's 1,212.4 km²
. The population was an estimated 168,726 in 2001, with 11,066 living in the capital, St Anns Bay. Other important towns located in St. Ann are Discovery Bay
, Brown's Town
and Ocho Rios
The highest elevation in the parish is in the Dry Harbour Mountains at 762 metres above sea level. Because of its limestone formation, the parish is noted for its 59 caves and numerous sinkholes. The Moneague Lake, which varies considerably in size, is one of the few large intermittent lakes in the island. The boundary between St Ann and St Mary is formed by the White River, which flows for 27.4 kilometres. Other rivers like the Dunns River appear intermittently, rising a few kilometres from the coast. The names of the main rivers are Negro, St Ann, Great, Roaring, Cave and Pedro.
The agricultural products are mainly bananas
, sweet potatoes
, sensimilia yams
, and annatto
. The soil is also suitable for citrus
is cultivated in the drier areas. The parish is also noted for cattle rearing, horses
. Recently, however, agriculture has been on the decline as farmland is being used for housing
and other developments and the cultivated area has decreased.
The major economic activity in the parish is Tourism
. Ocho Rios is one of the major tourist destination of Jamaica, given that Dunn's River Falls
and many popular beaches
, like Puerto Seco Beach, are located there. There is a cruise ship dock
on the west shore of Ocho Rios Bay, and numerous hotels
and resorts (including Sandals
Jamaica) are located in and around the city.
- Dunn's River Falls
- Green Grotto Caves
- Ocho Rios Marine Park
- Fern Gully
- Shaw Park Gardens
- Coyaba River Garden
- Puerto Seco Beach
- Chukka Cove Adventures
- White River Rafting
- Dolphin Cove
- Seville Heritage Park
- Bob Marley Mausoleum
- Columbus Park
- Marcus Garvey Statue, St. Ann's Bay