Hampstead Great House

 

Mike Schwartz told me that in order to get to the Potosi Estate I needed to turn on the marl (weathered limestone) road and follow it to the River Bumpkin Farm, an adventure concession owned by Sandals Resorts. I made my way down the five kilometers to the adventure company and was then told that they couldn’t give a tour of the Potosi Estate but if I could come back tomorrow, they would be glad to help me. I told the office girl about what I was doing and she suggested I go look at Hampstead Great House back on the same road. I back-tracked to the great house and there I met Paul Robinson who gave me a tour of the exterior of the great house and the sugar factory.

Hampstead was a property owned by Jane Stone who was a slave and became the wife of Jonathan Barnett who owned the Barnett Estate. She also owned the Retreat Estate nearby the great house. The Retreat sugar mill (I will cover it in another blog) ran using a water wheel on the Martha Brae River. The Hampstead sugar mill ran by cattle power. In 1850, the owner consolidated the two mills at Hampstead using steam power. At the time of emancipation, the estate had two hundred slaves.

The great house is remarkably nondescript. At the time, it was a really great house, but today, I’m afraid that it would be considered a middle class house. I drove to the top of the hill and as I started to take pictures, Paul Robinson, the caretaker, met me. He was unwilling to let me enter the house but gave me a first class tour of the property. We viewed the original kitchen outbuilding with a brick baking oven, as well as the barracks, where the house slaves lived. We then left the top of the hill and drove down to the ruins of the old sugar mill and rum distillery. I saw the furnace that both boiled the cane juice as well as made steam to run the steam powered mill. He also showed me the well, the water tank, the factory pond and the ruins of the building where the sugar was processed.

In order to get to this great house, take the Martha Brae exit from the north road, drive through Martha Brae on the way to Perth Town and follow the signs to the River Bumpkin Farm (to be described in a later post). Turn off the paved road, at the River Bumpkin Farm sign and about a mile up the road, you will see a coconut plantation on the left and a narrow track up the hill to the great house.

Hampstead Great House-19

Hampstead Great House Photo Gallery

Hampstead Great House Location

Jamaica-Trelawny

 

 

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About Dr. Raul A. Mosley

Raul is the founder of the Fort Worth Portrait Project (FWPP). He holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs & Issues Management from Purdue University. After teaching for 16 years as a university faculty member at both Purdue and Indiana University, Raul moved to Fort Worth and founded the FWPP in 2014.

4 responses to “Hampstead Great House”

  1. John Campbell says :

    Hello, and thank you for shearing this great info. I would love to know if you have any info on Westmoreland great houses ? And info on Campbells, Harvey, and Bromfield family’s from Wedtmoreland, especially from around the Darliston areas. Thank for any info. Signed: John campbell, Atlanta, GA.

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    • mwmosley68 says :

      John,
      I haven’t zeroed in on Westmoreland yet. I hope to get over to there soon. I have a few great houses I want to investigate. Go on my blog and sign up for my posts. They will be sent to your email address as I publish them.
      Michael

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    • mwmosley68 says :

      John,
      I have spent a week in Westmoreland Parish and there will be a soon post on Ackendown Castle, built by the Campbells. If you have not joined my blog, now is the time.

      Michael

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  2. C.G. says :

    Hampstead belonged to my grandparents until recently when they passed away. The ownership/stewardship is currently, supposedly in the air. I spent the best years of my childhood there. My siblings and I explored every nook and cranny of that property. It saddens me to see it so.

    I have always wondered about the original ownership and how it went from Jane Stone to the Gentles family. Do you have any further information or can you point me to the right direction?

    I enjoyed that nostalgic trip down memory lane. Though I feel quite sad now, thank you.

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