Our Visit to the Tamarind Great House
We spent Saturday night at the splendid Tamarind Great House atop 13 acres of the previously extensive Crescent Estate. The balcony overlooks a valley dotted with coconut trees that spread for hundreds of acres. Coconuts were introduced to Jamaica by the Spanish in the 1500s, and there are now 80,000 coconut farmers on the island producing nearly 100 million nuts. On the far horizon, Captain Kidd Peak blocks views of the Caribbean Sea. According to legend, Captain Kidd used the peak as a lookout for gold-bearing Spanish galleons. The house is 7 kilometers south of Oracabessa in Saint Mary, so city sounds yield to chirping birds and the chorus of insects.
The present bright blue two-story house was built on the foundation of the original Great House–a massive foundation as thick as a donkey is tall. Ten bedrooms, a living room, and a dining room surround a spacious two-story lobby. The stairs climb to the second floor and a landing, with white balustrades, outside the upper story rooms, surrounds the lobby. Our hosts indicated that the gleaming cream-colored wood floors were cut from a single tree. The original wooden great house was built in 1711 by the Silveras family. The Silveras were Portuguese Jews who fled to Jamaica to escape persecution during the European Inquisitions. The heirs subdivided the property and sold it 1972. The house was burned down by an arsonist in 1990 and was rebuilt over three years starting in 1991 by Barry and Gillian Chambers.
Tamarind Great House Contact Information
If you are interested in staying at this magnificent property, the contact information is as follows:
Gillian’s telephone number is 876-995-3252.
Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article about the Tamarind Great House
Tamarind Great House Photo Gallery
Tamarind Great House Location Map
I made reservations to spend the next two weekends at different Jamaican great houses. This weekend I will spend a night at Tamarind Great House, which is a few miles south of Oracabessa. This was a part of the Crescent Estate and I will report more about the history in a latter blog.
The second great house is the Liberty Hill Great House. The Traceys established the Liberty Hill plantation in the late 1700s to grow pimentos. The owners expressed excitement that I will be coming to listen to the story of their property. If the owners agree, then I will also include in this blog, links to their various properties.