Romanticized plantation history comes into its own at ROSE HALL, site of the infamous Rose Hall Great House, the inspiration for Jamaica’s best-loved piece of folklore. Built between 1770 and 1780 by planter and parish custos (mayor) John Palmer, the dazzling white stone structure, surrounded by gardens and a swan-filled pond, is difficult to miss. The mechanical 45-minute tours (by candlelight after 6pm) make much of the embellished legend of Annie Palmer, the “White Witch of Rose Hall”; starting in the gift shop, you gasp at blurred photos sent in by previous visitors that supposedly show the face of an unknown woman in the mirror or a bat in a chandelier, and gawp at Annie’s bedroom, symbolically redecorated in shades of red, and the terrace from which she allegedly pushed a maid to her death. As the house was unoccupied and widely looted during the nineteenth century, almost all of its current contents have been transported from other great houses or from overseas. The silk wallpaper and magnificent mahogany staircase are attractive (if not from the right period), and the fake food laid out on the dining table adds a touch of kitsch.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Jamaica features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In the footsteps of Bob Marley: a tour of Kingston, Jamaica

In the footsteps of Bob Marley: a tour of Kingston, Jamaica

Kris Griffiths takes a tour of the birthplace of reggae, following in the footsteps of Jamaica's most famous son, Bob Marley, on what would have been his 70th …

18 Mar 2015 • Kris Griffiths insert_drive_file Article
19 fantastic spots for wild swimming

19 fantastic spots for wild swimming

1. Cenotes X’keken and Samula, Mexico Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula is riddled with cenotes, natural limestone sinkholes that are perfect for wild swimming. …

04 Oct 2013 • Alison Roberts camera_alt Gallery
The best street food around the world

The best street food around the world

Jerk chicken, Jamaica When it comes to jerk chicken, there’s no beating the real deal fresh from a smoky jerk hut. Recipes are closely guarded secrets, but u…

04 Jul 2013 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month