St James Parish Church
St James Parish Church
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles13 reviews
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diveydivey
Poolville, Texas172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Lovely and very interesting church. I recommend this stop. It doesn't take a long time, and it is free (although giving a donation is always good).
Written April 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James S
Toronto, Canada1,783 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
One of the more interesting finds one comes across while wandering the streets of Montego Bay is Saint James Parish Church. Located in the downtown, only a few minutes walk from Sam Sharpe Square the church is both a local landmark and building of historical interest.

Construction commenced in 1775 and was completed seven years later in 1782 when the first service was conducted here. Services continue every Sunday morning for those so inclined. They are rather early though starting at 7:30am.

The massive stone walls of the church are typical of the time, when such places not only served as places of worship but also as those of sanctuary. Inside it is surprisingly cool. The first thing one notices is the magnificent pews and alter all hand carved of deep dark mahogany and the impressive stain glass window behind the alter which catches the sun.

To the left of the alter is a carved portrait of Mrs. Rose Palmer carved in 1794 by John Bacon. Mrs. Palmer was the mistress of Rose Hall plantation located to the north east of the present-day city and one of the churches parishioners. She is buried in the garden to the north of the church as are several other plantation owners.

Rose Palmer should not be confused with another local Annie Palmer also known as the White Witch who was the wife of the great nephew of Rose. She was according to local legend responsible for the murders of three of her spouses and several slaves before being murdered herself. It is rumoured her ghost still haunts Rose Hall Manor.

Aside from scheduled services the church is usually open to visitors. We visited it twice in the week we were there. The first time the massive wooden doors were open and we received a brief but informative tour. Sadly when I returned later in the week to take more pictures, it was closed and a local advised me the Priest was away on an errand but would return shortly.

Just north of the church and its graveyard is another small burial ground. A local advised me this is the old military burial grounds where British troops who passed away while garrisoning the town wee interred. During my second visit, workman were enclosing the grounds in chain link fence but hopefully there is still some access.

In this field is a simple high wooden cross with the names of locals who fell during the First and Second World Wars. As part of the British Empire many Jamaicans volunteered to serve during these conflicts and many did so with courage and distinction. Sadly, as in all conflicts not all returned home. As in all Commonwealth Nations Remembrance services are held here every November 11th by local government officials, military, veterans and local citizens.
Written March 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RudySzymon
Chicago, IL1,273 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The church is in the center of the town next to old town. Area around the church is not accommodating for tourists, just the busy center of the town with no coffee shops or restaurants. We saw craft market few blocks away. Inside of the church mahogany trim, balconies and benches are beautiful. Too bad we did not come during mass, steel drum music performed there might be very interesting. Tourist are brought to the church and taken back after visit, what a lost opportunity. Looks like archdiocese decided to built new building very close to the church, in the future probably hiding part of the building.
Written March 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Clawboot
Rochester, NY300 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We visited on a Saturday and there were quite a few people in and around the Church. Lots of history and remarkable elements including the old pipe organ, very old altar and pews, ornate carvings, stained glass, and the outside cemetery. Make a contribution and say a prayer when you're there.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathryn M
40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Family
The stained glass windows and eagle pulpit are beautiful Unfortunately, many of the old graves have been destroyed or have deteriorated. If you go to church, it is interesting to attend the service. High Anglican with a mix of Jamaican music, It starts very early I think 7:30 and it is a long service. One highlight is the "Pans of Praise" a steel pan band that plays in the loft on two Sundays per month.
Written February 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JimboCanucks
Langley City, Canada523 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
Well worth the time to tour or attend church services here! The church was built almost 250 years ago and is very unique. Hand carved pews, wonderful stained glass & a unique organ.
Written November 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana T
Spencerville, OK135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
Take the time to tour or attend church services here! Built in 1775- awesome stained glass & hand carved mahogany pews.
Written August 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David A
Kennewick, WA7,332 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Couples
Posted from their webiste.

The foundation stone for the St. James Parish Church in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was laid on May 6, 1775. The building was opened for worship in 1782.
The eastern stained glass window was installed in 1911 in the Montego Bay, Jamaica, Parish Church.
To the left of the altar is a monument to Mrs. Rosa Palmer, known as "the good Mrs. Palmer" to distinguish her from a later Mrs. Palmer who is better known as "The White Witch of Rose Hall." The monument was carved by John Bacon in 1794.

My wife and I had a great time visiting this church. Just imagine. It was built one year prior to the United States gaining its independents in 1776.
Written May 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paju1452
Sulphur, LA488 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Hand carved pews from mahogany; beautiful stained glass windows; ornate organ; beautiful lecterns and altar. Great man there gave us a wonderful tour and explained all of the history of the church - really a beautiful place!
Written April 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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ST JAMES PARISH CHURCH (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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