Falmouth - Chief Town and Capital of the Parish of Trelawny Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica

At approximately 4 hours drive west from Rainforest Adventures in Mystic Mountain, Ocho Rios, you can visit Falmouth, the chief town and capital of the parish of Trelawny in Jamaica. This town is noted for being one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns, as well as the famous Port of Falmouth which is 59 miles from Ocho Rios.

Origin of Trelawny

Trelawny was originally a part of the parish of St. James. In 1733, a bill was presented to the Assembly of Jamaica, the first bill proposing to divide the parish into two separate parishes. That time, the opposition against the bill was so amazing, and after only one day of debate in the Assembly, the bill was rejected and was not endorsed. This was due to the refusal of Major General Hunter, the then governor.

Governor Hunter did not perceive the division of St. James at the behest of certain members of the parish to be a reflection of the general political will of the colony. General Hunter was an accomplished military figure, as denoted by his title. However, the promoters of the bill probably perceived him as less proficient being a colonial administrator.

In 1770, an act of the Assembly of Jamaica paved way for the formation of the parish of Trelawny. The then governor, Sir William Trelawney, was the one to sign the momentous act on the 29th of December in the same year. To show their gratitude to Sir William Trelawney who was born in the same parish, the parishioners decided to name the parish after him, as they had been lobbying the Assembly for their own parish since the early part of the 18th Century -- and achieving success was made possible through the backing of the governor. However, due to the eagerness of the parishioners, an error was made and the letter 'e' was dropped, resulting to the name of the parish being “Trelawny”. This missing letter has never been corrected since then.

Short History of Falmouth

Falmouth was named after Falmouth, Cornwall in England. The town was meticulously planned from the start, with wide streets in a regular grid, adequate water supply, and public buildings. It even had piped water before New York City!

The town of Falmouth was founded by Thomas Reid in 1769. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Jamaica was the leading sugar producer of the world, and this makes Falmouth flourished as a market center and port for forty years. Being one of the busiest ports in Jamaica, a rich racial mix of masons, carpenters, tavern-keepers, mariners, planters and others made home in Falmouth, a wealthy town in a wealthy parish. This was the heyday of King Sugar, and nearly a hundred sugar plantations were active in the manufacture and export of sugar and rum to Britain.

St. Peter's Anglican Church Falmouth Courthouse
Images: St. Peter's Anglican Church (left) and the Falmouth Courthouse (right).

The Historic Architecture of Falmouth

There is a number of historic buildings in Falmouth, and the most interesting ones are those in the Jamaican Gregorian architectural style. These buildings are in need of preservation and restoration, and a US-based non-profit organization has taken interest in this work, the Falmouth Heritage Renewal. Buildings of note include:

  • Falmouth Court House - a Georgian design building erected in 1815; well proportioned with seemingly vertical and horizontal grads crossing the building and includes fanlights, shingled walls and jalousies; rebuilt after being razed by fire in 1926; and numbered among the first official buildings in the town.
  • St. Peter's Anglican Church - one of the largest church in Jamaica, with supporting columns of solid mahogany and floor inlaid with crosses of mahoe and mahogany.
  • Falmouth All-Age School - housed in a former army barracks, Fort Balcarres.
  • Greenwood Great House - once belonged to the Barretts of Wimpole Street, London, now houses the largest collection of rare musical instruments in Jamaica.

Greenwood Great House  Falmouth Port
Images: Greenwood Great House (left) and Falmouth Port (right).

The Port of Falmouth

The historic town of Falmouth was situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The town has the first-ever thematic cruise port, a convenient gateway for guests to embark on exhilarating land experiences in the north coast of Jamaica.

Located 18 miles east of Montego Bay and 59 miles west of Ocho Rios, the Port of Falmouth has an excellent location and an ability to host post-Panamax vessels, many of which make the Caribbean their year-round home. Thus, there are cruise ship calls year-round hosted by the port.

The cruise ships that are frequently stopping by the Port of Falmouth in Trelawny Jamaica are the following:

Carnival Cruises

  • Carnival Breeze
  • Carnival Destiny
  • Carnival Freedom
  • Carnival Valor

Celebrity Cruises

  • Celebrity Constellation
  • Celebrity Millennium
  • Celebrity Silhouette

Holland America (HAL)

  • HAL Maasdam
  • HAL Nieuw Amsterdam
  • HAL Ryndam

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

  • NCL Norwegian Sun

Regent Seven Seas

  • Seven Seas Voyager

Royal Caribbean (RCL)

  • Allure of the Seas
  • Freedom of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas


  • Seabourn Pride

SeaDream Yacht Club

  • SeaDream II


  • Silver Cloud

Swan Hellenic

  • MV Minerva

Voyager of the Seas (Royal Caribbean Cruises) Falmouth Port

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