This excursion was called - A Heartbeat of Jamaica - Discover Falmouth
Tour duration: 3-1/2 hours
Tour historic Falmouth, including St. Peter's Anglican Church and William Knibb Baptist Church. Visit a rural school, interact with the children and proceed to an 18th century estate by the Martha Brea River. You have the opportunity to taste fruit juice, jerk chicken, fresh fruits, sweet bread with cheese, sugar cane and Jamaica's famous rum.
After being loaded unto a bus and then waiting while one lost party for the tour was found, we set off for our adventure.
Let me say the shops by the port for the ship are all bright and shiny, but you drive two blocks away from that port and the world changes. Things are not bright and shiny anymore, unless you count the corrugated tin that is used for roofs.
First stop William Knibb Baptist Church, herded off the bus with three other bus loads of tourists, my patience was starting to wear a little thin. I was beginning to have a bad attitude about this whole trip, and then I stepped into the church…
William Knibb Baptist Church
The first chapel built in 1831 and was destroyed in 1832. The church replaced the chapel in 1836 was demolished by a hurricane in August 1944, after which the present structure was built, incorporating material from the 19th century church.
The English Baptist minister William Knibb (1803-1845) arrived as a missionary in Jamaica on November 5, 1824 with his new wife, Mary Watkins. Originally sailing to replace his brother as a missionary and schoolmaster, Knibb worked at the Baptist mission school in Kingston before moving to Falmouth. In March of 1830, Knibb arrived in Falmouth with his wife and two children to assume the responsibilities of minister at the Baptist church.
There was a talk being presented while we were sitting in the pews.
|Photo credit: Glen Huizenga|
|Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga|
Best known as an advocate for abolition, Knibb often defended black slaves' rights. In January of 1832, Knibb used the Falmouth Baptist chapel as a barracks for the St. Ann's regiment during the Great Jamaican Slave Revolt. The Revolt, led by a slave named Samuel Sharpe, encouraged as many as 60,000 of Jamaica's 300,000 enslaved people to rebel. Magistrates and officers of the militia suppressed the events. As the militia prepared to leave Falmouth on February 7, Mr. John W. Gaynor, a magistrate and ensign, Adjutant Samuel Tucker and the Colonial Church Union encourage their men to demolish the chapel, making it one among many across the island destroyed after aiding the insurrection of the slaves.
I knew we had one more church to visit so my attitude had improved greatly after being at this first one. I prayed the second one would be just as good.
St. Peter's Anglican Church
The original church was completed in 1796. The contract to build an Anglican church was awarded to William Danny in 1791 for of 9,000 pounds. Danny's requirements in the contract were to build a church with wall three feet thick and twenty feet high, with accommodations for 300 people, and using the best white limestone available. Danny was to complete the church in 18 months.
As all construction projects go, this one didn't quite stick to that timeline, but once you see all the glorious detail inside you can see why it took longer than 18 months.
I couldn't find any information on the stained glass windows.
The pews are original from 1796.
Stairs to the balcony, where my darling husband was shooting.
Work is being done on the Clock Tower.
The original contract and church specifications did not include plans for a clock tower and on June 29, 1796, the church wardens were charged with seeking someone to "erect a sufficient Belfry for suspending the Town Bell and Clock and pay the expenses thereof." Within the year, a sixty-foot tower was constructed and three bells along with an eight-day, three-dialed clock were installed. Two years later, in 1798, Messrs. Burmingham and Robertson were paid 750 pounds to build a dome or cupola atop the belfry to protect the clock tower and clock devices from the rain.
That's a wrap for the churches. I could have easily stayed all morning at either one of them, so many beautiful details.
I will do the school and the 18th Century Estate in a separate post.
Joining Helen for Weekend Walks