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The town of Mandeville, Jamaica which sits on top of the Manchester Plateau at an elevation of 2,061ft. has a cool climate which is health giving. It was founded in the early 1800s by the then Governor of Jamaica  who out of existing parishes created the parish of Manchester. The capital town was named after his son, Lord Mandeville. The oldest buildings were layed out as early as 1814 along with a village green. The town center has a typical English look which many say is the closest thing to England. Mandeville has grown over the years from being the sixteenth largest town in Jamaica to presently being the fifth largest urban center.  

View of Mandeville

Mandeville Village Green

In British days Mandeville was a hill station, to which the colonial authorities would retreat in the heat of summer (in those days nobody lay on the beach because the heat was thought to be degenerative). It was even laid out like a village green, with the Georgian courthouse and Parish church standing opposite each other across the open square, though they stand rather oddly aloof among the chaos of the Mandeville market.

The area around the town is called the "feeding tree" (the Jamaica equivalent of breadbasket) because of all the cultivation; there are countless roadside stalls selling oranges and strings or bags of whatever fruits are in season. In the 1950s the area suddenly became the center of the Jamaica bauxite industry, but the town still has a stately air and many Jamaicans have returned from abroad and built themselves retirement homes.

Hills of Mandeville

The most impresive aproach to Mandeville is from the plains of St. Elizabeth to the west, along the hairpin turns of the  mainroad up Spur Tree Hill, climbing the May Day Mountains, a plateau on which the town is located. Many of the summits of the rounded karstic hills which surround Mandeville are occupied by fine residences in spacious gardens.


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