Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica

Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica

Saint Mary is a parish located in the northeast section of Jamaica. It is one of Jamaica's smallest parishes, located in the county of Middlesex. Its chief town and capital is Port Maria, located on the coast. It is also the birthplace of established dancehall reggae artists, such as Capleton, Lady Saw, Ninja Man, Sizzla and Tanya Stephens.

Brief history

There are a few traces of Taíno/Arawak presence in the parish. Saint Mary was also one of the first sections of the island to be occupied by the Spaniards. Puerto Santa Maria, later Port Maria, was the second town the Spaniards built on the island. In 1655, after the English captured Jamaica from the Spanish, the area around the north coast town of Santa Maria became known as St. Mary, with the chief town called Port Maria.

There are indications of strong resistance to slavery in the parish. The Easter Rebellion led by Tacky in 1760 and the existence of the Maroons at Scotts Hall showed that the parish was one of the most active in the fights for freedom. Its present size was determined in 1867, when the parish of Metcalfe was merged with St Mary.


St. Mary is located at latitude 18°09'N, longitude 77°03'W. It is bordered by Portland in the east, St. Ann in the west, and parts of St. Catherine and St. Andrew in the south.The parish covers an area of 610 km², making it Jamaica's fifth smallest parish. The terrain is mountainous, rising up to almost 4000 feet at the highest point, but there are no distinctive mountain ranges. The climate is varied, like most parishes on the island. The eastern section of the parish has shale rock and an intricate surface draining pattern, while the western section is limestone with predominantly underground rivers. There are three main rivers in Saint Mary; the ofsurrounding area.damion williams


The parish has a good variety of agricultural resources. The principal products are bananas, sugar, citrus, pimento, cocoa, coconuts, coffee, vegetables, breadfruit and anatto. Pastoralism is also practised. In recent years, however, agriculture has been on the decline, which may be due to the problems that Jamaican banana export has been facing. There is also a lack of investment and praedial larceny at varying levels.

The parish, for several years, has been listed as one of the poorest in Jamaica, althouth there is potential for vast development. It boasts what is thought by some to be one of the best secondary level schools in the nation, St. Mary High, from which several outstanding people have come. They occupy several reputable positions in varying sectors both at home and overseas.

Essential services includes banking and postal services. Tourism is a relatively small sector in the parish.


* [ Parish Information]
* [ The Statistical Institute of Jamaica]
* [ Political Geography]
* [ St Mary info]
* [ St Mary Strategic Plan]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica — Saint Ann, (capital, Saint Ann s Bay) is the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called the Garden …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica — Saint Andrew (capital Half Way Tree) is a parish, situated in the southeast of Jamaica in the county of Surrey. It lies north of Kingston, stretches into the Blue Mountains and at the 2001 census had the highest population of all the parishes in… …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica — St Catherine (capital Spanish Town) is a suburban parish located in the south east of Jamaica. It is located in the county of Middlesex, and is the island s largest and most economically valued parish because of its many resources. It includes… …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Mary Parish — can refer to different parishes of the same name:*Saint Mary Parish, Antigua and Barbuda *Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, one of the 14 parishes that make up the country of Jamaica *Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana, a parish located in the U.S. State of… …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Mary Parish — Saint Mary Hauptstadt Port Maria County Middlesex Große Städte Highgate, Annotto Bay, Oracabessa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Saint Mary's — Saint Mary, St. Mary s, St. Marys or St. Maries is the name of:PlacesIn Australia* St Marys, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * North St Marys, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * St. Marys, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide * St Marys,… …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Mary's College — Contents 1 Australia 2 Canada 3 India 4 Ireland …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Ann Parish — Saint Ann Hauptstadt Saint Ann’s Bay County Middlesex Große Städte Ocho Rios, Browns Town, Runaway Bay, Claremont …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Saint Catherine Parish — Saint Catherine Hauptstadt Spanish Town County Middlesex Große Städte Portmore, Old Harbour, Linste …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Saint James Parish — Saint James Hauptstadt Montego Bay County Cornwall Große Städte Adelphi, Cambridge, Montpellier, Catadupa, Fairfield …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”