There are lots of historical sites in the world, one such site is a beautiful and elegant great house called Halse Hall. Halse Hall is a prestigious great house that is situated in Clarendon, Jamaica. Started by the Spanish, who named it Hato de Buena Vista, meaning ‘Ranch of the beautiful view’?
In 1655, following the English capture of Jamaica the site was given to Major Thomas Halse who came from Barbados with Penn and Venables. The house had thick walls and served as the centre of the estate and a rallying point for defence.
On the site, Halse raised hogs, grazed cattle and built a house of thick walls. The house served as the centre of his estate and a rallying point for defence.
At the time of Thomas Halse death in 1702, the Great House was just a single-storey building. By the late 1740s the building was owned by his son, Francis Saddler Halse, who developed the property into a more imposing and beautiful two-storey structure.
Perhaps the most distinguished owner of the property was Thomas Henry de la Beche, an English geologist who founded the geological survey of Great Britain Royal School of Mines and Mining Record Office and wrote Remarks on the Geology of Jamaica.
Clarendon was named in honour of the celebrated Lord Clarendon, Sir Edward Hyde, and Earl of Clarendon. The parish was formed from a combination of three parishes: St. Dorothy’s, Vere and the old parish of Clarendon.
Before the merger, the capital was Chapelton. The current capital, May Pen, was established as a plantation settlement by the British between 1660 and 1683 on a crossing point of the Rio Minho River.
The great house flourished and at the death of Francis Sadler Halse in 1750, the estate passed to his wife Janet. She lived until 1775 when Halse Hall became the property of her grandson, Thomas beach the 2nd. He later assumed the ancient family name of de La Beache and in 1801 his son Thomas Henry de La Beache, became owner of Halse Hall plantation and the great house.
It has been restored and furnished in period style by Alcoa. It is used for functions and to accommodate visiting V.I.P’s. The great house came into the possession of the Jamalco Bauxite Company, now responsible for maintaining the ever-expanding manor, its vast grounds and its lily pond which takes centre stage on the front lawn.
Even though it is a heritage site, Jamalco has continued Halse Hall’s 400-year history of housing guests in fine style, by building new living quarters for its many overnight visitors. Jamaica is a beautiful place with lots of wonderful sceneries, no wonder it has so many tourist visiting yearly, the sites are breath taking, a place to vacation with family and friends.
Halse Hall is one such place to be, situated on the summit of Portland Ridge, the tower of this lighthouse is an open framed steel structure – 132 feet (40.23m) high. The beacon light is a revolving white light which gives off two flashes, in quick succession, every 15 seconds.