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“If you have an Interest in Colonial Jamaica, Greenwood is a Gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Greenwood Great House

Greenwood Great House
On Rte. A1 | 14 miles east of Montego Bay, Montego Bay, Jamaica
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Ranked #14 of 61 things to do in Montego Bay
Activities: Group tours/day tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home once belonging to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cousin, this home is now a museum that displays antique musical instruments and furniture.
Negril, Jamaica
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“If you have an Interest in Colonial Jamaica, Greenwood is a Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The Greenwood Great House is located 30 minutes east of the Montego Bay Airport,
on the St.James and Trelawny parish border. As if time stood still over the last 400 years,
this Great House deserves to be shared with everyone who has a love and an interest
in Jamaica's colonial past. It Chronicles the history of the Barrett Family, who were
British nobility.
This Great House served as the anchor for one of the largest, more productive plantation
on the island, with the old town of Falmouth as it port to ship its products.

The state, preservation and the completeness of the Greenwood Great house has to be
experienced to be appreciated or believed.
The amazing thing is that for a period before electricity, the Industrial Revolution comes
alive in this incredible place, where everything still works.

The current owners live on the compound and my tour guide was know legible, friendly,
and courteous.
This was truly a very pleasant memorable experience.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
jensen beach, florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best Greathouse”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Wow, this was really and experience. I had been to many great houses before, but this one is by far the best kept and has the most memorabilia from the Plantation era. The owners (who are also your hosts) are a teriffic couple with so much knowledge. It is not contrived and the view from upstairs to see the bend of the earth is truly amazing. My only complaint was that it was too short.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Going back in time...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Having known the previous owner, the late John Binns, many moons ago, and having a past association to this place before it was turned into a commercial enterprise, I was compelled to go there, whilst on my recent trip to Jamaica, to reconnect with past memories and to see what alterations, if any, had been made. In his day, Mr. Binns had converted the outer buildings into bungalows for rental; but they have since been reclaimed, and are now a part of the tour; in particular, the kitchen. The place, itself, is still every bit as intriguing as I remember it from my youth. With maturity, I was now able to see some of the objet d’art and antiquities with new eyes, and a fresh appreciation of their historical and artistic significance.

The old great-house, stands proudly on a hill, with a commanding view of the Caribbean, from its upper verandah. It was very hot, and somewhat stuffy, as we toured throughout the house, mid-afternoon (the wrong time of day to visit), but the sea breeze from the verandah, was oh so sweet! Needless to say, we spent quite a while there, drinking in the panoramic splendour from this vantage point, which is simply breathtaking, and getting rejuvenated by nature’s delightful air-conditioning.

Most of Greenwood’s eclectic contents are antiques of European origin, although there are a few pieces of Chinoiserie included throughout. As I recall, although a lot of the items originated from the Moulton-Barrett era, many pieces in the collection were acquisitions of the previous owner. Of the furniture, some of the period pieces are clever and unique in their design, provoking one’s curiosity and interest. In addition, it contains a vast array of museum-quality musical pieces. Many of these are still in working order, and the guide will play them for you. This assemblage, alone, would make a visit worthwhile if you are a music historian. There are also the requisite relics of the plantation era and slavery.

On the downside:

As a lover of art, this was the one component of the tour that I found lacking, and even somewhat confusing. Most of the paintings and prints are uninspiring, some bearing no relevance to the house’s heritage. For instance, there is an awful portrait of the current owner of the house, prominently displayed in one of the main salons, which I found to be very distracting, and it definitely detracted from all the historical pieces within. Rendered in a contemporary style, it stood out like a sore thumb!

The narration that the tour guide provided, although informative and educational, was obviously scripted, overly-rehearsed, and enunciated to an extreme excess; so much so, that it made her seem to appear robotic! My party and I discussed this afterwards, and concurred that her delivery, being so unnatural and over-the-top, actually made us cringe in discomfort at times…think of your reaction to really bad acting.

At the end of the tour, we were led back into the old kitchen, which is now treated as a reception area, as well as an adjoining area set up with tables and chairs for possible refreshments (?). To tell the truth, we never stuck around to find out, even though my friend had offered to treat us, because the lady of the house was in the midst of bickering, audibly, with her husband, and our known presence did not deter her rant. This I felt was very unprofessional and disrespectful of her. Not a good way for us to end the tour, since witnessing this embarrassing display left us all with a sour after-taste which lingered.

With that said, would I recommend this place? Probably yes. If you are a history buff, Greenwood is rich with it, and will illuminate you to a bygone era of Jamaica in its heyday of sugar production, when the plantation owners lived in grandeur, and slavery existed. However, I feel that, starting from the very top, the people there need to re-examine how they appear to their patrons. Were it not for this factor, the attraction would have received the top rating from me!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Elizabeth Barrett Browning”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

As an English teacher, I found this to be simply fascinating. I sat on an old bench for a little while and wondered how peaceful it must have been for her to construct some of the most beautiful poetry here...

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales uk
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Greenwood Greathouse, and fabulous trip to Kingston (driver Ashton)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

This year we had a brilliant trip to Negril, it being our 8th visit. We've previously done all of the 'touristy' excursions and wanted something different. I met a guy called Ashton on last year's trip who took me to the Cambio - he was a real gent! I kept his card and decided to use him this trip. I rang him and he quoted me a brilliant price to go to Greenwood Great House. We also took a trip around Montego Bay and Falmouth. That was a great day out. We then arranged to go to Kingston a couple of days later. As promised Ashton picked us up at 8 a.m. prompt and off we set in his van, which is clean and comfortable. Ashton's knowledge of the surrounding areas is truly impressive. We went through the mountains and had numerous 'comfort breaks' - we visited Trench Town, Studio One, The Bob Marley Museum, The National Sport Stadium and Devon House. Ashton showed us places of interest along the way, making it a fantastic trip all round. He also took us to his family's Fine Furniture Business where we were introduced to his Aunt. I cannot recommend Ashton highly enough; not only is he a really nice guy, his prices are so reasonable and we felt completely safe at all times. Needless to say, we will use Ashton on all future trips! Check him out on his website Artconcepent.tours@yahoo.com

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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