• Celebrating Jamaica50 - Colbeck Castle, St Catherine
  • Celebrating Jamaica50 - Colbeck Castle, St Catherine
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Celebrating Jamaica50 - Colbeck Castle, St Catherine

THE air of mystery surrounding the 40-feet high castle ruins on the outskirts of Old Harbour is what makes Colbeck Castle alluring.

The imposing edifice finds itself a tad outside of the community of Colbeck in the midst of a densely grown area. It is especially impressive as the largest of its kind in Jamaica, as it is in a region where castles aren't exactly a dime a dozen.

It is slightly unnerving to see a massive red brick and stone structure, built in the style of 17th century Italian mansions, like the one's fabled in history simply standing in the open space in St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

However, it is said that Colbeck Castle was fashioned soon after the British wrestled Jamaica from the hands of the Spanish and as such was built for protection against future Spanish assaults.

The Colbeck Castle is so named after its supposed owner, a member of the British forces, Colonel John Colbeck, who settled down in Jamaica until 1682. It is because of this that some think that the rectangular four-storey castle might have been used as a residence.

It was declared a national monument in 1990 to honour its uniqueness as one of the few of such structures in Jamaica.

Subsequently, the castle and surrounding areas was explored in detail in 2007 and archaeologists uncovered remnants of Taino, Spanish as well as African artifacts.

Colbeck Castle stands tall in the historic city of Old Harbour as a perfect example of our 'pepperpot' history. It holds a bit of the Spanish in that it was built to defend against them soon after they were forced out by the English forces whose Colonel it is named after and maybe even a bit of African as artifacts found in and around it pointed towards.

— Yakum Fitz-Henley