I had been eager to find the Minard estate for some time, as I’d heard the great houses were fine examples of Georgian architecture. They sit a few miles inland from the north coast of Jamaica in St Ann. I’m still marveling at how much Highway 2000 has improved my life. A couple of years ago, getting to St Ann involved over 2.5 hours on a windy, pot holed, mountain road. Just getting to the north coast always required a degree of determination and a travel sickness pill. Now it takes less than an hour via the new toll road. Exploring Jammers has never been easier.
I was excited about finding the Minard and New Hope Estates. I knew they were among the earliest estates to be established in Brown’s Town, St. Ann. Ages ago I’d also read that George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire built a home at Minard before he and his family settled at Devon House. This place has history!
There are two great houses here – Minard Great House which was destroyed by fire in 1997 and now stands in ruins. I’ve seen loads of photos online of it but couldn’t find it. Though I only went as far as New Hope Great house. Maybe you need to go beyond there to reach it? There is also Hope Pastures (photo above). The track to reach the great house was about couple of km walk down a mostly shady lane, the dry stone walling and cattle grazing created a strangely English scene. Almost like taking a walk in the English countryside on a summer’s day.
In Runaway bay, turn inland off the north coast highway. The junction has traffic lights and is adjacent to some local shops. Then head uphill for a few minutes towards Brown’s Town. After a while, the gate to Minard is on the right as the road bends to the left.