A Legacy that Belongs to Everyone

The history of Jamaica has left memorable footprints across the landscape. Explore some of its most famous sites and learn about its hidden heritage gems..

Explore the map Read About our Heritage

A Heritage of Creativity

Explore the sites where Jamaica’s skilled builders, craftspeople, artists, and musicians left their mark.

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Cultural Richness and Diversity

Jamaica’s heritage captures the true meaning of “Out of Many One People” with its various meeting places for multicultural identity.

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Monuments and Protected National Heritage

Jamaica’s national monuments and protected national heritage ranges from great houses, forts, and churches to natural sites possessing outstanding aesthetic beauty.

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Discover the many fascinating traces of our shared history and culture on this interactive site.

Managed by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, this interactive site represents an ongoing project of inventorying every place of heritage significance in the country—and documenting the people, events, and memories embodied in each. Visit often to explore sites of both famous and hidden heritage—and watch the map grow!

The Jamaica National Inventory of Historic Places is the result of a cooperative initiative between the Government of Jamaica and the Organization of American States and was funded by the Permanent Mission of the United States to the Organization of American States.

The software powering the National Inventory is Arches, an open source heritage management system designed for built heritage by the Getty Conservation Institute and the World Monuments Fund. This Jamaica instance of Arches was installed by Legion GIS LLC. Branding, customization, and training was provided by Coherit Associates LLC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Jamaica National Heritage Trust?

The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) with a legal mandate to protect and preserve the nation's heritage. The organisation legally declares or designates places and objects of historical value as National Monuments or Protected National Heritage.The organisation had its genesis in the Jamaica National Trust Commission which was formed under Law No. 72 of 1958. In 1985 a new law was passed which changed the name of the organisation, enlarged its functions and widened its enforcement powers.

According to its legal mandate, the JNHT:

  • Provides technical advice to owners of heritage sites
  • Guides the development of heritage sites and buildings, through its Heritage Development Review Committee (HDRC)
  • Conducts archaeological and historical research
  • Provides archaeological and heritage impact assessments
  • Plans and executes heritage education programmes in schools and communities
  • Assists community groups in protecting their heritage through the establishment of Heritage Foundations
  • Provides information to the public on Jamaica's material cultural heritage
  • Conserves archaeological objects
  • Legally protects heritage sites and buildings

Read the full text of The 1985 Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act

What is a National Monument?

A national monument is any structure whose preservation, in the opinion of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, is a matter of public interest due to its historical, architectural, traditional, artistic, aesthetic, scientific, or archaeological significance. This includes any building, structure, object or other work of man or nature whether above or below the surface of the land or the floor of the sea within the territorial waters of the Island, or any area to be within the maritime resource jurisdiction, and any site, cave or excavation. When a structure is declared a national monument, a copy of the declaration is added to the registered title of the monument. National Monuments are subject to preservation orders to prevent the destruction, damage to the National Monument, or removal of the National Monument from the country.

What is Protected National Heritage?

Protected National Heritage is any place name, thing or any species of animal or plant life or any place or object which has not been declared a national monument, and yet which, in the opinion of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, merits legal protection. Protected National Heritage resources are also subject to preservation orders to prevent their destruction, damage to, or removal of the Protected National Heritage from the country.

What qualifies a place for official heritage recognition?

Sites listed for inclusion on the JNHT list of national monuments or protected national heritage, should:

  • Identify with Jamaica History;
  • Prominently identify with great Jamaicans;
  • Prominently identify with an important moment in Jamaica History;
  • Illustrate the culture of prehistoric people associated with archaeological discoveries;
  • Be an example of important regional or architectural style;
  • Identify with an architectural style related to an early master builder or architect;
  • Possess great antiquity;
  • Be of importance to the public’s imagination;
  • Possess great natural beauty;
  • Be a place name associated with the above criteria

Why Is It Important to Maintain an Inventory of Heritage Places?

Time, decay, and modern development are inevitable threats to the survival of places and traces of Jamaica’s past. And yet heritages places are a valuable resource that need to be identified and documented. Which are the places too significant to lose forever? And which are the places that should be remembered after they are gone. The goal is to provide a detailed record of significant sites across the country that are worth protecting or remembering—and passing on to generations yet to come.

How Can I nominate a Site via Jamaica Sites & Monuments.

A request to the JNHT to have a site declared a national monument or protected national heritage can be made by downloading and filling out an official registration form in PDF format or Word format and sending it by regular post or email to the headquarters of the JNHT.

The JNHT website administrator and technical officer will then evaluate the suggestion and where found prudent proceed to research and prepare the site for the consideration of the JNHT Declaration Committee.

Is there any incentive to owners of national monuments or protected national heritage?

Apart from the pride associated with being the owner of a site that has received national recognition as a site of importance; owners of national monuments and protected national heritage sites are entitled to a tax incentive. Owners can set off up to 75% of approved capital expenditure against income tax in year claim is made. Owners of national monuments and protected national heritage may also qualify for grant funding.

Contact Us

Jamaica National Heritage Trust

Headquarters House

79 Duke Street
Kingston, Jamaica W.I.
Telephone: (876) 922-1287-8 / 922-3990
Fax: (876) 967-1703 /967-0924
Email: jnht@jnht.com | webmaster@jnht.com

Seville Heritage Park

St. Ann's Bay P.O.
Jamaica W.I.
Telephone: (876) 972-2191
Fax: (876) 972-1919
Email: seville@jnht.com

Fort Charles

Telephone: (876) 967-8438
Cell: (876) 389-5156
Fax: (876) 967-8519
Email: fortcharles@jnht.com