Hanover Parish

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Hanover in Jamaica.svg
Locationlatitude 18°25'N,
longitude 78°08'W
Capital CityLucea
Bordering ParishesWestmoreland, Saint James
Area430 km2
RankJamaica's second smallest parish
Population68,000 in 2001
CommerceTourism, Agriculture,

Hanover (capital Lucea), is a parish located on the northwestern tip of the island of Jamaica. It is a part of the county of Cornwall, bordered by St. James in the east, and Westmoreland in the south. With the exception of Kingston, it is the smallest parish on the island. Hanover is the birth parish of The Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, one of Jamaica's seven National Heroes, a labour leader and first head of government after universal suffrage.

Brief history[edit]

Hanover was established on November 12, 1723, and named for the British monarch, George I, from the German House of Hanover. In the early colonial days, Lucea, the main town and port, was even busier than Montego Bay. By the mid-18th century, Lucea was the hub of an important sugar-growing region, and the town was prosperous as a sugar port and market centre. European Jews settled in the parish as merchants, store keepers, haberdashery, shoe makers and goldsmiths. It became a free port.

After abolition of slavery in 1834, the free people prospered, developing a variety of crops, and supplying produce to much of the rest of Jamaica. The harbour was used to export bananas until after the 1960s. A deep-water pier was built, but this has been restricted to the shipping of molasses, an important sugar product. In 1983, the port was closed. The historic Fort Charlotte stands at one side of the entrance to the harbour, but was never garrisoned.


Fort Charlotte The fort was built in 1761 for the defense of Lucea which at that time was in danger of attack by French raiders. The fort stands on a peninsula overlooking the bay.

Ruseas Campus II Alongside the fort is an impressive Georgian brick structure known as The Barracks, which was built in 1843 to provide shelter to the soldiers stationed there.

In the early 20th century it became the educational center for the town and has now been transformed to become part of the Rusea High School complex. In 1982 Rusea High School was merged with the Hanover Secondary School and is still known as the Rusea High School (Fort Charlotte).

Lucea Harbour The harbour is considered to be one of the best in the island. Although small, ships from Kingston and Montego Bay sought refuge there during the hurricane of 1951, as it was considered one of the safest harbours. It is almost completely cut off from the sea, only being connected by a narrow channel at its entrance.

Blenheim The birthplace of National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante, Blenheim is located four miles (6.4km) west of Lucea in the Hanover Hills.

Other notable tourist attractions are Lucea’s many historical sites that date back as far as the 18th century. Lucea Parish Church (the Parish Church of Hanover) is one of the oldest churches in Jamaica. Although no record of when it was first built exists the first baptism record dates back to 1725, the first burial was in 1727, and the first marriage in 1749. It is said that there is a tunnel that leads from the church to nearby Fort Charlotte, which was a safe haven in time of war. The Hanover Museum sits on the site of a prison dating back to 1776, and houses many historical artifacts significant to Hanover’s history.

Davis Cove One of the numerous coves in Hanover was notable and named by one of the prominent founding families of the area of 1600s.

Economic prospects With the completion of the Montego Bay to Negril leg of the North Coast Highway, economic activities in the parish has seen a steady increase. The 2000 room Fiesta Group hotel and the development of Dolphin Cove are expected to fuel a high level of economic growth in the parish over the next few years.

 Negril has grown over the last two decades to become one of Jamaica’s main tourism destinations (falling only behind Montego Bay and Ocho Rios). It boasts several small and large hotels, and is well represented by the two giants in the Jamaican Tourism Industry - Sandals and Super Clubs. The opening of the two Riu Hotels has also enhanced the tourism product in the parish. The standard bearers in EP hotels Round Hill and The Tryall Club continues their high levels of performance. 

Geography and demography[edit]

The capital town, Lucea is located at latitude 18°25'N, longitude 78°08'W. The parish has a mountainous terrain, with the coastline marked by coves and bays. Hanover covers an area of 450 km2. The highest point in the parish is the Dolphin's Head, which serves as a landmark for ships at sea. The parish has three small waterfalls, several coves, such as the Davis Cove, named after a prominent Hanover family, along its coastline and large caves. In the centre of Lucea stands a clock tower. Though it was installed in 1817, it is still fully functional.

The parish had an estimated 67,176 inhabitants in 1999, 5,739 of which live in its capital town. The large majority of the population is black (92.1%), with 0.8% whites, 3.7% Asians, 2.3% Latinos, and 2.1% identifying as other.

The Great River is the officially recorded river in Hanover. Its valley has been an important agricultural region.



Hanover is known for the production of yams, sugar cane, ginger, rice, pimento, turmeric, breadfruit and arrowroot. Hanover is celebrated for its fine breeds of cattle, and pigs and goats are raised.


Although Hanover is not one of Jamaica's major tourist areas, a tourist resort is situated in the village of Hopewell about 24 km (15 mi) east of Lucea. This area has several large hotels, including Round Hill and Tryall (noted for its golf course). There is also the Grand Palladium resort and spa in wastern Hanover and on the northern part of the Negril strip (which falls within Hanover not Westmoreland)[1] are the Grand Lido, Couples, Sandals, Negril cabins and beaches.[2]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ UK Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1:50,000 map of Jamaica sheet A, 1959
  2. ^ North Negril on Wikimapia

Coordinates: 18°25′01″N 78°07′59″W / 18.417°N 78.133°W / 18.417; -78.133