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St. Andrew Parish Courthouse Jamaica

The St. Andrew Parish Courthouse is located in Half Way Tree and is popularly referred to as the Half Way Tree Courthouse. Built in 1807, this Georgian style building has louvered windows and a closed verandah.

It was damaged in a storm and repaired in 1882, then repaired several times after. Miraculously, it escaped damage in the 1907 earthquake.

St. Andrew Courthouse Jamaica

St. Andrew Parish Courthouse Jamaica

The Courthouse was the setting for the trial of Alexander Bedward (1859-1930), a preacher and a Black Nationalist after whom the Revival movement, Bedwardism, the Jamaica Native Baptist Free Church, was named. Bedward spoke out against the government and was arrested and tried for sedition. He was committed to the mental asylum at Bellevue, where he died.

The St. Andrew Parish Courthouse was listed by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust on their register of historic sites in 1957 and declared a national monument in 1985.

This is a elegant building that I hope the Jamaican National Heritage Trust will restore and make it open to the public once again. In this part of Kingston, there are several other historic buildings including the St. Andrew Parish Church, which is just next door to the Courthouse.

The St. Andrew Parish Church was founded in 1666, just after the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1665, making it one of the oldest on the island. (More on the St. Andrew Parish Church in a later post.)

 The Secretariat

Another example of Georgian-style architecture is the Secretariat at King’s House.

The Secretariat, King's House, Jamaica

The Secretariat, King’s House, Jamaica

This building is now used as an office.

This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.



  1. I love the architecture and not what I would expect at all for a courthouse.
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  2. Now if I had to go into an office I’d be happy to have it in The Secretariat building but I might spend more time outside enjoying the garden.
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  3. I love island architecture! It is so beautiful and different . I would love to visit both on a trip to Jamaica.
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  4. Vera Marie Badertscher

    Your photos are providing me with an education on Jamaican architecture. Keep ’em coming.
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  5. Hahaha, I agree, Leigh! It is a more pleasing environment but it’d be difficult to stay indoors.

  6. It is definitely an unusual design for a courthouse — and a bit small.
    But I’m sure then there were only a few cases that made it to trial.

  7. Thanks, Vera. I will!

  8. Let me know when you’re ready, Debbie!

  9. I hope they restore the courthouse so it looks like the secretariat building. A worthwhile project.
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  10. I hope so too, Narelle. It’s a beautiful building that needs to be restored.

  11. What a cool building AND a great history lesson.

  12. Beautiful building and a wonderful and unique architecture. Pretty fancy for a courthouse. It’s too bad they haven’t restored it and opened it to the public and it’s too bad for being a national monument.
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  13. Wenie Langacre says:

    The architectural design is different but I admit, it’s really beautiful from the outside view, I guess, the inside is great too.
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  14. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if the Courthouse was restored. The Secretariat looks great and hopefully, one day, the Courthouse will too.
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  15. The Secretariat is beautiful with the view of the garden in the front. Very interesting architecture!
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  16. There’s something about old court houses, I think. Justice wasn’t always carried out in the past, was it…
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  17. Jackie Smith

    Oh Marcia, your posts are always so interesting and filled with good photos and information. I look forward to each visit to your site. . .and one of these days I will also look forward to a visit to Jamaica!
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  18. They’re definitely both very cool looking buildings. Those giant wrap around porches are one of my wife’s favorite things. Maybe we should move to Jamaica and start restoring old buildings?
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  19. I wish we had courthouses here also which looks like that. Really nice!
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  20. I wish too, especially because they were designed to let in as much air as possible. It is way more efficient than using air conditioners.

  21. Not a bad idea, Steve!
    We used to have a wrap around porch at the house I grew up in. I used to love sitting there, especially in the afternoons.

  22. Thanks, Jackie. I’m glad you find them interesting and informative.
    I hope you’ll let me know when you plan to visit so that I can show you around.

  23. Sometimes not in the present either. But you’re right: there is something about old courthouses. Probably the memories and emotions they hold.

  24. It sure is, Sabrina. I wouldn’t mind living or working in a building like it.

  25. I agree, Jenny. I’d love to see it look like the Secretariat.

  26. Thanks, Cindy. Glad you think so.

  27. It definitely is, Mary. I’m hoping that they will restore it one more time and open it to the public. It’s badly needs to be refurbished.

  28. What wonderful architecture! Always a pleasure to peek into your beautiful world :)
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  29. Thanks, Arti! Glad you like this.

  30. Wonderful shot… I love the roof. 😉
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  31. Thanks, glad you like it, Elizabeth.

  32. I wish we could have gone inside for a tour but unfortunately, we weren’t able to.

  33. Absolutely love island architecture too! Jamaica –I’ve never been but am dying to.
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  34. Thanks, Charu. Hope you get to soon.