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Travel Photo Thursday: Firefly Estate

Firefly was the name British author, Sir Noel Coward gave to his vacation home in Jamaica. Located on the north east coast of the island in the parish of St. Mary, Firefly was once owned by the pirate and former Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, Sir Henry Morgan, who is said to have used it as a lookout — the property has a commanding view of the harbor.

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly Estate

Coward's View: Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly Estate

View from Firefly Estate

View from Firefly Estate

Firefly Estate

Firefly Estate

Coward hosted many dignitaries at Firefly including, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Sir Laurence Olivier, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Sophia Lauren, Alec Guinness. He also entertained his neighbors Ian Fleming, Errol Flynn and Ruth Bryan Owen.

Of the time he spent at Firefly, Coward wrote in his diary, “Firefly has given me the most valuable benison of all: time to read and write and think and get my mind in order.” “I love this place, it deeply enchants me. Whatever happens to this silly world, nothing much is likely to happen here.”

He believe writing came easier when he was here, “the sentences seemed to construct themselves, the right adjectives appeared discretely at the right moment. Firefly has magic for me. . . .”.

Written on one of its walls were the first lines of his last poem, When I have fears, as Keats had fears, Of the moment I’ll cease to be, I console myself with vanished years, Remembered laughter, remembered tears, And the peace of the changing sea.

On March 26, 1973, Sir Noel Coward died of a heart attack at Firefly. He was 74 years old. He was buried in his garden at the estate.

Firefly was designated a National Heritage Site by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. It is now a museum dedicated to the author.

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!


  1. Great photos 🙂
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Hitomi Yaida – Te to NamidaMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Muza-chan!

  3. Hard not to be inspired at a location like that. I wonder nowadays which cultural icons (writers, artists) entertain the Queen and other dignitaries.
    Lovely post.
    Leigh recently posted..A Visit to the Ahlambra Palace in Granada, Spain in PhotosMy Profile

  4. Pretty photos, and great history!
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Side Trip: Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, CaliforniaMy Profile

  5. What a beautiful estate! Views of the ocean like these are just unbeatable.
    Sabrina recently posted..The Coca-Cola Museum in AtlantaMy Profile

  6. Easy Hiker

    Very interesting. I knew he lived in Jamaica from time to time but didn’t know he had this special place that he even gave a name to
    Easy Hiker recently posted..Want To Join A Paris Hiking Group?My Profile

  7. These pictures certainly show why Firefly enchanted him! Stunningly beautiful is all I can say.
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted..Nagy: A Hungarian Hero in BudapestMy Profile

  8. Cathy Sweeney

    i can see why Coward was so enchanted with the place — gorgeous! Love the statue.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Lone Sailor’s ViewMy Profile

  9. Cool to read this. I’ll be reading more here on Jamaica- just had a new friend from USA staying, she grew up in Jamaica!
    Jim recently posted..Kolkata Cemetery: Travel Photo Thursday.My Profile

  10. I like this post. The photos made me want to go there.
    Otto von Münchow recently posted..Small Steps toward the Big GoalMy Profile

  11. What a gorgeous view! You know, I grew up around an ocean, and even though most people would love to be right next to it, I prefer looking down on it from above (and its much safer, too). I would love to have been invited to dinner here.
    Sherry recently posted..“Playing with Endangered Sea Turtles”My Profile

  12. wow- I would love to look outside and see this view!
    jade recently posted..Street Art in Aspen?My Profile

  13. Enchanting indeed.

    I love a view where you can see the sky – expansive.
    Narelle recently posted..conscientious consumersMy Profile

  14. It is absolutely beautiful even on a cloudy day.

  15. So would I! It’s just breathtaking and so peaceful there.

  16. Me too! I can only imagine what it must have been like there. Just next to the house is the helipad – no longer in use.
    I love being near the ocean but I prefer looking down at it myself.

  17. Thanks, Otto. And thanks for stopping by.
    Glad my photos make you want to go to Firefly.

  18. I agree. Especially when you consider what the weather in England must have been like then.
    It’s a beautiful and serene place, perfect for writing.

  19. Glad you like this, Jim.
    Nice to hear about your new friend with the Jamaican connection.

  20. Thanks, Michael!

  21. It’s the perfect place for writing and just being. And so far from the cold and dreariness of London – at least, back then.

  22. Yes, he did. And what a place!

  23. They sure are, Sabrina. I wish I woke up to this view everyday!

  24. Hmmm, that’s a good question. With all the security precautions these day, I doubt very few can.
    Oh, for the good ole days!

  25. totsymae1011

    That is very well a peaceful place. Lovely photos. I could use a trip there myself. It easy to sense the tranquility by reading his words and the photos confirm that feeling.
    totsymae1011 recently posted..Herman Cain Sausage Scare ToonMy Profile

  26. Yes, it is so peaceful there and when the wind blows off the sea, it’s just beautiful. It’s easy to be inspired there.