Hanover is Jamaica’s second smallest parish after Kingston & St. Andrew. It was created out of the neighboring parishes of Westmoreland and St. James on November 12, 1793.
Hanover got its name for George I, who was from the House of Hanover. Lucea, its capital has been known as Sant Lucea, St. Lucia, and St. Lucea.
There’s an interesting story about Lucea and its clock tower. According to the story, Germany gave a clock to the people of the island of St. Lucia. Unfortunately for the St. Lucians, the captain of the ship that was taking the clock from Germany confused the name and landed it in Lucea instead.
Hanoverians loved the clock, which was designed to resemble the helmet worn by the German Royal Guard (the one they had ordered was more modest) and refused to give it to the St. Lucians. They took up a subscription to make up for the difference in cost and a German landowner paid for the tower.
Hanover not only has an interesting history with place names, it also has some unusual place names. Animal Hills is home to the Deer, Lamb and Hoggs families, and Blenheim, after the town in Bavaria, was the birthplace of Jamaica’s first Prime Minister and National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante.
In addition to Sir Alexander, Hanover also produced The Most Honorable Percival “P.J.” Patterson, Jamaica’s sixth prime minister.
It’s likely that if you visit Montego Bay, you probably visited Hanover without even knowing it. Two of the island’s luxury properties, Tryall Beach and Country Club, where the Johnnie Walker Golf Tournament was held from 1991-5, and Round Hill Hotel are located there.
So what’s there to see in Hanover?
Lethe Estates: Located in Lethe, about an hour from Montego Bay, Lethe Estate has a botanical garden, and mini-zoo and offers zipline canopy tours of a banana plantation nearby. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and reservations.
Great River Rafting: Also located in Lethe is the Great River one of Hanover’s seven rivers. A one-hour ride on a bamboo raft will show you the rich flora and fauna of the area and leave you relaxed and refreshed.
Belvedere Estate: This 1,000-acre estate produced sugar, rum and molasses for export to England and the United States. It is now offers daily tours of the estate, which includes an old sugar mill a citrus plantation and herb farm.
Fort Charlotte: Built in 1745, Lucea Fort was renamed in 1778 in honor of George II’s Queen Charlotte in 1778.
Hanover Museum: Housed in part of the Hanover Workhouse (prison), which dates back to the 1770s, the Hanover Museum tells the story of the parish through storyboards, memorabilia and artifacts donated by its citizens or purchased through grants. The museum is located on Watson Taylor Drive, Lucea.