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!

26 comments on “Travel Photo Thursday: Firefly Estate

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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