Sunday, May 13, 2018

Pedro St. James Castle

Pedro St. James Castle
     At the invitation of Walker Romanica and Nelson Delbert of Cayman Spirits, Marta and I made the journey to the Pedro St. James Castle in Savannah Township.  This is a historic site here on Grand Cayman that we haven't heard of in all of our visits, but well worth seeing.    Built in 1780, it has a history that spans 238 years, the great house, the home of plantation owner William Eden, is Cayman's oldest stone structure and the island's only remaining late-18th-century residence .

Marta and the Friendly Cat on the Swing
     The Great House, in its capacity as courthouse and jail, it was the birthplace of Caymanian democracy, where in December 1831, the first elected parliament was organized and in 1835 the Slavery Abolition Act signed. The structure still has original or historically accurate replicas of sweeping verandas, mahogany floors, rough-hewn wide-beam ceilings, outside louvers, stone and oxblood- or mustard-color lime-wash-painted walls, brass fixtures, and Georgian furnishings from tea caddies to canopy beds to commodes. Paying obsessive attention to detail, the curators even fill glasses with faux wine.

      The mini-museum also includes a hodgepodge of displays from slave emancipation to old stamps.
Old Pre-restoration Picture
The buildings are surrounded by 8 acres of natural parks and woodlands. You can stroll through landscaping of native Caymanian flora and experience one of the most spectacular views on the island from atop the dramatic Great Pedro Bluff.  The poignant Hurricane Ivan Memorial outside uses text, images, and symbols to represent important aspects of the 2004 disaster.

Old Cayman Kitchen
Cactus Garden in Front of the Great House

The View of the Cayman Trench From the Pedro Castle Bluff