The town of Flagstaff is located on the northwestern boundary of the Cockpit Country, approximately a one-hour drive from Montego Bay, and is the original site of one of the earliest Maroon settlements. With a population of only 1100, Flagstaff’s namesake was derived from the British military units, who positioned their flags on high points that could be seen by garrisons in the neighbouring Falmouth. The community is celebrated for its unparalleled history, culture and biodiversity. It is also home to The Flagstaff Heritage Tour & Trails.
Situated in the heart of the Cockpit Country, Accompong is one of the most historically important town centers in the region. It was here that a treaty was signed between the British and the Maroons, granting the latter semi-sovereignty over the area. Often described as a nation within a nation, the 1739 treaty still stands and an elected colonel oversees Accompong’s affairs to this day.
Home to the acclaimed Windsor Research Center, Windsor is a small community cradled in a narrow valley surrounded by towering cliffs. It lies at the farthest point within the Cockpit Country and displays the natural beauty of Jamaica’s interior in its fullest expression. Despite its isolated location, Windsor is the most visited settlement in the region. It is well-known for the Windsor Great Cave, a location popular for its geological majesty, history, and animal life.
The enigmatic little town of Wait-A-Bit in Trelawny is located at the edge of the Cockpit Country and is home to the Forestry Department regional office, the Cockpit Country Discovery Centre and the first Cockpit Country Local Forest Management Committee office and gift shop. It is also a major gateway to the Cockpit County yam-producing belt. The area borrows its namesake from the wait-a-bit thorn, a plant said to have been brought to the island by African slaves. In Africa, this hardy thorn is often used for hedges to protect against wild animals.
Nestled in the hills of Trelawny, Sherwood Content is an oasis of breathtaking beauty and natural bounty. It is also the birthplace of the world’s fastest man, Olympian gold medalist Usain Bolt, who made the local yam harvest something of a phenomenon when he attributed his physical prowess to this childhood diet. Consequently, there has been an unprecedented increase in yam demand from both the local community and beyond.
The Cockpit Country is made up of several distinct communities, each of which offers a unique window onto Jamaican culture. Some of the main regions include, Accompong, Flagstaff, Windsor, Wait-A-Bit/Litchfield, and Sherwood Content. Many of these centers are located close to the Cockpit interior, while others can be reached via a 2-3 hour drive.
Floyd Palmer, Wood Carver Wood carver Floyd Palmer of Marron Town, St. James, credits his influences to the lizards, owls and frogs he’d catch and release as a child. His [...]