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Hanover in Jamaica
|• Total||430 km2 (170 sq mi)|
|• Density||160/km2 (420/sq mi)|
Hanover is a parish located on the northwestern tip of the island of Jamaica. It is a part of the county of Cornwall, bordered by St. James in the east and Westmoreland in the south. With the exception of Kingston, it is the smallest parish on the island. Hanover is the birth parish of labour leader and first head of government after universal suffrage Alexander Bustamante, one of seven Jamaican National Heroes. Its capital is Lucea.
Hanover was established on 12 November 1723, and named for the British monarch, George I, from the German House of Hanover. The parish was born out of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland on 12 November 1793. It was named for George 1, the reigning monarch on the British throne who was from the House of Hanover in Germany. He had the dubious distinction of being the first King of England who could not speak English. In fact, there was talk of naming the parish after the King’s mother. However the council would not hear of it, so Hanover barely missed being called St. Sophia. The capital town on the other hand has been known by many names – Sant Lucea, St. Lucia, St. Lucea and today, as Lucea. In the early colonial days, Lucea, the main town and port, was even busier than Montego Bay. By the mid-18th century, Lucea was the hub of an important sugar-growing region, and the town was prosperous as a sugar port and market centre. European Jews settled in the parish as merchants, store keepers, haberdashery, shoe makers and goldsmiths. It became a free port.
After abolition of slavery in 1834, the free people prospered, developing a variety of crops, and supplying produce to much of the rest of Jamaica. The harbour was used to export bananas until after the 1960s. A deep-water pier was built, but this has been restricted to the shipping of molasses, an important sugar product. In 1983, the port was closed. The historic Fort Charlotte stands at one side of the entrance to the harbour, but was never garrisoned.
Lucea Parish Church - The main structure of the Lucea Parish Church building dates back to the 18th century. It was built in 1725 and is the oldest building in the parish of Hanover. It is said that a tunnel leads from underneath the church to nearby Fort Charlotte, which is approximately 400 m away.
Fort Charlotte - Commanding the entrance to Lucea Harbour is the well-kept 18th-century Fort Charlotte named in 1778 to honour George 11’s Queen Charlotte. Prior to that year it is listed as Lucea Fort and was constructed in 1745. It was erected in defense of the harbour and stands on a peninsular over-looking the sea channel. In 1862, the English war office transferred the barracks and Fort Charlotte as a gift to the Executive Committee of Jamaica.
Geography and demography
The capital town, Lucea is located at latitude 18°25'N, longitude 78°08'W. The parish has a mountainous terrain, with the coastline marked by coves and bays. Hanover covers an area of 450 km2. The highest point in the parish is the Dolphin's Head, which serves as a landmark for ships at sea. The parish has three small waterfalls, several coves, such as the Davis Cove, named after a prominent Hanover family, along its coastline and large caves. In the centre of Lucea stands a clock tower. Though it was installed in 1817, it is still fully functional.
The parish had an estimated 67,176 inhabitants in 1999, 5,739 of which lived in its capital town. The large majority of the population is black (92.1%), with 0.8% whites, 3.7% Asians, 2.3% Latinos, and 2.1% identifying as other.
The Great River is the officially recorded river in Hanover. Its valley has been an important agricultural region.
Although Hanover is not one of Jamaica's major tourist areas, a tourist resort is situated in the village of Hopewell about 24 km (15 mi) east of Lucea. This area has several large hotels, including Round Hill and Tryall (noted for its golf course). There is also the Grand Palladium resort and spa in wastern Hanover and on the northern part of the Negril strip (which falls within Hanover not Westmoreland) are the Grand Lido, Couples, Sandals, Negril cabins and beaches.
- Hanover Community Website
- Hanover, Jamaica Guide
- Hanover Guide
- Parish information
- Statistical Institute of Jamaica
- Profile of Hanover
- Geography of Hanover
- Political Geography