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History of Devon House

 

1667

600 acres of glebe were awarded to Reverend Zellers by King Charles II, of which Devon Penn was a part. The glebe lands stretched from the St Andrew Parish Church, north to Sandy Gully, encompassed Old Church Road and included the grounds of the present King’s House. To the south it bordered Trafalgar Penn, now occupied by the British High Commission.

1750

The rectory was built by the St Andrew Parish Church on the Devon Penn. The rectory was occupied by the church’s rectors for the next 128 years.

1881

The Rectory was sold to George Stiebel. The Devon House mansion was then built by Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire, who earned his riches through gold mining in South America.

1923

The Devon House was sold to Reginald Melhado, a successful entrepreneur. The final sale agreement, however, did not include the 51 acres, which the Stiebels purchased from the Anglican Church, but instead, 11 acres of the land. The remaining 40 acres was subdivided to form such roadways as the Waterloo and Devon Roads.

1928

The Devon House was sold to Cecil Lindo. He was known as a smart and savvy businessperson, who had investments in the alcohol industry. One such was the purchase of the J. Wray and Nephew and Monymusk Estate.

1960

Agnes Lindo had opted to live in New York following her husband’s death. The Devon House Mansion was then left vacant

1965

Then Minister of Welfare and Development, the Hon. Edward Seaga, became aware of plans to demolish the Devon House Mansion. He agreed that the beautiful house could not be bulldozed by developers.  As such, he placed a restriction order on the property under the National Trust Act which ceased the demolition of the mansion. The Government of Jamaica then purchased the Devon House property.

1974

Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael Manley opened Devon House  as the National Gallery

1982

A complete refurbishing of Devon House was done by the Government of Jamaica, led by Tom Cancannon. The newly refurbished Devon House mansion was then opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

1990

Devon House was designated as a National Monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

2011

Devon House named the 4th Best Place to enjoy ice cream in the world by the National Geographic, in their book Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe.

2017

Devon House launched as Jamaica’s First Gastronomy Center by the Hon. Edmund Barlett, Minister of Tourism.