Photo by age fotostock
Pedro St. James
Not far outside George Town, you’ll find Pedro St. James, a beautifully restored, lushly landscaped 18th-century great house—complete with period furniture and other era-appropriate artifacts, as well as a 21st-century multimedia, multisensory theater (think automated hurricane spray) that lets you live through 200 years of local history in 20 minutes. The seaside estate actually played a notable role in said history: Dubbed the birthplace of Caymanian democracy, Pedro St. James was the scene of the 1831 meeting that led to the first election of district representatives—and the 1835 proclamation that ended slavery here. Three stories tall with thick stone walls and wraparound verandas, the structure is appropriately grand—so much so that it’s known to locals as “the castle.”
By Abbie Kozolchyk, AFAR Local Expert
Learn About History at Pedro St. James
One of the locations my family and I visited in the Cayman Islands was Pedro St. James, a national landmark and major historic site. The building itself is a restoration of a 1780s home. Upon arriving, we were shown into a small movie theatre. The film explained the house and its history. Pedro St. James is regarded as the birthplace of Caymanian democracy: One representative from each of the five districts met here in 1831 to create a better government. The house also served as the site where emancipation was declared for all slaves on the islands in 1835. We then went on a tour of the house; our guide was exceptionally well informed and answered all of our questions. The grounds are beautiful, and the view overlooking the ocean is stunning. It’s a nice break from the beach and is great on a cloudy or overcast day.
Pedro Castle Road, Savannah, Savannah KY1-1501, Cayman Islands
Sun - Sat 8:30am - 5pm