Imagine standing in the geographical center of the island of Jamaica, approximately forty miles by road to the north-west of it’s capital, Kingston and twenty-eight miles south of Ocho Rios, the major tourist center of Jamaica. You are 1, 200 feet above sea level, overlooking more than 10, 000 acres of lush foliage. Breathtaking valleys uniting the rolling mountain ranges that are standing guard over stalks of sugar cane swaying in the cool mountain breeze.
THIS IS THE WORTHY PARK ESTATE.
Nestled in the Vale of Lluidas, or Lluidas Vale as it is commonly known, the landscaped greenery that encompasses Worthy Park offers a glimpse into a different side of Jamaica. Located in the central parish of St. Catherine, far from the white sand beaches and palm trees, a visit to Worthy Park is a trip back in time to the days of unspoiled landscapes and natural beauty that had given rise to Jamaica being known as the “Land of wood and water”.
The Worthy Park Estate has remained this way since it’s inception in 1670. It was gifted to Lt. Francis Price for his services to Cromwell during the English capture of the island from the Spanish in 1655. It has expanded since then through the acquisition of neighboring properties.
Commercial production of cane and sugar began in 1720 and has continued unabated until this day. Since then it has only been under ownership by three families and has been in the hands of the Clarke family since 1918. In that time Worthy Park has not only engaged in cane farming and sugar production but the land has been used for beef cattle, citrus, poultry and other agricultural crops. However, there has been a consistent reduction in cultivation of other crops and livestock in favour of an increased cultivation of cane and sugar production.