With the recent conclusion of the Jamaica 50th Celebrations on August 6, TEENage would like to highlight one of Jamaica's oldest historical icon, Vale Royal.
Vale Royal, first known as "Prospect Pen", is located on Montrose Road in Kingston. The planter, Sir Simon Taylor, who was said to be one of the richest men in Jamaica at that time, constructed Vale Royal in 1694. In 1928 the Government of Jamaica bought this historic house and it became the official residence of the British Colonial Secretary (then Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs).
In 1957, alongside plans for nationhood, were discussions for an official residence for the incoming Prime Minister of Jamaica. It was proposed that the Mona Great House be purchased for that purpose but that proposal was not pursued. Vale Royal was identified by the Government as an appropriate residence and was refurbished for that purpose in early 1962. However, The Government changed with the General Elections in April 1962 and the new Prime Minister decided that Vale Royal was not a suitable residence for the Prime Minister of Jamaica, being too small. In December of 1962, the House of Representatives approved Vale Royal as the official residence of the Minister of Finance and in February of 1963, the House approved a Ruling for the construction of a new residence for the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
It was not until 1980, when Vale Royal was refurbished again, that it became the official residence of the Prime Minister for the second time. Up until this point Jamaica House had coveted this title.
Vale Royal remains the official residence for Jamaica's Prime Minister to this day and is not open to the public. -Di-Andra Brown