This Ipswich is located at 18° 13’ 0” N 76° 42’ 0” W, approximately four miles inland from Buff Bay on Jamaica’s north coast.
Population:- Unknown. As this community is made up of only a few scattered houses, the figure is likely to be very low.
How to get there:-
By road: Ipswich is to the west of the B1 which runs from Kingston in the south to Buff Bay in the north.
No rail service.
Nearest airport is Norman Manley International, Kingston.
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5 hrs). No daylight saving time in summer.
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Early Settlement & Derivation of Name
There is documentary evidence that this small plantation estate was known as Ipswich in 1828, under proprietor T B Bloomfield. Six years before this, in 1822, the land was held by Ann N Murray as a small holding with 3 or 4 slaves. It would appear that she married Bloomfield, as in 1840 the estate was held by Ann Bloomfield, presumably after the death of her husband. By this time the estate had grown to 52 acres. By 1845, however, the estate had been sold.
At around this time, the Murray family from Ipswich, England held several other estates in eastern Jamaica. Henry Murray, who was a major in the Suffolk Militia, his brother Charles & sister Anna are all recorded as holding estates in the early to mid nineteenth century. Anna is known to have been proprietor of River View Estate in the 1830s.
There is no conclusive proof that Ann N Murray & Anna Murray are the same person. Nor that Ann was related to the Murray family from Ipswich, England. If she was, however, it would explain the reason for the plantation being called Ipswich.
When the Jamaican parish system was established in 1664, the land that was to become Ipswich was in St. George parish. In 1723 Portland parish was created from parts of adjacent St Thomas-in-the-East and parts of St George, being named after the Duke of Portland who was Governor of Jamaica from 1722 to 1726. Ipswich remained part of St. George parish until 1866 however, when that parish was absorbed into Portland.
With the town of Port Antonio as its capital, Portland parish in north east Jamaica is a largely rural area with a population of 82,183 (2012). To the south lies St Thomas Parish, whilst St Mary & St Andrew Parishes are located to the west & south west respectively. In the south of Portland are the Blue Mountains, while the coast has many superb beaches, as well as numerous caves, bays & waterfalls. Large rivers include the Rio Grande & the Buff Bay.
Agriculture is the main industry due to the fertile soil of its coastal areas; a result of Portland having the highest rainfall of any Jamaican parish. The main crops produced are bananas, coconuts, mangoes, breadfruit & coffee.
As well as its many fine beaches such as Dragon Bay & Frenchman’s Cove, other tourist attractions include the Blue Mountains, which rise to over 7,000 feet, & the Blue Lagoon, an almost landlocked extinct volcano crater.
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