Explore the opulent home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, go shopping and sample the famous ice cream in the mansion’s courtyard.
Visit Devon House and appreciate the elegant furnishings and antiques from France, England and the Caribbean. Enter the courtyard for some of Jamaica’s best shopping and dining establishments. Buy one of the famous I-Scream ice creams and enjoy it under the shade of a palm tree on the mansion’s lush lawns.
Devon House was built in 1881 by George Stiebel, a school dropout and shipwreck survivor who went on to be a gold-mining tycoon and Jamaica’s first black millionaire. The site covers 11 acres (4.5 hectares) and has been preserved as one of Kingston’s most prized cultural monuments.
Stand on the wide lawns beneath the swaying palms and admire the crisp, colonial-style architecture of the house. Step inside to find room after room of fine antiques and elaborate furnishings. In the Grand Ballroom you will see cherubs etched into the ceiling hovering above a rare porcelain chandelier, thought to come from 18th-century Germany. You’ll find a touch of the Caribbean in Palm Hall, which has panel paintings of floral displays and butterflies. In the dining room a large Chippendale table makes an impressive centerpiece.
Head into the courtyard and enjoy browsing the shops and restaurants Devon House has to offer. Shop for locally made arts and crafts or have dinner on the terrace overlooking the gardens. Whether you want to enjoy a luxurious meal or are happy with a delicious pastry, the Devon House courtyard shops offer broad choices. Make sure you sample the natural ice cream from the famous I-Scream shop, which has about 30 island fruit flavors to choose from.
Devon House is located on “Millionaires Corner” at the intersection of Hope Road and Trafalgar Road in central Kingston. The house is closed on Sundays and entry is free. Guided tours of the mansion are available for a small fee.