St Peter’s Church, Falmouth

St. Peter’s Church, Falmouth Trelawny, 1796

Completed in 1795 at a cost said to be as high as £10,000, this proud cutstone structure with its tall tower and stylish ‘Gothick’ window tracery was built on four adjoining lots of land donated by the Hon. Edward Barrett, developer of the town itself and great-grandfather of the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The church organ, imported from the UK, was presented by another major landowner, John Tharp of Good Hope, and a fine tower clock was commissioned from Francis Perigal, a prominent London clockmaker.

Two hundred years later, the church had begun to feel its age. Sunday attendances, while still considerable, were declining and funds for maintenance and security had dried up. Vandals had damaged many of the early monuments in the churchyard, the glass in those tall windows had suffered, and the clock had stopped.

In 1995, the newly formed Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica decided to award their first grant of £1,600 to fund the repair of the clock mechanism by John Strachan of St Andrew. Later grants to the church, both forwarded in 2009, were for assistance with repairs to the windows, the portico and the front door. These totalled £8,000.