The Cayman Islands are a tropical paradise filled with pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and countless attractions and activities. This magical area is known as a relaxing and fun vacation destination, but there is also an opportunity to learn a little history during your stay! Just 20 minutes away from The Residences at Seven Mile Beach is the Pedro St. James National Historic Site. Also known as Pedro’s Castle, this landmark is home to the oldest existing building in the Cayman Islands and is the birthplace of Caymanian democracy. Explore this 18th-century house that has been refurbished to its original grandeur and the magnificent tropical grounds!
If you are planning a trip to Grand Cayman, you should download our free Vacation Guide. It is full of ideas on what to do in this tropical paradise, like a visit to Pedro St. James National Historic Site or taking an exciting helicopter tour!
History of Pedro St. James National Historic Site
The original house on Pedro St. James National Historic Site was built in 1780 by William Eden. As the largest and most remarkable house on the island, it began to be used as a courthouse, jail, and public pound. In 1831, it became one of the most important places in the islands. It was the venue for not only the decision in 1831 to form the Cayman Island’s first elected parliament, but also to announce that slavery had been abolished in the British Empire in 1835.
The Restoration of Pedro St. James National Historic Site
Pedro’s Castle has been hit by hurricanes, struck by lightning, and engulfed in an extensive fire. The building has been bought and sold multiple times throughout the years and has gone through many repairs and restorations between owners until its final abandonment. After years of vacancy, Pedro St. James was in disrepair. Finally, a historically accurate restoration of the original plantation great house and grounds was completed in 1998. The three-level design with wide verandas was based on archival and architectural research about that era of Caribbean history, as well as the materials used in the original structure itself such as rough timber beams and wooden pegs.
Visiting Pedro St. James National Historic Site
When you visit Pedro St. James National Historic Site, you get the chance to explore the grounds and learn about their incredible history. You can adventure on your own with a self-guided tour or take a guided tour that will highlight the main aspects of the property. These include the restored great house, the Hurricane Ivan Memorial, and a quick stop to the Multi-Sensory 3D Theater. Visitors will see period furniture and authentic artifacts all while learning about Grand Cayman’s history. There is also a restaurant on-site where you can partake in a rum tasting! During your tour, make sure to take a moment to revel in the beautiful Caribbean views that surround the property.
Where to Stay While Visiting the Beautiful Cayman Islands
Make your trip to Grand Cayman one to remember forever! Book a room with us at the Residences Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman during your visit; we have the finest villa, suites, and amenities waiting to fulfill your every need! With incredible views overlooking white beaches, dazzling blue waters, and our refreshing swimming pools, you will never want to leave our deluxe properties of the Cayman Islands. Go out and explore the many incredible nearby attractions of our local area like Pedro St. James National Historic Site, or you can simply relax in the comforts and amenities of our residences. We know you will make unforgettable memories here in the warm, sunny Cayman Islands, so check our availability today to start planning the trip of a lifetime!