I’ve always looked for a location that is fantastic and then said, ‘Okay, how can we make it comfortable?’’— CHRIS BLACKWELL
PANTREPANT: A DISTINCTLY JAMAICAN HISTORY
Pantrepant was founded as a sugar plantation by Henry Strudwick, Esq., a British aristocrat, in 1740. When Strudwick arrived on the island, he was armed with a land grant from King George II and hoped to make his fortune with the property. But Pantrepant (“House in the Hollow” in Welsh) became ensnarled in decades of legal battles and by 1760, Strudwick had died. In the centuries to come, as Pantrepant expanded under a series of owners, its narrative took on the twists and turns of a Brontë novel.
There were periods of happiness, but also melodrama with scheming heirs, evil lawyers and declarations of insanity. By the beginning of the 20th century, life on the estate became more tranquil with a new owner, Campbell Tulloch Dewar, a Scottish merchant. Dewar began to raise cattle, a tradition that continues to this day.
PANTREPANT: NEW LIFE FOR AN OLD PROPERTY
In 1989, Chris Blackwell and his wife, Mary Vinson (1955-2004) were house-hunting in this unspoiled area of Jamaica known for its dense beauty and rich history. The couple arrived on the property separately, each maneuvering the winding, unpaved road. When they stepped out of their cars and into the shade of Pantrepants’ centuries-old Guango tree, both knew at the same moment that this would be their new home.
Mary, a renowned fashion and home furnishings designer, was the founder of the Royal Hut—a collection of furnishings, tabletop, fabrics, and bedding. Mary saw art as a way of living. It’s what shaped her design and philosophy aesthetic. From Europe to Africa to Asia, she journeyed with Chris at her side, gathering ideas to reinterpret.
During Chris and Mary’s early years at the property, they used the great house as a private escape, for long weekends and vacations. They took up farming and riding. They learned about cattle herding, planted a garden and created a retreat where they could be together.
Staff, whose parents and grandparents had worked the plantation, became family. Friends and relatives came to stay for a night or more.
Now, Chris is inviting special friends and guests of his resorts, GoldenEye, The Caves and Strawberry Hill, to experience the magic of Pantrepant. Book the guest cottage for a longer visit and settle into the Trelawny County life. Be romanced by the lush majesty of Cockpit Country and fall in love with Pantrepant, just as Chris and Mary did.