Liguanea (// LIG-ənee) is an area of the island of Jamaica. Its name came from the language of the Yamaye people who currently inhabit some of the island's rural areas in Cornwall County. and named it after the iguana lizard that is endemic to the island, and an important source of food for the Yamaye.
Geographically, the Liguanea Plains are the fertile flat lands of alluvium spreading south towards Kingston Harbour, but the area known as Liguanea is only a small part of the Kingston Corporate Area, a section of the parish of St Andrew. From a socioeconomic point of view, Liguanea is the name of a distinct commercial district: east to west, between Half-Way-Tree (up to Jamaica House) and Papine (at UTech's front gate); north to south, between Millsborough (Barbican Road) and New Kingston (Mountain View Road to Trafalgar Road).
The heart of the Liguanea suburban commercial district is Matilda's Corner, the only intersection of Hope and Old Hope Roads. Activities here serve the immediate neighbourhoods as well as the adjoining area of Papine. The origin of the name Matilda's Corner is unknown. Enclosing residential areas include Mona, Wellington, Mona Heights, Hope Pastures, Trafalgar Park, and Beverly Hills. The "small communities", also known as ghettoes or "deep urban areas", nearby are Sandy Gully, Stand Pipe and Chambers Lane/Air Pipe.
Following the English invasion of Jamaica Lt.-Colonel Henry Archibold established a regimental plantation, using the labour of soldiers under his command to develop “one of the best plantations in the island” (Commander William Brayne).:136
Richard Hope, a member of the English Army, founded the Hope Estate in the 1660s. It was first a cattle-mill. Given permission to operate a watermill along Hope River to grind sugar cane in 1752, it became a sugar plantation. It was called the Hope Plantation. The estate grew and in 1826 it was called Hope Estate.
Hope Botanical Garden and Zoo
The Hope Botanical Garden and Zoo, located on Old Hope Road, includes a botanical garden, orchid house, and stone aqueduct. There is also a children’s amusement park and a zoo. It is located on what was formerly the Hope Estate. In 1881, the government acquired the land and laid out the gardens. In 1953, the Royal Botanical Gardens were formed for a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. The Botanical Gardens are the largest in the Caribbean.
Places of interest
- Religious: - Anglican, Roman Catholic, Church of God, Apostolic/Pentecostal Seventh-day Adventist, New Testament, Methodist - the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Jamaica, a Methodist cemetery, and an Anglican columbarium;
- Commercial: Three large scale and more small-scale shopping malls, three banks, a building society, a Post Office and mall, five supermarkets, four pharmacies, music stores, seven beauty and barber salons, two exercise clubs, newspaper sellers, two shoe repair businesses and three photo shops;
- Educational: two major universities, seven secondary schools - Campion College, Jamaica College, Priory High (closed in 2007), Ardenne High, American International School of Kingston, Papine High and Mona High - and five primary schools - New Providence Primary, Sts. Peter and Paul Preparatory, Priory Prep. (closed), Mona Prep. & Mona Primary; three Basic Schools - Providence Methodist Early Childhood Institution, Shady Grove Basic School, NWC Basic School.
- Food: The greatest concentration of Chinese restaurants in Jamaica - eight, four pizza stores - Pizza Delite, Pizza Hut & Dominoes, 6 Jamaican patty stores - Bigga's, Mother's, Juici Patties, Pat-A-Kake, Sugar and Spice, Le Bon Bakery. A bakery providing Jamaican pastries, cakes and puddings - The Cake Shoppe. Three authentic Jamaican restaurants - The Everglades, Starapple, Stand Pipe Fish restaurant, American restaurants - Wendy's, Subway, etc, three gaming lounges and nighttime clubs, such as The Village, Christar's Las Vegas and Hope Tavern;
- Transport: three service stations, a tyre repair shop, two wheel-balancing shops, a garage, and an auto electrician;
- The Society for the Blind H.Q.;
- The US Embassy in Jamaica.
- DanceJA; a dance studio featuring contemporary Jamaican dance and popular with overseas dance enthusiasts.
- Postal code: Kingston 6
- Population: approximately 10,000
- Famous persons from Liguanea: Kemmarie Blake, Zachary Jardine
- Oldest building in Liguanea: the triangular Fabricare cleaning building.
- Oldest institution: Providence Methodist Church on Old Hope Road, between Liguanea Lane Plaza and Photo Express.
- Notable dates: The day the Guango tree was cut down, 1997
The following places are within three miles of Matilda's Corner:
- Ministry of Agriculture and Mining,
- Management Institute of National Development (MIND),
- The University of the West Indies - known for schools of Medicine, and other Sciences,
- The University of Technology, Jamaica - known for schools of Engineering, Computing, Architecture and Pharmacy,
- The National Chest Hospital,
- The University Hospital of the West Indies,
- Andrews Memorial Hospital,
- Campion College
- Jamaica 4-H Clubs
- Kingsway United Church,
- Andrews Seventh-day Adventist Church,
- St. Andrew Parish Church,
- St. Margaret's Church - Anglican,
- Sts. Peter and Paul Church - Roman Catholic,
- St. Thomas Aquinas Centre - Roman Catholic,
- Church of the Ascension - Anglican,
- Mona Baptist Church,
- The Office of the Commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (soon to be relocated on Duke Street, Downtown),
- Carberry Special School,
- Lister Mair School for the Deaf,
- National Children's Home,
- The Chinese Benevolence Association (CBA) building
- Vocational Technical Development Institute.
- The Water Resources Authority of Jamaica
Places to see and things to do
- Royal Botanical Gardens & Zoo - home to lush gardens, ponds, and Jamaica's only lions
- Vale Royal - official residence of the Prime Minister
- Jamaica House - office of the Prime Minister
- King's House - official residence of the Governor-General
- Sovereign Centre - includes two cinemas
- Liguanea Post Mall - shopping centre
- Contemporary Arts Centre
- Saint Peter & Paul Church
- Bob Marley Museum
- Jamaica Carnival - road march through the streets of Liguanea, Half-Way-Tree and New Kingston the Sunday after Easter
- Joker's Wild/Bacchanal J'ouvert - road march through the streets of Liguanea and New Kingston the Friday after Easter
- Liguanea Arts Festival held annually
- Medusa - hang out spot.
- Christar Villas
- Medallion Hall Hotel
- The Gardens Cottage
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- "DanceJA – Dance Jamaica Academy". I Love Dancehall. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
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