The development of Kingston, Georgetown
The origin of the name Kingston is not quite certain; some historians believe that Kingston was named in honour of Lieutenant Robert Kingston who aided in the construction of Fort St. George. While others believe that the district was named after King George III (1738-1820). In February 1797, the first street to be paved and named was High Street. Subsequently, Parade Street was named in honour of the military. It is assumed that Fort Street was named for the fort (St. George); and Duke Street was named for one of the Royal Dukes.
Cornelius Leary was granted a tract of land near the mouth of the Demerara River circa 1759 to cultivate cotton and coffee during the Dutch occupation of Essequibo and Demerara. After his death, his estate was passed on to his wife whose name was Eve Leary. In 1796, when the two colonies were captured by the British, English garrison officers established a village on the estate which went by the name Eve Leary. The garrison officers built a number of small cottages with surrounding gardens mimicking those of English villages found in Europe.
Buildings of historic Kingston
Immigration Agent General Office
The Immigration Agent General building commonly referred to as the Indian Immigration depot was the office of the Immigration Agent General. It was the responsibility of this office to document all Indian indentured servants upon their arrival to British Guiana from1838 to 1917. Today, the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) occupies the site. The building has been renovated many times throughout the years.
Eve Leary Barracks
Eve Leary Barracks is located at the corner of Barrack and Camp Streets. The barracks was completed in 1837 and was used as the official quarters of the military. The structure has undergone some amount of changes but the principle façade as little to no changes.
Red House (Kamana Court)
Red House, also known as Kamana Court, is located on High Street, Kingston, Georgetown. The 19th century colonial structure was once cladded with shingles which is still visible on some sections of its façade. It was the official residence for the British colonial secretaries during British occupation of the country. The building was also home to former President Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan. It now serves as the Cheddi Jagan Research Institute and is a designated National Monument.
The Round House was built in the 19th century and is believed to have been used as an observation point for incoming ships to Georgetown. It was erected near the site where Camp House once stood before the great flood Kingston in 1855. The structure was rehabilitated in 1995.
British Military Cemetery
The British Military Cemetery is located at the junction of Young Street and Rabbit Walk, adjacent to the Police Headquarters in Eve Leary, Georgetown. The cemetery was developed when the British Government brought the Eve Leary area for 47,374 guilders in 1824. The area was used to bury military officials regardless of their rank. Walter Rupert Durban, the son of one of Guyana’s colonial Governors is buried there. Located within the cemetery is the Georgetown Timehri Memorial, this memorial pays homages to the 24 causalities the then British colony endured during World Wars I & II.
The Lighthouse, located on Water Street, Kingston, Georgetown is the second of two Lighthouses to be built at its current location. The foundation stone of the current structure was laid in 1830, and was considered a shore station built to withstand high winds rather than waves due to its inland location. The Lighthouse is the only structure if its kind found in Guyana. It continues to serve as a navigation aid to the many vessels and sailors making their way to and from Port Georgetown with its a red and white straight tapered stripes.
Austin’s House, a 19th century colonial building previously known as Kingston House is located at the junction of High and Barracks Streets, Kingston, Georgetown. The building was renamed in 1892, after the first Anglican Bishop of Guyana (British Guiana), William Piercy Austin. The building within recent years was rehabilitated by the Dioceses of Guyana and serves as the official residence for its Bishop.
The Seawall Bandstand, located on Seawall Road, Kingston Georgetown was erected circa 1903 as a memorial to Queen Victoria, who died on January 22, 1901. The bandstand is one of three bandstands in the city of Georgetown which were built with cast iron decorative ornaments. It was also the social hub for musical events and orchestra.
The Kingston Seawall is the oldest portion of the seawall that stretches across Guyana’s coast. It was designed by Dutch engineer, Hora T. Siccama and completed with circa 1874. This wall however, was not the first attempt of building a permanent sea defence wall but was the first to withstand the strength of the sea.
Kingston Methodist Church
Kingston Methodist Church was opened in 1831 at Kingston as a branch of Trinity in Werk-en-Rust. The churches were established in consequence of the early efforts of the first Methodists that arrived in the colony to educate the enslaved Africans.
Colona House, established in 1945 was the first catholic hospital in the city Georgetown. The Catholic central committee purchased a private nursing home together with the existing equipment from a Dr. Romiti to be used as a hospital. The hospital was named St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. Colona House was destroyed by fire on May 10, 2010.
Other sites in Kingston
Guyana Marine Turtle Monument
The Guyana Marine Turtle Monument promotes Guyana’s natural heritage by depicting a newly hatched leather back turtle emerging into the world. The monument was unveiled in 2001 by the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society.
Monument to Fallen Heroes
The Monument to Fallen Heroes is located in the compound of the Police Officers’ Mess, which is situated on Young Street, Eve Leary, Kingston. The Monument is a memorial to all Police officers, who died in the line of duty.