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The CAGE Montego Bay
What Is It? Why Is It Significant?

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the_cage_montego_bayThe CAGE Montego Bay

It stands proudly, literally in the heart of the city at Sam Sharpe Square. But what do you know of it? What is it's purpose? What makes it significant?

Today, I'll take a quick look into the history of the cage in Montego Bay.

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History of the CAGE

A bold historic stone structure in the heart of Montego Bay, the Cage was built in 1806 and was originally used as a temporary lockup for runaway slaves, disorder seamen and other so called vagrants. [ See history of Jamaica ]

Initially, the Cage was made of wood, but it is said that it was so badly damaged by its occupants that a stone structure had to be built to replace it.

In 1811 a belfry was also installed.

This bell was rung as a warning for the country slaves to leave town! It was rung at 2:00 pm and again at 3:00 pm, after which any so called, vagrant blacks, found on the streets were locked up!

Another dark side of our history ... sigh.

See also: Historical sites in Jamaica

Since the days of slavery, the Cage has served many purposes.

It has been...

  • a clinic
  • a dispensary
  • the office of a travel agency
  • office of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce,
  • cambio, and
  • a museum

Today, it is a frequent stop for visitors to Montego Bay who are interested in the history and heritage of the city. 

It is included a part of what is called the Montego Bay City tour by most tour operators. [ See best Jamaican tour guide ]

What Hotels Are Near The Cage?

The following are some of the most recognizable hotels near the CAGE

  • The Wexford Court
  • S Hotel Jamaica
  • Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach
  • Toby's Inn
  • Paradise Palms Jamaica Villa Montego Bay
  • Deja Resort (Formerly The Gloucestershire Hotel)

Please note that they are not in any particular order, and also that they are of different star ratings.

What Restaurants Are Near The Cage?

From my knowledge of the area, these are the most popular restaurants that are near to the Cage

  • Pier 1
  • Montego Bay Proper (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)
  • The Pelican Restaurant (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)
  • Marguerites (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)
  • China House (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)
  • Dragon Bay (Fairview)
  • Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)
  • Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (Jiffy Cliff Boulevard)

and of course, 

  • Nyam & Jam, right here in the heart of the city!

What Attractions Are Near The Cage?

Outside of the Cage itself, the following are other attractions, places to visit, and things to do (of various types) you may want to consider while you are in the general vicinity of the Cage.

  • The National Gallery West (at the Civic Center)
  • The Dome House (on Dome Street)
  • The Montego Bay Market
  • Doctor's Cave Beach, and 
  • The Hip Strip, which includes
  • The Old Hospital Park

For other attractions and activities in Montego Bay, click here.

Be sure to also read my article on top questions (and answer) about Montego Bay.
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Pages Related To The Cage Montego Bay

Back To Top Of The Cage Montego Bay


  1. Sherlock, Phillip & Bennett, Hazel, "The Story Of The Jamaican People" 
  2. Senior, Olive, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage, 2003
  3. Black, Clinton V. History Of Jamaica, 2005

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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