Travel along a quiet road surrounded by picturesque scenes of grazing cows, rolling hills, and long grass stalks to find the community of Shrewsbury. Upon arrival, you’ll pass a number of music-filled corner shops, wandering animals, and residents engaged in daily activities to find the Roaring River and Caves.

The estate is a former slave plantation whose history is rooted in the sugar industry. It is said to have been owned by one of the first English families to settle in Jamaica after the Spanish were defeated in the late 17th century.


A flight of stairs along a hillside will lead you to the entrance to the expansive cave. The 45-minute tour explores a series of limestone caverns laced with sprinkles of glistening natural quartz stones and 2 mineral springs inside. Eyes gradually adjust to the interior darkness with the help of a string of lightbulbs lining the walls to reveal the intricate details. Unfortunately the video camera didn’t adjust as well as the eyes did.

Throughout the tour, bats can be heard while hiding in the roof and a glimpse of them fluttering can be grabbed. Tour guides will certainly point out and suggest multiple human and animal formations in the cave, what do you see in this photo?

The space can promote a sacred feeling, especially from visual and fragrant evidence of rituals at some points. This includes melted wax candles, incense, marijuana, and even physical offerings such as money. “Powerful” is one word that remains with you after touring the caves of the Roaring River, partly because your tour guide sprinkles this adjective after sharing numerous anecdotes. You’ll even be told stories of how local artistes such as Beenie Man and Peter Tosh have enjoyed the cave sanctuary.

Mineral Springs

Two cool mineral springs offer refreshing swims while touring. One of them is shallow enough to sit in, while the other apparently still has no confirmed depth after diving as far as 115ft; guess who jumped right in?!

This was actually my first cave swim experience. Enjoyed it so much, I did it again at another venue two weeks later!

Roaring River

Take a stroll to the community watering hole where you’re sure to find residents of all ages frolicking and jumping a few feet from the overhead bridge into the river. The current of the chilled water will leave you floating downstream if you’re not careful, perfect for a lazy river. The Roaring River is the main source of water for the Shrewsbury community and central Westmoreland. Sources of the river’s water meet at a towering 300-year-old cottonwood tree with an impression of an eye in its centre, while a hydro plant with an old stone aqueduct collects its runoff to generate electricity.

Let’s talk: In your opinion, what’s the difference you observe with a community river such as this, and a highly commercialized river?

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