A Short History
Prospect Estate was purchased by Sir Harold Mitchell, in 1936, without him ever having laid eyes on it.
His affection for Jamaica began when he was a small boy, inspired by his well-travelled uncle Paton who told tales of earthquakes, multi-coloured humming birds and the buccaneers of Port Royal. Paton presented Sir Harold with exotic gifts of parrots and, even rarer in Edwardian Scotland, grapefruit.
Later, another of Sir Harold’s uncles, Arthur, who owned a plantation in Jamaica, notified his nephew of a 1,000 acre estate which was being offered for sale. The property had a mile long sea frontage and rose to a height of nearly 1,000 feet. The Great House, situated on a prominent hill overlooking the Caribbean Sea, was built in the 18th century as a single storey, rectangular fort. A second storey was added in the 19th century to make it habitable.
In 1947, Sir Harold married and arrived at the Great House with his bride, Mary Mitchell (née Pringle).
Over the next 40 years Sir Harold and Lady Mitchell hosted heads of state, royalty and diplomats and established a custom of inviting their guests to plant trees on the Estate.
Amongst the dignitaries were Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, H.R.H. Prince Phillip and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Andrew Young. There remains today a large Jamaican mahogany, near the entrance to the Great House, which was planted by Sir Winston Churchill in 1953.
Sir Harold established large areas of the estate with crops such as Jamaican pimento (all spice), coconuts, limes, bananas, pineapples, coffee and sugar cane, which thrived alongside native hardwood trees, primarily mahogany and cedar. While the property ceased its commercial agricultural practices in the 1980's examples of these crops have been maintained and form part of the daily Prospect Outback Adventures tour which is open to guests and visitors alike.
Prospect College was founded in 1956 by Sir Harold Mitchell. The College is a private high school and is located on Prospect Estate and provides full scholarships to 35 boys, grades 9, 10 and 11. Discipline is of paramount importance at the school and the cadets excel at academics