Braco Estates was originally part of a
large sugar plantation, which was very
successful in the 18th
Century. The adjoining property, Bryan
Castle, formed part of the Estate at that
time with the Great House being located
there and the Overseer’s house located
However, over the years the
Overseer’s house at Braco has become
known as Braco "Great" House because of
its strategic position and majestic
appearance. The properties were divided
and sold separately in later years.
"Great" House was built in the mid
1700’s. The Overseer’s journal that was
found in the cellars dates back to 1775.
By the 18th Century it was a successful
sugar plantation with numerous slaves, sugar cane was grown and sugar was made
in its own factory. The original
building that housed the factory still
stands on the Estate. At that time,
Jamaica was a colony of England. Braco
also produced food crops, pimento and
The property was purchased by the
Parnell family in 1932 and is now in
third generation ownership. The "Great"
House has been restored and is currently
the home of Christopher Parnell,
grandson of the original owner. The
restoration project took many years with
great attention paid to details so that
the original appearance of the house
would be maintained although many modern
features were added.
The Parnell family
maintained the property in sugar cane
and in later years switched to cattle
breeding and at one time over 1,000 head
of cattle were raised on the property.
The son of the original owner, the Honourable Winston Valentine Parnell,
served as Custos Rotulorom for the
parish of Trelawny for over 30 years and
was a prominent citizen of this parish.
He also deputized as Governor General of
Jamaica on more than 7 occasions. Mr.
Parnell died in 1992 and at the time of
the death was awarded the Order of
Jamaica for his many years of service to
Today the Estate houses a pimento leaf
oil factory.Oil is extracted from the
pimento leaves through a condensation
process. This oil is exported and used
in the preservation of meat and also as
a base for many perfumes. The Estate
owners have also diversified into the
Tourist Industry, setting up the Braco
Stables for horseback riding and also
developing 85 acres of land on the
property for the Braco Village Hotel.
A bust in memory of Mr. Parnell has been
erected on the hotel grounds.
Although the "Great" House is said to be
haunted, the current owner denies ever
encountering a ghost but does recall
certain mysterious incidents, as a child,
when the piano played by itself and the
radio would come on suddenly in the
middle of the night!!