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Westmoreland, which became a parish in 1703, was probably so called because it is the westernmost parish in the island. The chief town was formerly called Queen’s Town (now Cross Path) but in 1730, the present parish capital Savanna-la-Mar (“the plain by the sea”), rose into fame.
The parish is bounded on the South by the Caribbean Sea, on the North by the Parishes of Hanover and St. James, and on the East by the Parish of St. Elizabeth.
Georges Plain and an outline of the coast
This beautiful piece of country rises as it were from the sea, embraces the Georges Plain and gently shapes towards the hills of Darliston in the South-East. It is 828.8 sq. miles in extent and has a population of approximately 137,00 people. The population distribution indicates a rural population of 80.7% based on the 1991cencus figure. The sex distributions is about equal.
The west is primarily plain with the principal crop being sugar for export while the east is largely hilly with the economy dominated by the production of cash crops and small lives stock for sale on the domestic market. The parish has farmers who have been among the top producers of quality foods in the island and several have been the recipients of many awards at the premier agricultural shows for several years. It exports and boasts the largest sugar factor in the English Speaking Caribbean along with tourism as principal economic activities. Special mention must be made of the Tourist Mecca Negril, which is shared jointly with neighboring parish Hanover.
The capital and principal town is Savanna-La-Mar was a thriving shipping port. It has a population of 17,000 and is the seat of the Local Government Authority for the Parish.