Jackson’s Wall needs help

On Hirst road between Milton Drive and College Close stand the ruins of an ancient structure.

‘It is actually the old home site of the original Jackson family who came here in the late 1700s,’ explained Denise Bodden, the Historic Programmes coordinator for the National Trust of the Cayman Islands.

Jackson’s Wall is possibly one of the oldest structures in Cayman and may pre-date the arrival of the John Shearer Jackson who settled in Grand Cayman around 1770.

It is believed the ruins are actually steps that once led up to a large house.

‘Oral accounts indicate that it was supposed to be a two-storey home and if that is the case it would certainly put it in the realm of importance with Pedro St James, Fort George and National Museum Building,’ Mrs. Bodden said.

The ruin stands on the same road that would have led to Pedro St James, but it is also very close to the North Sound and specifically Duck Pond Bight.

In the old days Duck Pond was vitally important; it was one of the few access areas for North Sound and it was where the sailing ships would come to careen.

Careening involved pulling the ships over on their sides, so the hull of the vessels could be cleaned of barnacles and boring worms such the toredo.

Still resting on the sea bed in the vicinity of Duck Pond are some enormous old anchors that are known as Merren’s anchorage. Beside the ruins of Jackson’s Wall stands a more modern but still an old house that once belonged to the Merren family.

‘It is a very old and very important historic site, added Mrs. Bodden.

The Jackson Wall ruins were given to the National Trust several years ago but the Trust has dealing with several projects recently such as the Mission House restoration and Nurse Leila’s House in West Bay and there are many factors that govern which property gets attention to make them more presentable and accessible for the public.

‘We would love to see people coming forward with funding for this site so that we can get something done, such as the evaluation and assessment and possibly an archaeological dig to really help enhance the story,’ she said. ‘This is not one of the best documented sites that the Trust has in its possession and being able to get into the ground and seeing what was left behind would certainly enrich our knowledge and the story we could tell.

Mrs. Bodden added that the Trust is always looking for volunteers for historical and environmental programmes.