Established in 1814 and named for the Duke of Manchester who was then Governor of Jamaica
Manchester is a mountainous parish. Over 90% of the parish's surface is limestone so there is an abundance of cockpits, sinkholes, caves and underground passages. The Oxford Cave in upper Manchester is the largest of the known caves in the parish. Because of the limestone, most of the rivers flow underground like the Alligator Hole River, Alligator Pond River, Crambie River, Gut River, Hector's River, Two Rivers and Swift River. Hector's River flows along the borders of Manchester and Trelawny, disappears underground at Troy and rises below Oxford Cave as the One Eye River.
Almost all of the parish is between 2000 and 300 feet above sea level. The main mountain ranges are the Carpenters, May Day and Don Figuerero Mountains. The high elevation and cool climate of Manchester make it favoured place for Jamaican returning home after living abroad.
Agriculture, bauxite mining and processing, small scale manufacturing and livestock rearing are the main economic activities in Manchester. The major towns are the capital, Mandeville, Christiana, Devon, Mile Gully, Newport, Porus, Williamsfield.
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