Passenger Pick of the Month

Pedro St James National Historic Site
(‘Pedro Castle’)

Pedro  St James National Historic Site

Step back in time and experience the history and heritage that blossoms at Pedro St James!  Known by locals as ‘Pedro Castle’, this Great House is the oldest surviving stone structure in the Cayman Islands.  It is also the “birthplace of democracy”, and home to Cayman’s many cultural and historic tales.  It was built using slave labour in 1780 by a wealthy Englishman, mariner and plantation owner, William Eden.  At a time when most people lived in small thatch houses, this spectacularly built 3-storey home earned its name as ‘Pedro Castle’.  The sweeping mahogany verandas, sturdy stone walls and imported slate roof, made this home the finest of its time in the Cayman Islands.

A visit to Pedro St James is always time well spent.  Explore the 18th Century Great House and artefacts.  Absorb the beauty of the panoramic ocean views, and 7 landscaped acres.  Enjoy a 3-D multi-sensory movie that will transport you back in time, and take a guided tour by a local, for a truly authentic Caymanian experience.

As you walk through the doors of the Pedro Theater, it becomes clear that you’re about to witness something more interesting than a simple movie.  To your right is a re-creation of the Pedro St. James Great House.  To your left is a facade representing the steps where so many historic events occurred. 

The thickly upholstered stadium-style seats provide every visitor with a clear view of the entire theatre. As you take your seat, a storm begins to brew around you and a storyteller gradually reveals the fascinating history of Pedro St. James and the Cayman Islands.

Instead of a passive, audio-visual experience, the 20-minute presentation at Pedro Theatre includes authentic artifacts and tools that permitted past generations to survive and thrive in an untamed land bordered by restless seas.  Creative lighting, vapors, wind, and water are used to transport you into the lives of the early settlers.

And when the 3-D, multi-sensory presentation comes to a close, the exit doors open wide to invite you to explore the grounds of this national historic site, armed with a true appreciation for what you’re about to encounter.  Presentation times are hourly from 10 a.m., every day of the week.  The final show of the day begins at 4 p.m.

So what could be more enchanting than a “castle” by the sea?  It’s the breathtaking view that makes Pedro St. James one of the most popular locations on the island for weddings, meetings, parties, and concerts. 

The seashore is as rugged and fascinating as the people who established this gem by the sea.  The view is panoramic, with the horizon stretching for miles.  So, have refreshments by the sea at Cafe Pedro or simply sit and contemplate view…

Then there’s the gazebo…whether it’s being used as a bandstand or a dessert haven or a place to exchange wedding vows, the gazebo at Pedro St. James provides an enchanting touch to the fairy tale location known as Pedro St. James.  The 25-foot diameter gazebo boasts a functional bell tower that can be used to announce the start of an event or the culmination of a ceremony.

Walk the gardens filled with fruit groves, vegetable gardens, cacti, and palm trees.  With more than 7 acres of lush beauty and verdant abundance, the gardens at Pedro St. James also represent one of the bases for Cayman’s history.

Although the Cayman Islands lacked the big plantations of Jamaica, the earth’s bounty not only nourished the early settlers of Cayman, but also provided building materials, medicine, and even entertainment.  Thatch leaves were woven into roofs, plaited into baskets, and twisted into rope.  Medicinal herbs cured the sick and preserved the healthy.  Trees were hewn into buildings and boats, toys and musical instruments.  Nothing went to waste.  The ingenious ways that the first Caymanians practiced repurposing, recycling, and restoration are lessons that modern people must take to heart in our wasteful age of disposable consumption.

Towering three stories and sporting stone walls 18 inches thick, the Great House at Pedro Point dwarfed the surrounding single-level “wattle-and-daub” dwellings that were its neighbors in 1780.  Its massive size was accentuated by sweeping verandahs, large shuttered windows, and slate imported from England to fashion the roof and floors.

The elaborate construction made this Great House the Caymanian equivalent of a European castle, and the term Pedro “Castle” is used by local residents to this day.

Then on Friday afternoons, don’t miss the happy hour at Pedro St. James Castle with Cayman Spirits Company who recently re-developed the old bar site there.  Now the new Outpost Bar features a new rum launched by Cayman Spirits Co. only available at Pedro. 

The "1780" Rum is named after the year in which the original building was built by William Eden.  The rum is blended by Cayman Spirits as well as one of the descendants of William Eden, who happens to have some rum blending experience of his own.  The rum is aged in a unique barrel that is located on site at Pedro St. James. 

The Outpost launched a weekly event, Sea Sessions, featuring happy hour specials, a local BBQ and live local music every Friday from 5:00pm till late.  A little rum, a setting sun, and a castle by the sea!  What a way to taste the only rum distilled on the island! 

Since its construction more than two centuries ago, Pedro St. James has been put to a variety of uses, including a cotton plantation, courthouse, jail, Government Assembly and restaurant, before the Cayman Islands Government finally purchased the property in 1996, and restored it to its 18th Century grandeur.  Surviving hurricanes, fires, vandalism, and rumors of being both jinxed and haunted, it stands today, in its restored state, as a dynamic piece of Caymanian heritage.

Perhaps best known as the “Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands”, Pedro St. James was the venue for a meeting on December 5, 1831 where the decision was made to form the first elected parliament.  Later, on May 3, 1835, Robert Thompson, sent from the Governor of Jamaica, held court at Pedro St. James to issue the proclamation ending slavery in the British Empire.

This site has been at the center of pirate raids, tragedy, triumph, and political reformation.  Let its history and heritage inspire you on your visit to Pedro St James.

Pedro St James also provides a stunning location for weddings, events, and photo opportunities, owing to its expansive grounds, breath-taking backdrops, and rich history.  For the most important day in your life, accept nothing less than perfection.  Nothing less than Pedro St. James.  They can accommodate any budget.

Operating Hours & Contact Info:
Text Box: NOTE: Guided tours are available daily from 9AM – 4PM.  *All prices subject to change without notice.  Daily from 8:30AM – 5:00PM | Last movie showing at 4:00PM.  (Closed on Good Friday & Christmas Day)
Text Box: “Discover the East” Adventure Card  Get 20% off admission to both Pedro St. James and the Botanic Park, as well as many other discounts from local businesses in the Eastern District.  Available for purchase in the Gift Shop at both attractions for just CI $16.


Adult Non-Guided Tour:     $10 KYD

Adult Guided Tour:             $15 KYD

Child (6-12):                         $5 KYD

Child (0-5):                           $0 KYD

Phone: (345) 947-3329 | info@pedrostjames.ky | Facebook: PedroStJames | www.pedrostjames.ky

Pick of the Month Archive:

Pick Of The Month 2011

Pick Of The Month 2012

Pick Of The Month 2013

Pick Of The Month 2014

Guy Harvey's Island Grill 2015

Tortuga Rum Company 2015

Tiki Beach 2015

Agua Restaurant & Lounge 2015

Red Sail Sports 2015

Eagle Rays Bar and Grill 2015

Cayman In A Nutshell 2015

KARoo 2015

Eden Rock Diving Center 2015

Abacus 2015

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink 2015

SNUBA Cayman 2015

Capt. Marvin’s Watersports 2015

Copper Falls Steakhouse 2015

Discover Scuba Diving with Red Sail 2015

Catch Restaurant & Lounge 2015

Capt. Marvin’s Watersports 2015

Lobster Pot Restaurant & Wine Bar 2015

Tukka Restaurant and Bar 2015

Cayman Kayaks 2015

The Jolly Roger 2015

Catch Restaurant & Lounge 2015

Guy Harvey's Island Grill 2016

Eden Rock Diving Center 2016

The Bistro 2016

Paradise Sailing & Snorkeling 2016

Agua Restaurant & Lounge 2016

Red Sail Sports 2016

Cayman In A Nutshell 2016

Eagle Rays Bar and Grill 2016

The Jolly Roger 2016

Grand Old House 2016

Capt. Marvin’s Watersports 2016

Osetra Bay 2016

Copper Falls Steakhouse 2016

Discover Scuba Diving with Red Sail 2016

Capt. Marvin’s Watersports 2016

Catch Restaurant & Lounge 2016

Cimboco 2016

Lobster Pot Restaurant & Wine Bar 2016

Tukka Restaurant and Bar 2016

Cayman Kayaks 2016

Cayman In A Nutshell 2016

Guy Harvey's Island Grill 2016

Catch Restaurant & Lounge 2017

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park 2017

The Bistro 2017

Red Sail Sports 2017

Agua Restaurant & Lounge 2017

Cayman In A Nutshell 2017

Eagle Rays Bar and Grill 2017

Eden Rock Diving Center 2017

Cimboco 2017

Casa 43 2017

Pedro St James 2017

Agua Restaurant & Lounge 2017

Capt. Marvin’s Watersports 2017

Copper Falls Steakhouse 2017

SNUBA Cayman 2017

Lobster Pot Restaurant & Wine Bar 2017

Eden Rock Diving Center 2017

Tukka Restaurant and Bar 2017

Divetech 2017

Eden Rock Diving Center 2017

Catch Restaurant & Lounge 2017