Monday, 16 August 2010

A Room With A View - For Your Eyes Only

Noel Coward discovered Jamaica as a result of a trip in 1944 and Ian Fleming discovered it on a Naval mission at about the same time. Fleming was the first to commit to building there and returned after the war, bought land off Blanche Blackwell on Oracabessa Bay (Orcabessa means 'Golden Head') and built a simple Spartan house, which he called after a Naval operation; Goldeneye. It was here that he created James Bond, taking the name of his spy from the author of the reference book Birds of The Caribbean. For the rest of his life, he left England in the first week of January and spent until the first week in March, each year, at Goldeneye, turning out the Bond novels. In 1948 Noel Coward rented Goldeneye from Fleming and set about finding his own land on which to build. At first he bought land on the seafront at Ocho Rios and built a villa which he called Blue Harbour. Shortly after this, he also found land high up, over Port Maria, called Lookout, which had belonged to the pirate and sometime Governor of Jamaica, Sir Henry Morgan (there is in fact still a little building in the grounds there dating from Morgan's time). He named this house Firefly because of the abundance of these creatures there.

Goldeneye (first picture) is now open as a private resort; Blue Harbour (second picture) is an hotel and Firefly (third picture, showing where Noel Coward is buried) is a Museum to his memory. All are worth a visit, if you happen to find yourself in that part of the world.


  1. NJS, your blog is awesome! i thought i wouldn't be able to relate to it due to the generation gap but your posts are immensely fascinating...

  2. That's very nice of you to say so.

  3. Nick,
    A recent journal of the Historic Breechloading Smallarms Association (HBSA) had a lengthy article about Flemmings book collection. A rather off-topic item for the HBSA but this side of him was news to me. I've scanned it & if it's of interest I can email it to you. I couldn't find any contact details for you on your blog hence posting this via a 'comment'


  4. Russell - Sorry to have missed this. Thank you, I should like to see it. You can reach me at