St Elizabeth

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Lovers’ Leap, St Elizabeth

The parish is located latitude 18°15′N, and longitude 77°56′W; to the west of Manchester, the east of Westmoreland, and to the south of St. James and Trelawny. It covers an area of 1212.4 km², making it Jamaica’s second-largest parish, behind Saint Ann’s 1212.6 km². The parish is divided into four electoral districts (constituencies), that is North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West.

The main river in the parish is the Black River, and measuring 53.4 kilometres (33.2 mi), it is one of the longest rivers in Jamaica. It is navigable for about 40 kilometres (25 mi), and is supported by many tributaries including Y.S., Broad, Grass and Horse Savannah. The river has its source in the mountains of Manchester where it rises and flows west as the border between Manchester and Trelawney then goes underground. It reappears briefly in several surrounding towns, but re emerges near Balaclava and tumbles down gorges to the plain known as the Savannah, through the Great Morass and to the sea at Black River, the capital of the parish.

The geology of the parish is primarily alluvial plains to the south, and karstic limestone to the north. The karstic zones are known to contain over 130 caves (Jamaica Cave Register as of 2007 – from Fincham and JCO). These include Mexico Cave and Wallingford River Cave, near Balaclava, which are two associated sections of a major underground river that has its source in south Trelawny, as well as Yardley Chase Caves near the foot of Lovers’ Leap, and Peru Cave, near Goshen, which hasstalactites and stalagmites. Mineral deposits include bauxiteantimony, white limestone, claypeat and silica sand which is used to manufacture glass.