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Manchester rivals its neighbour Trelawny for the title of Jamaica’s most mountainous parish.

The three main ranges running throughout the parish are the Carpenters Mountains, the May Day Mountains and the Don Figuero Mountains.  Of the three ranges the Carpenters Mountains is the highest, reaching as far as 2, 770 feet above sea level.


Over 90 per cent of the surface of the parish is covered with limestone and the geographic structure is characterised by many sink holes, cock pits, caves and underground cavities.

The main caves in Manchester are:

  • The Oxford Cave, located in upper Manchester is the largest in the parish, measuring approximately one kilometre.   It also has the distinction of being one of the prettiest in the island.  Located to the north of Mandeville the caves are well explored and relatively easy to negotiate.
  • The Coffee River Cave in Auchtembeddie, is not for the faint-hearted.  The tunnels are complex and more than half the passage ways that have been mapped out are underwater.

 The Gourie Cave, which is situated to the eastern edge of the Cockpit Mountains, near Christiana is also mostly underwater.