From 1947 until 1950, an elegant two storey house, # 62 Lady Musgrave Road, in the residential area of Kingston served as the headquarters of the fledging University College of the West Indies.  Located on just under four (4) acres of land, the house was valued for seven thousand, five hundred pounds sterling in 1946.  In that year it was purchased by the Government of Jamaica from Mrs H. G. Delisser and rented to the then University College of the West Indies.  The records in the University Archives reveal that the College was responsible for the payment of taxes and insurance and paid the Government fifty (50) pounds sterling in rent.

The College took possession of the premises on 1 April 1947 (and not 1 February 1947 as stated by Philip Sherlock and Rex Nettleford in their 1990 history of the University) although it allowed Mrs Delisser to stay in a part of it until April 22. The records reveal that the College was anxious to move their offices there as soon as possible from their temporary ‘home’ at the British Council’s offices at 13 East Street in Kingston, at which location the Principal had operated from since his arrival in Jamaica in October 1946.

The second meeting of the Provisional Council was held at 62 Lady Musgrave Road from the 7th to the 9th January 1948.   The College continued to occupy the house as an office and residence for the Principal until January 14th 1950 when it relinquished its tenancy.    Afterwards the house was used by the Government as a residence for the country’s Attorney General and later the President of the Court of Appeal. Afterwards, various government bodies had their offices there.  The building is at present unoccupied.

62 Lady Musgrave Road, First Home of the University College of the West Indies


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