Shortwood Teachers’ College is situated in the parish of St. Andrew in the area known as Shortwood. Cherry Gardens lies to the east, Norbrook to the north and Constant Spring to the west. One enters the main gate on Shortwood Road to a myriad of colours. To the left of the entrance one is greeted by a row of yellow Alamanda succeeded by a line of pink Oleander. To the right is a semicircular row of Alamanda. Further right is a restful expanse of lawn dappled by Poui trees.
Another interesting and noteworthy feature of the grounds is an outdoor auditorium complete with a stage. This aesthetically pleasing area is the usual venue for the Annual Family Dinner, Valedictory Service, Graduation and the Shortwood Old Students’ Association (S.O.S.A.) annual Valentine’s Day Tea Party. A hedge of bright, multi- coloured crotons in the foreground and a proud row of yellow Poui trees in the background, provide a delightful backdrop to this tableau.
Stately, towering trees are visible from any angle throughout the College and every effort is made to maintain a green environment. Foremost among this wealth of greenery is the “Wisdom Tree” which has been designated a national heritage tree. This is a huge and aged Guango Tree with numerous overarching branches. This “grand giant” among the trees stands as a strong, silent witness to the many tales of anxiety, hope, joy, sorrow, and fear of successive generations of ‘Shortwoodites’.
Today, there are many new buildings, the most recent being the Early Childhood Institute, interspersed with the old, distinguished cut-stone buildings of the past. These buildings have also been designated national heritage buildings. This enigmatic juxtaposition of the past and the present is not only a feature of the architecture, but is also reflected in the ideals, culture and values of this illustrious institution.
One of the original buildings, The Stables has a connection with Sir Henry Morgan, the famous Buccaneer and Governor of Jamaica. The College is now located on a parcel of land which was once part of the Constant Spring Estate, owned by Colonel Henry Archbold.
The third daughter of Sir Henry Morgan married Colonel Henry Archbold. It is said that Sir Henry Morgan frequently visited his daughter and son-in-law on this site.
The Stables was one of the original buildings of the Archbold’s Estate which was frequently used by Sir Henry Morgan to house the horses of the Shortwood Estate. The Shortwood Practising School which was established in 1887 has an interesting history, since the first school room was originally The Stables.
The Stables was used as the Chapel for General Assembly. Chapel Service was held there nightly, where students sat in alphabetical order to facilitate the roll call. The lecturer on duty would conduct devotions at 8:00 p.m. with all students. The Stables was later called the Old Telephone Common Room. With the construction of the Marjorie Myers Hall the space was converted to a dormitory. Today, the Stables partially refurbished, serves as a Gallery/Museum and Student Centre.