Linstead is a town in the parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica. It has a population of approximately 20,660 and is located 12 miles NNW of Spanish Town. History:
Made famous by its bustling weekly fresh produce market, Linstead is a small inland town that has been a favorite meeting place for central Jamaicans since the 19th century. As a major commercial centre, farmers from the fertile hills and adjacent plains would journey here to sell a wide variety of produce, and thus, the town of Linstead developed primarily because of the market. Linstead market, made famous by the old Jamaican folk song “Carry mi ackee go a Linstead Market”, was once the largest and most popular market in St Catherine, if not in the whole island, because of its prime location for farmers and vendors alike. The areas around Linstead are overwhelmingly rural, and the economic hardship of the people, usually small farmers, gave rise to the song’s lament “carry mi ackee go a Linstead Market/not a quattie worth sell/laawd, what a night not a bite/what a Saturday night”.*
Since each town or village in Jamaica now has its own market, the Linstead Market has declined somewhat in importance. In the 19th century, however, it was a key meeting place for wholesalers of coffee and pimento for export. It is still one of the most frequented markets, however, because its reputation has lasted through the years as one of the best places in Jamaica to access fresh farm produce. The market has branched out somewhat, and now just about any item, from the latest fashions to toothpaste and homemade soap, can be bought from the vendors there, who sometimes display their goods in wooden stalls on the streets. *frm: visitjamaica.com
The Roman Catholic Church located in Linstead is known as St. Helen.