Pedro St. James Castle is the oldest existing structure in the Cayman islands. Located on the southern coast, the manor is a reconstruction of an original 1780 house, and the home of plantation owner William Eden. In 1831, it served as a rendezvous point for the first elected parliament in the Cayman Islands; the location has since been known as the birthplace of democracy in the Caymans. During this meeting, the decision was made amongst the island's leading citizens to vote for elected representatives. Four years later, in 1835, the Slavery Abolition Act was read from the stone archway of the building.
For many years, Bodden Town served as the seat of Cayman Islands government. Likewise, it was the home of the Chief Magistrate of the islands, William Bodden; during his time in office between 1798 and 1823, the first roads were completed. It was also during this time period and into the mid-19th century that a jail was established and the first court on the island was held. Historical records for the island state that, "In 1839, the prisoners at Pedro Castle were transferred to the Guard House at Bodden Town."