Queen's Tower, Delft Island (Sri Lanka)

Queen's Tower, Delft Island, Sri Lanka
Queen's Tower (Sinhala: ඩෙල්ෆ් රැජිණ කුළුණ; Tamil: இராணியின் கோபுரம்) is an old measurement tower located on the southeastern coast of the island of Delft (Tamil: Neduntheevu), Sri Lanka. Several towers similar to this have been recorded across the country, especially in the northern peninsula (Wijebandara, 2014).

The British erected the tower (British Ceylon: 1815-1948) as a trigonometric point and a light navigation point for diurnally operated ships (Dias et al., 2016). Recorded evidence has confirmed that they used the tower to measure the land by setting up an instrument on the top of the tower (Dias et al., 2016).

However, an incorrect opinion suggests that this tower had been used as a lighthouse and therefore, it is presently popular among locals as such a tower (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). According to that belief, the smoke released by a fire set at the bottom of the tower creates a vacuum forcing the air to come out from the opening of the wall at the top of the tower's chimney-like tube thus making it visible to sailors during the day and in the night.

Although it is considered this tower shows the features of Dutch architecture it is not confirmed (Wijebandara, 2014). The tower which consists of five stories is about 55 ft. tall and has been built with cubic-shaped cut limestone rocks (Dias et al., 2016). An arch-shaped passage has been built in the lowest section along the north-south direction (Wijebandara, 2014). The tower is getting smaller as it rises from the bottom to the top. 

A protected monument
The lighthouse (Queens Pillar) in the area called Alamavanan in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. Pe/6, Delft North-East in the Delft Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 July 2011.

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1) Queen's tower by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. pp.215-216.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1716. 22 July 2011. p.512.
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. p.67.

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This page was last updated on 10 June 2022
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