Saturday, 28 December 2019

Old Lighthouse and Clock Tower, Colombo

The Old Lighthouse & Clock Tower
The Colombo Old Lighthouse & Clock Tower is a clock tower and was a lighthouse situated at the junction of Chatham Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. The tower was used in navigation to indicate the safe passage for vessels entering the Colombo Harbor at night time. Although the lighthouse is no longer operational, the tower still functions as a clock tower.

Following the construction plan by Emily Elizabeth Swinburne, the wife of Governor Sir Henry George Ward (1797-1860 A.D.), the tower was built under the supervision of John Fleming Churchill (1829–1894 A.D.) during the years 1856-1857 (Manathunga, 2016). Firstly, a clock was installed to the completed tower in 1857 and a navigation light was added to it in 1867 (Manathunga, 2016). In the beginning, the light was lit using Kerosene but from 1907, gas was used for the illumination (Manathunga, 2016). In 1932, an electric-powered light was installed to the tower but it was deactivated in 1952 after its light became obscured by nearby buildings (Manathunga, 2016). It is said that the light of this tower was visible to the eye at a distance of 17 miles [(27.35 km) Manathunga, 2016].

In 1914, the original clock of the tower was replaced with the current clock (Manathunga, 2016).

1) Iconic CBSL Building by Amithasundar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.24.

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This page was last updated on 28 December 2019


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