Saturday, 27 March 2021

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle, Kalutara
Richmond Castle (Sinhala: රිච්මන්ඩ් කාසල්) is a two-storied castle-like mansion located in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka. Presently this building is under the management of the Public Trustee (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

This mansion was built in 1896 by Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena, a local landowner, graphite miner and a favourite of the British rulers (Abeyawardana, 2002; Colombage, 2016; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). After his death in 1947, the mansion along with the appurtenant land of 42 acres of rubber and coconut was entrusted to the Public Trustee to be used as an orphanage (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The mansion
This mansion is a fusion of Indian and British architecture (Colombage, 2016). It is said to be a replica of the palace of the Indian Rajah of Ramnad, a friend of Siriwardena (Abeyawardana, 2002). It has 16 rooms, 99 doors and 38 windows (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The upper floor consists of six-bed rooms with attached bathrooms and balconies and the ground floor is reserved for a large ballroom, living, dining, and cooking spaces (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

Most of the construction materials for the building were sourced from abroad, including teak from Burma, bathroom floor tiles from Italy, green-coloured glass from Scotland, terracotta marble from India, and cistern, commodes and spiral iron stair-case from England (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7.  p.104.
2) Colombage, R.N.; Hettigoda, A.H.; Thilakarathna, P.H.L.U.; Waidyawardhana, V.K.C.; Gamage, H.D.H., 2016. Study on ancient mansions (Walawwas) in Sri Lanka. International Research Symposium on Engineering Advancements 2016 (IRSEA 2016) SAITM. pp.27-32.
3) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4. p.143.

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This page was last updated on 16 June 2022


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