Friday, 4 March 2022

Government Agent's Quarters (Hambantota)

The old Quarters of Hambantota Government Agent (Sinhala: හම්බන්තොට දිසාපති නිල නිවස) is situated near the Martello Tower in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka.

Although this building is presently known as the Government Agent's quarters, it was originally the quarters of Sub-District Agent for Hambantota District during the British ruling Period (1815-1948 A.D.). 
Appointing of a government agent as the authoritative person for a province and a sub-agent for a district was initiated in 1833. However, the ruling area of the Government Agent was restricted to one district by an act passed later and accordingly, the sub-agents in each district were appointed as the Government Agents. Captain Charles Driberg, the first such appointed government agent under the British ruling system was the commanding officer of paid corps that used for preventing the Uva-Wellassa rebellion (1817-1818 A.D.).  

Leonard Woolf (1880-1969), the Government Agent for Hambantota from 1908 to 1911, has mentioned in his diary some details about this location and buildings. Information on servants attached to his quarters, and descriptions about the horse house, its chairs, caravans and servants are found among his notes. According to his notes, the old building presently identified as the Hambantota Government Agent's Quarters can be considered as a complex establishment.

During the tenure of Thomas Still, a group of seafarers who faced with an accident while on voyaging had been brought to this quarters for treatments.
A protected monument
The ancient building used as the official quarters of the Government Agent at Towerhill road in Hambantota town west No. 09 village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Hambantota in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Hambantota is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 24 March 2016.
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016. p.227.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 15 January 2023


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