Old Mathews Building (Colombo Fort)

Colombo Old Mathews Building
Colombo Old Mathews Building (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Old Mathews Building (Sinhala: කොළඹ පැරණි මැතිව්ස් ගොඩනැගිල්ල, කැනල් රෝ) is located at No. 23, Canal Row Street in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka.

In the second half of the 19th century, Messrs. C. Mathew & Co. was the leading local firm that engaged in the business of ship chandlers and stevedores at the port of Colombo (Wright, 1999). This business was established near the British India Hotel in Colombo Fort by Bastian but later it came into the possession of the Mathew family (Wright, 1999). After the death of C. Mathew in 1892, his son C.J. Mathew took over the business in Canal Row where the present building of the firm was built in 1896 (Wright, 1999).

The rectangular-shaped building consists of two stories separated by a wooden floor (Manathunga, 2016). Presently, it has been designated as an archaeological protected monument.

1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.34.
2) Wright, A. ed., 1999. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources (first published in 1907). Asian Educational Services. pp.458-459.

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This page was last updated on 2 September 2022
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