6°36'05.4"N 79°58'31.1"E

කලුතර රිච්මන්ඩ් වලව්ව

Richmond Castle

Manor Houses and Walauwes

Western

Province

Jaffna

District

Kalutara

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Richmond Castle is an Edwardian mansion, located near Kalutara. Built between 1900 and 1910, it was formally the country seat of Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. The building is currently owned by the Public Trustee and open to the public.

The house sits on a hill 2 km (1.2 mi) from the Kalutara, adjoining the Kalu Ganga River at Palatota,[3] on a 42 acres (17 ha) estate beside the Kalutara-Palatota Road.


History

Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena photographed 22 December 1919 The building was constructed by a local landowner and philanthropist, Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena (12 November 1889 – 8 July 1947). Srirwardena studied in Britain and on completion of his studies he was bestowed the position of Mudaliyar by the King, returning to Ceylon to take up the position.

The mansion was built based on a similar plan of a castle in India, which was owned by Srirwardena's schoolmates, Raja Rajeswara Sethupathi, the Raja of Ramnad. Sriwardena had requested a copy of the building plans from the Sethupathi, but was refused with the advice the Ceylonese were not capable of undertaking such a large construction project. This inspired Sriwardena to visit the Raja with two local architects, who secretly drew plans of the castle.

Richmond Castle is a two-storey building with sixteen rooms, 99 doors and 34 windows. All essential supplies for the building were sourced from abroad, including floor titles from Italy, teak from Burma (used to construct the main staircase), window panes, decorated with glass depicting grapevines, from Scotland, and an iron stair and bathroom fittings from England. Srirwardena moved into Richmond Castle upon his marriage to Clarice Matilda Maude Suriyabandara on 1910. The wedding took place in St. Mary's Church, Kalamulla.

The couple spent 32 years together; however, they were unable to have children. Srirwenda bequeathed his properties to the Public Trustee, with the request that the castle was converted to a children's home. Srirwardena died on 8 July 1947, and from 1956 the Richmond Castle has been taken care by the Public Trustee Department of Sri Lanka.

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