Richmond Castle is the breath-takinglegacy of a wealthy landowner who lived there between 1900 and 1910. A mudaliyar, or government official appointed by the British colonial officers to oversee the area, this is the story of Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena.
1. Arthur De Silva
He was known as Don Arthur de Silva and was educated abroad in England before he returned to Sri Lanka to take over the seat from his well-esteemed father. He was a lover of architecture and admired Edwardian artistry, always dreaming of building one of his own.
2. 42 Acre Estate
Richmond Castle is set in the heart of a 42-acre estate in Kalutara. It has a spacious garden set with intricate sculptures, 34 embellished, stain glass windows, 99 doors, a fantastic dancing hall and a teak staircase that was imported from Myanmar.
3. His Beloved Bride
Another reason for Don Arthur wanting to build this castle, apart from being influenced by the beauty of the palace of his old school friend the Maharaja of Ramnad, was the beautiful Clarice – a well-to-do daughter of an official.
4. The Tragic End
Clarice and Arthur married and lived in Richmond Castle but were unable to have any children, one of the facts that led to the souring of their marriage. They both died alone, later on, having bequeathed their riches to destitute children.
5. Richmond Castle Today
Today, if you go to Kalutara for one of the grand beach hotels in Sri Lanka and are staying locally at one, the likes of Mermaid Hotel & Club, make sure you spare a visit to Richmond Castle. Entry is Rs. 500 and is open to the public from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays.