The magnificent Richmond Castle has stood tall amidst a lush green estate in Kalutara since the 19th century. While now its radiance primarily serves as a reminder of a bygone age, the mansion’s hallways and walls were once privy to all manner of stately affairs.
The castle is located in Tekkawatte, to the south of Kalutara. Generally, it’s open for public viewing from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays. Richmond Castle’s enduring popularity has meant that many Kalutara hotels tend to include a trip to it on their itinerary list, like the Anantara Kalutara Resort for instance.
An Architectural Marvel
The mansion was designed during the turbulent colonial times, as such its architecture displays a fascinating fusion of styles, from both the East and the West. If you look closely during your visit, you’ll find hints of Dutch, Indian and even Greek influence at the castle.
The Castle’s History
The Richmond Castle was built by a rich landowner – called a mudaliyar – named Arthur De Silva, who moved into the premises following his marriage to his wife, Clarice. During its height, the mansion was the sight of extravagant feasts, attended to by British dignitaries and local nobles. Unfortunately, Arthur and Clarice eventually separated at which point the mudaliyar signed off his wealth to a public trustee and began living in quiet seclusion in Kandy.
From Past to Present
Nowadays the Richmond Castle stands as a testament of beauty and architectural ingenuity, while also serving as an important historical monument that offers insight into Sri Lanka’s colonial past. Visitors have the chance to draw back the curtains a century or so and capture a glimpse of what the life of a mudaliyar was once like.