Richmond Castle in Kalutara was built in 1896 and to-date, is considered one of the best examples of 19th century architecture in Sri Lanka. It was built under the directive of the Mudaliyar in Kalutara during the early 1900s, Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur De Silva Wijeysinghe Siriwardene.
This castle is one of the most popular attractions in the region and is a must-see during your holiday. Of the many beach hotels in Sri Lanka, resorts such as Citrus Waskaduwa, offer you luxury, comfort and world-class service, while placing you within close proximity to attractions such as the Richmond Castle.
Arthur De Silva, upon his return from England following his higher studies, became Mudaliyar of the Kalutara District. Inspired by the palace of his school friend, the Maharaja of Ramnad India, the mudaliyar issued directives to construct the Richmond Castle.
The castle consists of two floors and fifteen rooms, all with excellent air flow. This fine example of architectural excellence also showcases 99 door frames, 38 windows and one large roof that cover the entire building. All essential supplies needed for the construction of this splendid castle were imported from overseas, including, roofing times, timber, stained glass, bathroom fittings and other ornaments.
The mudaliyar moved into the castle when he married Clarice Matilda Maude Suriyabandara, a young beauty of noble rank. Although the couple had the world at their feet, they were not blessed with the one thing they wanted – a child. It is said that the mudaliyar laid marble statues of infants all over the beautiful park surrounding the castle and the couple were said to be often seen gazing at them from the balcony.
The couple later separated and the Mudaliyar bequeathed all his wealth and the Castle to the Public Trustee and he confined himself to room number 77 of the Queen’s Hotel in Kandy for the rest of his life.
Besides the splendid architecture of the Castle, the surroundings gardens too have been well maintained to-date.
Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world.