Richmond Castle: A Tale of Grandeur and Romance


Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is not yet a popular tourist destination. When we went there, there was only one bus with local tourists. There is no wonder why tourists don’t go there. Main reason being it is not added as a tourist destination in the tourist brochures and websites and the Richmond Castle is not being maintained well. The roof leaks rainwater along the walls discoloring the walls by gathering moss. The garden is so huge (42 acres) that the Government Trustee Department cannot maintain it well. The lawns are not trimmed. The pictures you see on website don’t relate to the place when you go there in person. The site is not attractive to the naked eye. The Department should do something before the building deteriorates.

Richmond’s Castle is a century old country mansion with the outward appearance of the 19th Century British noble residencies.

Its owner had been Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur De Silva Wijeysinghe Siriwardena, the Mudaliyar of Kalutara District during the early decades of the 1900s. He had been a son of a wealthy and influential planter. The young Arthur De Silva Wijeysinghe was schooled in Britain. On completion of his studies in England he was bestowed the position of Mudaliyar by the King and returned to Sri Lanka to take up rank.

On returning to his homeland, the Mudaliyar inspired by the palace of his old school pal, the Maharaja of Ramnad in India, built the Richmond Castle. The Mudaliyar moved into Richmond Castle upon his marriage to a young beauty of noble rank, Clarice Matilda Maude Suriyabandara.

I won’t tell you the rest of the story as it is more detailed in a more beautiful language at the link http://www.serendib.btoptions.lk/article.php?id=213

I can’t advise you to go there as I was disappointed after visiting it but there is nothing wrong in raising a voice to preserve this property in a proper manner for the sake of the ancient value of the building.

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