Occupying a picturesque location in Kalutara, Richmond Castle is a cultural highlight like no other. Let’s explore the engaging back story of certainly one of the southern coast’s palatial residences.

The Mudaliyar

Although Richmond Castle is a preferred tourist attraction in Kalutara, it once served because the dream home of Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. A nobleman of great wealth from Colombo, the castle was the lifelong dream of this UK-educated aristocrat. During his studies in Britain, the Mudaliyar made friends with the Maharaja of Raman. Impressed by his friend’s mansion, the Mudaliyar desired to create a similarly staggering structure in his home country.

The Building Process

Although the Maharaja doubted his friend’s intent and capability for constructing a palatial compound, the Mudaliyar was undeterred and employed an architect and staff from Kudaligama after having them study the Maharaja’s palace at close quarters.

The Regal Wedding and a Luxury Lifestyle

The wedding between the Mudaliyar and Clarice Maud Sooriya Bandara followed soon after the completion of the Richmond Castle and was attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales no less. Although he was fond of youngsters, the couple was not in a position to produce any heirs and his marriage was annulled in 1941. He died six years later in Kandy on the age of 59. In his last will, the castle was bequeathed to a children’s home.

Richmond Castle Today

Richmond Castle
Image via Wikimedia Commons – Meshaun de Silva, Richmond Castle Kalutara, CC BY-SA 4.0

Although tourists based at Turyaa Kalutara Hotel and countless other hotels in Kalutara frequent the venue, only a couple of are aware of the castle’s owner and his tragic life. Surrounded by fruit gardens, Richmond Castle is as spectacular because it was in its heyday with its stairwells, tremendous details and spacious rooms fit for royalty.

 

 

 

 

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