Wadduwa is a charming little town located close to Colombo and Galle. It is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination due to many factors. Located between Colombo and Galle, two of major tourist destinations in SriLanka, it allows an easy commute to many prominent tourist attractions. A stay in Wadduwa is much more affordable than in other touristy towns. Having not being spoiled by all the tourist commotions and beach vendors, Wadduwa is an ideal hassle-free family vacation spot for those who love tranquility.
Easily reached from Wadduwa, Richmond castle stands on a mountain top overlooking the beautiful Kaluganga to the west and Geekiyange Kanda to the east. The entire building stands on one acre of land.
The history of Richmond castle
Long time ago lived a wealthy landowner and philanthropist by the name of Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena more commonly known as don Arthur de Silva. He had always dreamed of owning his own castle built according to the great architecture of the buildings he saw during the time he had spent in England doing his higher studies, and the palace of the Maharaja of Ramnad in India.
His dream came true in 1910 with the completion of the majestic Richmond Castle. The entire house is said to have had 99 door frames made of teak from Burma with a double winged stair way.
Sprawled across a 42-acre estate, the castle features complex statues, 34 windows embellished with stained glass of exquisite designs, an immense dance hall and staircase of teak especially imported from Burma. The architecture is a fusion of different styles from the East and West. Tiles from India, window panes from Italy and styles of Scottish, Roman and Dutch.
After completion of his dream palace Arthur brought his queen to his castle – he and his bride Clarice were welcomed by not just a crowd of locals but the Maharaja of Ramnad and many other aristocrats. Regrettably, the marriage did not survive long due to the fact that the couple was devastated by their inability to conceive children and separated.
Don Arthur de Silva left the Richmond Castle for good and left all his possessions to destitute children who needed a shelter, and lived the remainder of his life in a room at the Queen’s Hotel in Kandy. Today the castle, having somewhat lost its past glory, is owned by the Public Trustee and is open to the public to tour its unique architecture and 100-year history.
The Richmond Castle is open for public viewing from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays, except for public holidays such as Poya Days. Cost for entry is LKR 50 for locals and LKR 500 for foreigners.