The history of Richmond Castle Kalutara

Spread over 42 acres and nestled at the highest point in Kalutara, the sublime setting of Richmond Castle is where nobles once paraded through its mesmeric halls and gardens.


Upon completing his education in the United Kingdom and meeting with the Maharaja of Raman whose own mansion had caught his eye, Don Arthur De Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena undertook to replicate such an edifice in Sri Lanka. After arriving in the country and being conferred the title of Mahamudali of Kalutara (Head of the Mudaliyars), he met with a skilled architect and sought to construct what would eventually be one of the most cherished landmarks in Kalutara.


Arthur himself was born into nobility which meant that he was the beneficiary of a large inheritance. Added to this, the great man was a successful businessman with vested interests in agriculture, graphite, gems and lace.

The Mansion

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

Styled in accordance with the whims of the Mudaliyar, Richmond Castle was opened on the 10th of May, 1910. Comprising 2 floors, each with a total of 14 rooms, the mansion which depicted features of a grand castle boasted 99 doors and 34 windows of which the frames had been made with teak wood that had been brought from Burma. A double-winged stairway was added to the main lobby while tinted glass and bath ware were imported and affixed from Italy and England respectively. Notably, the bedrooms were soundproof and within the gardens, 12 granite statues could be found.


After the death of the Mudaliyar in 1947, the ownership of the Castle was left to the public trustee who is presently tasked with its management. In the event you are staying at properties like Turyaa Kalutara which is one of the best hotels in Kalutara, one will learn that Richmond Castle is now used as a home for destitute children and is only a few mins away.