Lucknow's British Residency | Revolt of 1857 | Historical Place | Uttarapradesh | History of 1857 Revolt | Pious Pravasi

Lucknow Pravasi Series - Part 6
Witness of 1857 War of Independence  - British Residency of Lucknow

The Freedom War of 1857 should be known to everyone. Many cities played an important role in this freedom struggle. Among them, Lucknow is an important city and the British Residency here (Lucknow's British Residency) has a special place. On the walls of the buildings in the Residency you can still see traces of gunfire and cannon fire of the battle of 1857. We are going to take information about this place under the series "Lucknow Pravasi".

british residency lucknow

How to reach British Residency Lucknow?
The British Residency was about 12 km from Teddypulia where I lived in Lucknow. We took a cab directly to the Residency. Lucknow is the nearest railway station to reach the British Residency. Residency is 5 km from Lucknow station and a public transport facility is available there.

British Residency - From Creation to Freedom Struggle (Who built Lucknow's British Residency?)
According to the agreement between Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula of Awadh and the British in 1774, it was decided to build a British Residency for the stay of British residents stationed in Awadh. After Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula shifted the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775, the construction of the Residency began, which was completed during the reign of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. Over time, other buildings were erected here as required.

British Residency Map
British Residency Map

During the freedom struggle of 1857, the Residency Complex buildings were heavily damaged due to continuous firing and counter-shelling. Spread over nearly 33 acres of this residency, only remnants of several buildings remain today. These buildings are named after the people who stayed there or the officers who manned the posts during the battle or the purpose of construction of the buildings.

The remains of the British Residency have been preserved as a tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and to preserve the evidence of British patience and strategy.

We at the Entrance of British Residency

There are about 33 places in the entire complex and the boards with their brief information and part of the events that took place during the freedom struggle have been installed here. We are going to take information about all these places one by one.

Bailley Guard Gate
Constructed by the Nawab Saadat Ali Khan in the honor of Capt. John Bailley. During the war of 1857, this post was under the command of Lt. Atkin, and due to heavy attacks from the revolutionaries, it was badly damaged. Lt. Alexander was killed by a round shot in front of this gate.

Bailley Guard Gate british residency
Bailley Guard Gate

Treasury Building
Constructed in 1851, this is a double-storied building, decorated with Rajpoot and conventional Awadh arches. It was used as a treasury in the British period but during the War of 1857, the central part of the building was used as an ordnance factory. The mark of canon shots and bullets of 1857 can still be seen on the exterior of the building.

treasury building british residency
Treasury Building

Aitkin's Post british residency
Aitkin's Post

Dr.Fayrer's House
Dr. Fayrer was a resident surgeon during the siege of 1857. There is also a tehkhana or underground room for hot weather, which provided needed refuge for the women & children quartered here. Sir Henry Lawrence was shifted to this building after being mortally wounded on 2nd July, he succumbed to his injuries on 4th July 1857.

Dr.Fayrer's House british residency
Dr.Fayrer's House

Banquetting Hall
Constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, it was probably the most imposing structure in the whole area with its grand apartments and spacious saloons,  furnished with costly chandeliers, mirrors, and silk divans. It was used for banquets in honor of Nawab. During the siege of 1857, it was converted into a hospital.

Banquetting Hall british residency
Banquetting Hall

1857 Memorial Museum
Lithographs of the Residency Complex are displayed in this gallery. In 1857 it was sketched on the spot as it appeared before and after the First War of Independence. Some of the buildings in the complex like the Church, Water Gate, Clock Tower, Gubbins House, Sanders Post, etc. seen in the lithograph were completely destroyed by heavy shelling. A lithograph of the Billiards Room on the second floor of the main residential building shows its poor condition. Of the two Translites, one shows a view of the Residency Tower in its current state, and the other is of a banquet hall window that still bears bullet marks.

1857 Memorial Museum british residency
1857 Memorial Museum

lithographs british residency

museum british residency
Canon shot mark on the wall

British Residency - Main Building
Originally, it was a three-storeyed imposing building meant for the British Resident which gave its name to the compound as Residency. During the siege of 1857, European ladies and children had taken shelter in underground rooms here. Henry Lawrence was mortally wounded on 2nd July 1857 in this building.

British Residency - Main Building
British Residency - Main Building

Memorial of Sir John Inglis british residency
Memorial of Sir John Inglis

Memorial Pillar of Henry Lawrence british residency
Memorial Pillar of Henry Lawrence

St. Mary Church and Cemetery
The church was built in Gothic style in 1810, now standing only to a height of 2- 3 feet. It is surrounded by a cemetery, first used during the siege in 1857. The enormous number of casualties forced the dead to be dumped in the ground near the church, with no burial service other than a brief prayer. It also served as a granary during the siege. In this strange setting, history sleeps on.

Cemetery - British Residency

St. Mary Church - British Residency

Ommaney's House
This edifice was an extensive double-storeyed building and was occupied by Mr. Ommaney, Judicial Commissioner. He was killed by a cannon shot on the 5th of July 1857. After the death of Sir Henry Lawrence, Brigadier Inglis established his headquarters here. Later, Henry Havelock also made it his headquarters.

Ommaney's House british residency
Ommaney's House

Ruines of Buildings british residency
Ruines of Buildings

Sikh Square
Consisted of two square enclosures, surrounded by rows of low, flat-roofed buildings known as Sikh Square, so designed, because they were occupied during the siege of 1857 by the Sikh cavalry, under the command of Captain Harding. A mine sprung by the freedom fighters, on August 18, 1857, this building was considerably damaged.

Sikh Square british residency
Sikh Square

Martiniere's Post
These are the remains of a European-style building, said to be owned by Shah Biharilal. During the siege of 1857, it was guarded by a party of the 32nd Regiment, teachers & about 50 students of La Martinier's school under the command of George Schilling, principal of the school. The building suffered heavy damage by a mine sprung by the freedom fighters on August 10, 1857.

Martiniere's Post british residency
Martiniere's Post

Water Management and Sewage System
Archaeological excavations between 2001-2005 brought to light many buried remains of the British Residency, one of which is the water management and sewage system.

Water Management and Sewage System british residency
Water Management and Sewage System

Germon's Post british residency
Germon's Post

Anderson's Post british residency
Anderson's Post

Mosque and Imambara
Basically related to Nawab Nasir-Ud-Din Haider, this group of buildings is an excellent example of the Indo-European style of architecture. His wife Mukhdarah, her mother & step-sister Ashrafunnisa used to live here. Ashrafunnisa built a Mosque and Imambara adjacent to Begum Kothi. This is the only building built in the traditional architectural style of Awadh.

Mosque and Imambara british residency
Mosque and Imambara

Begum Kothi

Basically, this building was built by Nawab Asif-Ud-Daula. Subsequently, it was sold to Sacville Marcus Taylor, Assistant Resident, who in turn sold it to George Prendergast in 1802. Prendergast set up a European shop here and later on, sold the House and building to John Cullodon. Malika Mukhdarah Alia was the granddaughter of Cullodon. 

Begum Kothi british residency
Begum Kothi

Kitchen house british residency
Kitchen House

We ended our Pravas near the Kitchen House which is adjacent to Begum Kothi and started our way back. A visit to the British Residency is a must if one wants to get an idea of how intense and widespread the struggle of 1857 was.

If you want to watch the YouTube video of the same Pravas, click here at British Residency.

To read other blogs in this series, click here Lucknow Pravasi.

#britishresidency #historicalplace #indianhistory #revoltof1857 #lucknow #uttarapradesh #LucknowPravasi #PiousPravasi

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