It Appears That Galle fort town had been extensively developed during 19th century due to trading activities connected with the Galle harbor. Building in Galle fort were particularly used as warehouses and offices of business connected with naval activities of Galle harbor. British businessmen altered the Old Dutch building to suit their needs and used those for their offices and warehouses requirements.
Most of the buildings outside the Galle fort, near the Old harbour have been constructed by British. During Dutch period there was only one jetty and few buildings to repair vessels near the harbour.
Several building on the coastal belt were owned by P& O company used by them as coal stores to supply coal to feel ships of the company. The specious, large hair presently known as Hall De Galle was one of the big buildings in that building complex and was used as the government granary during British period of ruling. British administrative records show that the building had beam repaired many times while it was in use. In 1869Ad the roof of the building had been fully repaired spending 95 starting pounds by British government. This building has a gable roof and window frames with glass panels are flitted.
Buildings located outside Kalu Kotuwa were used for the dockyard. Those buildings after charring out necessary alterative are now used for the marine training institute. When a police station was required for Galle harbour, this these buildings used to conduct the police station. British government spent Rs. 540.50 in 1888 AD to convert old coal stores to police barracks.
Old Dutch warehouse near the old fort gate was subject to various changes during British period and was used for various purposes. The lower part of the building was maintained as a warehouse during 19th century was used to house district court, customs office, harbour masters office, Galle gymkhana sports club and Land registry. From the earliest time of British governance, building in Kalukotuwa was used for Royal Artillery regiment. During Dutch period, the official residence of the chief security of Galle commander and workshops used by blacksmiths were situated there. Weapons for the army were manufactured in those workshops. Brutish governance had to spend Rs 264/- to construct two prison cells here. These building are presently used for deputy inspector General’s office residence and for his office. After 1844Ad those buildings were used by Galle police.
Due to expansion of court activities certain sections of the court in the warehouse building had to be moved out to other building. In mid 19th century, the police court or magistrate court was started in the building near the fort gate which was used as the official quarters of European soldiers and Malay barracks. Verandah with wooden planks is an outstanding feature of this building. A sum of Rs.2634/- was spent to repair Malay barracks in the Galle fort for the use of police court. Similarly another sum of Rs.750/- had be spent separate the garden of the Malay barracks to the court.
In early stage even the meeting of the Galle municipal council was held in this building but in order to prevent disturbances caused to the Magistrate court by those meeting town hall was moved out of the fort. Due to inadequacy of space in the court building, British government had to construct a new building for the supreme court and the district court. Dutch buildings between Ackers loot tower and Kalu Kotuwa were therefore removed and the two story court building was constructed in the year q927ADat a cost of Rs. 100,000/-
Ackers loot tower was used as the official residence for the harbour chief during Dutch period. British government made necessary alterations there to so that the building could be used as part of the British hospital. This building is identified as military hospital in maps. Government agent for southern province states that Rs.436.61 was spent in December 1892Ad to develop the military hospital building to be put to use as the office of ports authority. The building had been developed to the present stage by effecting alterations in the Old Dutch building which was there until then. This building was changed further in the year 2007AD.
British hospital building was adjoining Ackersloot building. It is said that during Dutch period their hospital are situated at this place. British constructed a group of building in which army harbours were used for warehouses and hospital wards were use that hospital stares and official quarters. Later those services were removed and the building was developed to house Kachcheri for administrative operations. For that purpose the group of building consisting of 3 buildings appears to have been consolidated to from the present T shaped building with two stores. Either side on the ground floor is two corridor passages. The corridor is constructed with arches and they had adopted the traditional construction technique of using support archers to re in force the first floor from the ground floor. First floor consists of verandahs with straight dual pillars decorated with simple beadings. A mixture of coral lime stone and clay had been used for construction of archers and walls of the left side of the building. It is evident that British had used coral, stones etc., as building materials during first half of 19th century. During the early phases of construction coral had been used belt later use of bricks can be identified.
Of the upstairs, 90% of floor area is wooden. Due to deterioration of wood, rein forced concrete had been used late. This building has a gable roof and the traditional system of ventilator windows high up on the main wall to expel hot air can be identified. Entire roof is made of wooden trusses but it is evident that originally the roof had been tiled with Calicut tiles. The ceiling filled on the ratters is a particular feature of construction during British period. Clefts at the top of the ceiling meant for ventilation are carried with designs. In order to prevent collapse of the arches in the old section of the building constructed using coral, walls of the building are reinforced with steel rods. Fixing the top ends of those rods to the top of the arch with the end of the steel rod made out to form 4 plates and fixing the other part of the rod to the building using nuts from inside had been the method adopted by British constructors. This rare system used to prevent archer leaning aside used by British can be identified in many buildings in Galle fort.
This is the building in which the largest door frames and windows are noticed among the building in Galle fort. Door frames of about 10 feet high and windows of about 8 feet tall were felted to obtain more natural light. Some doors and windows are felted with double shutters one wooden and the other glass. Use of rectangular fit panels for wooden shutters is an outstanding feature. There are three flights of steps to access the upper floor and there also bobbin patters reflecting architectural designs of British era. In the garden adjoining Old Dutch hospital where indigenous medicinal plants are grown few bread fruit trees can be seen even today. Bread fruit was grown to provide a comparatively cheaper meal to hospitalized soldiers. This building had been repaired in 2013 and was used for commercial purposes.
Some buildings in front of this building are presently used by Galle police. Those buildings were used as army barracks, restaurants of sailors and as Garrison Library during British era. This is another building constructed during Dutch period since this building can be seen in the olden day maps and lime mixed with day having been used for the construction. Rear side verandah with carpentry pillars can be identified even at present. With the commencement of Galle police in 1844AD this building was needed for that purpose. Old administrative reports show that Rs.270/- had been spent to develop this building to provide accommodation for 3 married European constables. Further sum of Rs.1500/- was spent to develop the building for the else of 6 native bachelor constables while Rs.2695/- had been spent alter police buildings in Galle fort in 1891AD. In order for progressive development of fort police such as for repair work carried out in constructing new police barracks, British government had to spent a total sum of Rs.9500/- at different stages of construction. During that period several military buildings were converted to police quarters. A group of buildings were constructed in the year 1899 for police barracks at a cost of Rs.5600/- and in 1898 two groups of police barracks had been contracted in the year 1898 spending Rs. 11,231.66/- several buildings were developed for police station in Galle in the year 1894. The building formerly used as the hospital for Malay was alter for use of native police officers by British government spending Rs.3788/-
Buildings in front of the Magistrate court and adjacent police group of buildings are separated to several sections for the use of lawyers but in that set of buildings window and door frame style pertaining to latter period of Dutch rule can be identified. Therefore it can be assumed that these buildings were constructed during late Dutch period or early British period. This set of buildings was used as the office and warehouses of S.P.D.B. De Silva company involved in business related to harbour during British period. All those buildings to the right side of Leyn Baan Street in this group of buildings can be identified as having been constructed during Dutch period or during early period of British regime according to their architectural aspects. Among those architectural features use of corals, Verandah pillars, wooden floors in upstairs, large windows and door and window frames thick walls are notable.
This entire set of buildings was used by Companies handling import and export trade of the Galle harbour during British period. Among those were the office of Chas P. Heyley and their stores and the office and stores of Don Daniel De Silva Company. According to their architectural designs it is clear that all those buildings were constructed during Dutch period.
Building in Galle fort was mostly used by British as warehouses. E. Coals building on Peddler street is one of those buildings used for a warehouse. From the maps of Dutch period it can be identified that even in those days there had been a warehouses complex at this site. Walls of the rear side of the building (presently on 1st new lane) built using coral and limestone as raw materials and the architectural features there indicate that the building was constructed during Dutch period. This building was used by Delmage Raid Company for their office and stores. Later, E. Coals Company joined them. Chairman of E. Coals Company was Edward coats and their main product was coir. It had been by this company the present E. Coals building was altered to suit their requirements. E, Coats is a two storey building filleted with glass panel windows at front side and the huge doors run on wheels as used for ware houses can be identified.
Some of those old buildings in Galle fort can be observed as having been altered to erase off their unique ancestral styles of architecture; Chas P. Hayley building on peddler street is a clear example prior to the time the building came under them it had been a single story structure but had shaped door and window frames are flitted with glass panels. Beading stripes are carved on the front wall to distinguish the levels of floors. Later British added Corinthian pillars of Europe to display their identity. This building can be taken for an example showing British identity in construction of buildings.
Architectural features of 17th and 18th centuries inside the present hotel building known as fort printers building have never been tampered so far. This building was used by mass energies maritime of Ceylon company their office. In the recent past few class rooms of Mahinda college was housed in this building. Still later there had been a small printing press in this building.
The building was developed as a two storey structure to suit the needs of that company. An inspection of locations of front windows and doors would several that the building originally had a verandah facing peddler street but was later constructed to face church street and peddler street with later victorious architectural features made prominent.
It is said that the warehouse and office of Cargills Company started at no.22, Pedder street in the year 1848AD and it is also believed that the first warehouse and the office of Cargills Company in Ceylon were opened in Galle fort at the same location.
The present archeological office building facing old fort gate and old Dutch warehouse had been built in 17th century. This building was used as the storekeeper’s residence dealing Dutch period and during British period was used for the office of main guard staff. At the inspectional stages this building was connected with the nearby magistrate court office. The building is located parallel to queens street.
This building was constructed in 17th century and it appears that ditch have added their unique architectural feature to the building. According to its architectural form and also according to old maps it appears that this building had a front verandah with pillars. As at present a front verandah with qg company pillars can be seen in this building. The pillars built using bricks indicate that the construction dates back to British period.
The building known as queen’s Residence at present had been constructed during early Dutch era. From the maps it can be assumed that this was originally built by Portuguese. It was a single story building originally. Very small windows containing artistic decorations of John Woltgana in 1740Ad can be identified in this building.
Many changes and alterations were made to the buildings during British period to convert the building as queen’s house. Their major alterations were developing one section of the building forming a two stored structure. it appear that a verandah with arches was added to the front and it has been strengthened with those arches to hold the upstairs. That additional section is built with 7 arches close to the street. However the entire building can be seen with window frames of large panels clearly indicating that those parts were added during British period. Although verandahs with arches are seen in both sections facing Church Street in a photograph of 19th century showing those buildings there had been no arches and there had been a front verandah with wooden pillars then. The gable shape roof had been filed using semi circular tiles, and the wide ramp can be clearly identified. Lattice frames were flitted to enclose the verandah and the way the building was developed adding arches to the front section can be noted. Inspection of the inside of the building many architectural additions during British period can be seen. Among those the arched set of pillars decorated with beautifully carved beadings to support the upstairs wooden floor is remarkable. The ceiling full of carvings reminds wood carving of 19th century.
The post office was exceptionally started in a section of this building. It is started that a sum of 30 sterling pounds was spent to put rain gutters and down pipes to the post office building in the year 1869AD. The first guest of this building, the first, British governor of Ceylon notes the elegance of this place. North, who armed at Galle in 1801AD is said to have declared open the Garrison church in Galle fort during his stay in here. William Gregory, the Governor in the first decade of 1870AD, stating more details about this building notes that it was difficult to reach this official residence through Galle harbour and suggest that the building be sold. Later British government had to sell the building by auction to Workers Company. The land containing an extent of 01 acre, 2 roods and 7 perches and other buildings therein were used by clerk Spence & company. Queens house and other alter buildings were used as warehouse offices by this company.
Building adjacent to Anglican Church was used for British mercantile bank at early stages and later by commercial bank. Inside the building adjacent to of many Dutch architectural features can be identified but British have effected significant changes to the front sections of the building. After the use of the building by old Mansion hotel, it was used as the office and the warehouse of Johnn black& company. This company commenced in 1847AD was oldest company in Ceylon dealing with the naval transportation system. Office of John black & company was housed in the clan house building. Those uses were responsible for the changes of original Dutch architectural features that were so far there in those buildings. In the adjoining building were the office and the warehouse of Vandersperse Company, a leading business entity during British period. Survey department started as the first Government Department in Ceylon on 2nd August 1800Ad. It is considered to have been housed in the same building aforesaid in the Galle fort. Later the office of the Insuarence Corporation, office of Inland revenge department and national housing department were stared in those two buildings and the reason behind the changes in this building may have been due to those subsequent uses. A building adjoining behind was used for the post office and Post Master’s quarters.
The ruins seen on the land presently used by telecom company between Lighthouse Street and church cross street are those of buildings used as the office and the warehouse by Wilson and company associated with the harbour use of coral and clay store mixture can be identified in those remnants of buildings. Few pieces of archers are also seen among the Deloris. Iron pegs had been used with stone supports for some arched gates. Those gates are made using bricks. Straight pillars constructed using corals also can be seen. Looking at the remaining parts, those buildings can be considered two storey buildings it is a notable matter that use of corals to construct arches in Galle fort are found exclusively here, Kalu Kotuwa and part of the Kachcheri building. This category of buildings takes a significant place in a study of building construction techniques of British. The company may have used those building for warehouses.
That company joined with Wilson clerk Spence and company, then with Thomas Whitney and company and thereafter Chas P. Hayley and company.
The present residence of magistrate is a building constructed in a 17th century under “officers quarters’’ and developed later as magistrates residence. The walls are constructed using corals and clay stones and in constructing the arch shaped roof with domes no wood or tiles had been used, as there is no other building with domed in Galle fort this building posses a special, unique architectural value. The building can be considered to having been built during 17th and 18th century as fine floor tiles used by Dutch had been used to make the roof. Engineering technique seen in this building can be identified many war enclosures on the Rampart a veranda had been added to the section facing the rampart in this building during British time. Nine verandah pillars made using bricks can be found. Those pillars are round and straight with simple heads like those seen on the first floor of British hospital building. A part has been added to the rear section of the building, which is tiled with Calicut tiles.
This building was also used by the second Artillery regiment during British period. Up to 17th November 1810AD, the land adjoining this building had been used for duel ground. The last duel here was between captain James Brown and captain John Parker. The building used by western provincial Engineer’s office at present is another old and specific building on this land. Architectural features belonging to 17th century can be clearly seen in their building. The walls built using Corals and clay stone are exception oily thick. Signs of raising the walls to alter the roof are prominent. Two gable walls bear witness to the effect that the building originally had a gable roof. A front verandah is seen with carpentry pillars, apparently added during British regime. Signs are there to determine that the window frames and door frames and also the pillars used were designed during Dutch period. However the building was used for military stores from the beginning of the British period. Considerable changes had been made to this building concurrent with the use of the building for the office of survey department. It is on record that every preliminary arrangement was in place by 1901AD to alter the building to establish survey department office.
During early 20th century the office of the observatory was constructed in Galle fort near moon and store towers. This is a small building with a Calicut tiled roof. British government spent Rs.111 in 1902 to build some huts for the use of Meteorological department. However the maps detailing information concerning 1967AD reveal that the land near clock tower on moon tower was used for meteorological department activities for a long time.
The building on moon tower presently occupied by road development Authority is also a building with a long history consisting of valuable architectural feature. This building with a main rafter roof, with a single story has two verandahs with wooden pillars at front and rear. This design is special. Rear verandah is presently enclosed with walls. It appears that many parts had been added to the building later. During British period, this building was used as the official residence of inspector of police.
In the maps it is seen that the club home an front of this building was the police sergeants residence in 19th century. Particularly in the year 1844AD, this building was altered and used for regiments of 2 sergeants and a police inspector under whom Galle police station was established in that year. Expenditure of Rs.80.83 incurred to repaint the official residence of police inspector in the year year 1892AD is on record.
The building where fort branch of bank of Ceylon is presently housed also an old building of late 19th century displaying British architectural features of that period. This building was constructed by Walkers Company during British era for the use of Ephraim and company. Although this is seen from the front as a two storey building, can be called a there storey building when considered with the additional ground floor. The roof with main refer indicate that the building is designed for a gable roof for Calicut tiles. Additional roof section is flitted to the roof at front to form a porch. Identity with 20th century architecture is revealed by 20 windows with glass panels.
Albion press can be introduced as one of the main presses commenced in Galle fort during British regime. L. Armstrong started Albion press in two buildings during 1867AD. The press started in a corner building at national Junction in Galle fort where Peddlar Street and Lighthouse street meet. The building which appears to have been a single unit with corridor shape is separated as two sections for business operations. The verandah facing both streets is a special architectural feature of this building. This verandah is held by two carpentry pillars of two patterns. Verandah is enclosed with a half wall. Wooden lattice and wooden paneling. Arch fusions inside the building and window frames show off 19th century architectural features.
The building at the head of church street, presently used as police quarters can be introduced an another building which was in use during British period. In this building can be seen 18th century Dutch architectural features their indicating that it was built during 18th century by Dutch. This is a building with a main rafter roof. Architectural indications of two verandahs at the rear section with wooden pillars are evident. Those sections are now enclosed with walls. Since a building at this place is not evidenced during Dutch times it can be determined that this building was constructed during British regime and architectural features of 19th century can be identified in the building. During British era, this building had been used for formers quarters.