I am interested in obtaining details about history of Negombo. Whatever available through www search is available with me.
I would like to find the following information.
The year the real duch fort was demolished by the British to build the Negombo prison.
Details of Portugese history in Negombo.
Photographs of the old customs house by the side of the legoon, on the way to the present prison, opposite on the side of the old resthouse in Negombo.
Any other historical details about old buildings in the Negombo area and general history ablut Negombo is appreciated.
The Portuguese fort that stood in Negombo was mostly destroyed by cannon during the Dutch siege in 1644. The Dutch fort was built on its ruins, not on the usual square pattern, but on a pentagonal one, though it had only four bulwarks. The fifth one was never built.
Map of the Negombo Fort and town. The sea is at the top of the map.@ Photo Krane
The fort was located on a narrow strip of land between a lagoon and an inlet of the sea. It was surrounded by moats, and the gate was accessed via a drawbridge. Facing it on the landside was a town with the familiar rectangular pattern of streets which was itself protected by earthwalls. The area to the west was regularly flooded by the sea, changing the land on which the fort stood into a peninsula. Governor Rumpf described the fort as a 'fine defensible structure' when he visited it in 1720, but the painter Heydt, who painted it in 1744, was less enthousiastic and felt that it could have been built 'somewhat more durably'.
Governor Rumpf visited the Negombo Fort to view the improvements that had been recently made to it. The walls had been topped up, new watch towers had been built on the bastions, a big bell tower had been built above the gate, and a wooden pallisade had been put up. The Fort in its new splendour is shown in this water colour from 1720.
Remnants of the Negombo Fort. The main (land) gate and part of the eastern rampart. The clocktower is a later addition@ Photo Krane
Today only ruins are left. The Fort was demolished in the late nineteenth century by the British, who used its stones to build a prison. The main remnant is an ambivalent mound and part of the eastern wall with the main gate that gives entrance to a tunnel that opens into what was once the courtyard. A clocktower behind it has been added at Queen Victoria's Jubilee.