|Location||London, Shooter’s Hill, England (Google Maps)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
|Owned by||London Borough of Greenwich|
|Official Website||Severndroog Castle|
|Rooms Available||Yes (Weddings)|
Built like a fortress, Severndroog Castle is elegantly situated in the county of Greater London in England on Shooter’s Hill. The castle has an interesting connection to the colonization and exploitation of India, inciting a riveting conversation even today.
History of Severndroog Castle
Severndroog Castle was built in the loving memory of Sir William James by his wife Anne James in 1784, just a year after his death. The castle takes its name Severndroog from Sir William James’ victory over the fortress of Suvarnadurg. Sir William was the Commodore of the Marine Forces in the East India Company, where he fought several natives on the Western Coast of India. He helped in securing the trade routes and territories in the interest of the company. Sir William James’ victory at Suvarnadurg over Tulaji Angre is a story worth exploring, for it has produced various interpretations from critics. The more conservative accounts in history depict Tulaji Angre as a pirate who raided British ships, while another progressive narrative suggests that he was protecting Indian waters from the invasive powers.
The extraordinary writers, Charles Dickens and E. Nesbit have engaged with the castle’s past and described their visits to the castle. They utilized the castle as a fictional setting in an exceptional range of literary works, including poetry, children’s stories, and thriller stories revolving around factory workers, freedom fighters, and colonial oppression. This transformed the image of the castle into a site of national literary significance.
After Lady James died in 1798, the castle was passed through the hands of several landowners. In the 19th Century, the castle was used by The Royal Engineers for geographical surveys for its advantageous location. However, in 1922, the castle was bought by London County Council (LCC), which was later abolished, and the London Borough of Greenwich took ownership of the castle.
Severndroog Castle was designed by Richard Jupp of The East India Company as a Gothic triangular tower using features from medieval churches and cathedrals, including stone carvings and arched windows. The castle is built in a triangular design with hexagonal turrets in each corner. It stands three storeys tall and gives an unimpeded view of seven counties of London on a clear day. However, the castle has no living accommodations but was utilized as a museum for housing the various mementoes of Sir William James’ career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Severndroog Castle?
Severndroog Castle is owned by the London Borough of Greenwich, who took ownership in 1986 when the Greater London Council (GLC) was abolished. The castle is preserved by the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust (SCBPT), which is responsible for the renovation and maintenance of the castle.
How tall is Severndroog Castle?
Severndroog Castle is 63 feet tall with three-storey and gives a panoramic view across London from its roof.
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