The Mount Lavinia Governor’s Residence – Travel back in time to colonial Sri Lanka!

Witness the colonial charm of the British Ceylon and take a glimpse of the luxurious life the lords and Governors led by visiting the magnificent Mount Lavinia Governor’s Residence; one of the oldest and famous colonial buildings in Sri Lanka.

Mount Lavinia Hotel and sea shore| Img by: NYPL via Wikimedia Commons 


Sri Lanka was under the rule of British for nearly 1 and half decades and during their rule, the country underwent drastic changes. Many mansions and luxury residences were built during their reign across the country. Among these many buildings, the Mount Lavinia Governor’s residence is one of the most iconic ones.

The construction and architecture

Thomas Maitland was appointed the governor of Sri Lanka in 1805 and he decided to construct a governor’s residence in Mount Lavinia in 1806 and the construction commenced shortly after the British government approved the proposal and it was fully completed and subsequently opened in 1877. The building boasts a mix between British and Italian architecture and was refurbished and modified several times till date.

A sad love story

A legend has it that Thomas Maitland had fallen in love with a local Mestizo dancer who lived in Galkissa. Awestruck by her charming smile his obsession in wanting to see her often grew and thus he ordered to build a residence for him next to the village where she lived. But sadly in 1811, Thomas Maitland was recalled from Ceylon and was made the Governor of Malta where he died a bachelor.

Visiting Here

Located 14 Kilometres to the south of Colombo, the easiest way to reach here is by a Taxi. But if you are stationed at a Mount Lavinia hotel in Colombo the likes of Berjaya Hotel Colombo the Governor’s Palace are just a stroll away.



Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+