Doveton House, Chennai


Doveton House of Chennai has something in common with the Lyrical Ballads! Do you know what? It is a simple fact that Doveton House was constructed in the same year when Wordsworth and Coleridge had published the 'Lyrical Ballads'.

Doveton House of Chennai, founded in the year 1798, was built by the renowned architect Benjamin Roebeck. The pillars in the front and half-moon-steps at the back of the Senate House features the colonial style, and is reminiscent of a famous building having a similar construct, the White House.

Doveton House of Chennai was named after the Lieutenant General John Doveton, after he acquired the building in the year 1837. Initially, the Doveton House served the purpose of a residential building, where the English officers were made to lodge during their visit to Chennai.

Later, the Doveton House at Chennai also served the purpose of a prison (although not in the literal sense of the term) where prisoners were kept in custody by the British officials. Before the stay of John Doveton in the Doveton House, the Gaekwad of Baroda was kept here as he had tried to kill a British resident in his state.

Moreover, after John Doveton, a series of British officers came to stay in the Doveton House in Chennai. But the name Doveton seems to have got one with the existence of this place. The last person to live in the Doveton House of Chennai, before it took the shape of a college, was Sir Ralph Benson, a High Court Judge.

It was in 1916 that the Doveton House lost its existence. In 1916, the Women's Christian College shifted to the Doveton House; henceforth, Doveton House has become synonymous with Women's Christian College!

Thus, we can see that the Doveton House has come to a full circle. We have seen the culmination of the building from a residential area to a public square.



Last Updated on 11/2/2011