The Doric at Arippu
Located approximately 40 kilometers south of Mannar Island, the Doric Bungalow (also known simply as The Doric) at Arippu was once the home of the first British Governor of Ceylon: Frederick North, the 5th Earl of Guildford.
Purpose of its Construction and Intriguing Design
Constructed at the beginning of the 19th century between 1801 and 1804, the house was intended by the governor to help the revival of Sri Lanka’s pearl fisheries. The two-story building came to be known as “The Doric” due to the presence of its columns, which were designed in the image of the ancient Greek Doric order. The building’s façade was decorated with lime plaster, using the lime of burnt oyster shells that subsequently gave it a marble-like appearance.
Its Original Features
On the ground floor of the building were four small bedrooms, each at one of its corners, while a large staircase occupied the main central space. On the upper floor were two rooms: one was used as a dining room that could seat at least twenty people, while the other was designated as the governor’s bedchamber. After being used as the governor’s residence, the building was handed over for the use of other officials and government agents, particularly for the supervision of pearl fishery.
Today, the Doric has been declared a protected archaeological monument. Its exposure to the weather conditions of its beachside cliff location has left the building in an impressive state of ruins.