A View of the late Sir William Rumbold's House
Artist: Barron, Richard (c.1798-1838)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 1 from Richard Barron's 'Views in India, chiefly among the Neelgherry Hills'. The so-called house was actually built as a hotel in 1833 by the administrator Sir William Rumbold (1788-1833), at the base of the hill adjoining that on which St Stephen's church stands. After Rumbold's death, it was rented for a year as the summer residence of the first Governor General of India, Lord William Bentinck (1774-1839).
In Barron's words: "no expense has been spared for its decoration and comfort; its furniture and fixtures are quite European, and the rooms lofty and well sized. It is now an Hotel, and is a great accommodation to persons on their first arrival in the Hills. There is a capital stable, and every requisite for such an establishment." The building served as a hotel after Bentinck's departure. It was acquired for use by the Ootacamund Club in 1836. In the foreground is the artificial lake formed by the construction of the valley's dam.