Group of palms in the Gardens at Peradenia near Kandy
Photographer: Lawton, Joseph
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a group of palms in the Peradeniya Gardens near Kandy, Sri Lanka taken by Joseph Lawton in c.1868, from a collection of nine prints which belonged to Stanley Leighton MP. Lawton, who had set up a photographic studio in Kandy in 1866 was known as a talented photographer. This view is mentioned in the Ceylon Observer c.1868 in an article about Lawton's work. The Kingdom of Kandy, which had resisted European rule for 300 years after the coastal areas of Sri Lanka had succumbed, was taken over by the British in 1815. In 1821 they established the Royal Botanical Gardens or Peradeniya Gardens on the site of what was originally the Pleasure Gardens of the Kandyan Kings. About seven kms from Kandy, the 147-acre gardens are bounded on one side by the Mahaweli River and contain over one hundred species of palm. The gardens also have a large collection of bamboos, an orchid house containing three hundred species, and a variety of medicinal plants. It is known for its Coco de Mer trees, endangered in the wild, and gives a home to hundreds of flying foxes.