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Newralia, the hills in Ceylon [Nuwara Eliya]

Newralia, the hills in Ceylon [Nuwara Eliya]

Photographer: Skeen and Company, William Henry Louis

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 234/(18)

Item number: 23418

Length: 22

Width: 27.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a general view over the valley at Nuwara Eliya, in Sri Lanka, taken by William Henry Louis Skeen and Company in the 1870s. British rule in Sri Lanka began in 1815, and by the 1850s a large plantation industry had developed on the island, producing coffee, coconut, tea and rubber, and resulting in a skein of hill-stations and provincial towns. This hill-station, at 6199 ft (1889 ms) the highest in the country, whose name means 'above the clouds', was surrounded by tea plantations. It was discovered by a British hunting party and soon after established as a summer retreat by the Governor of Ceylon in 1828. Tea became the most important crop on the island after the disastrous coffee blight in the 1860s which destroyed most of the crop and resulted in coffee-growing being discontinued.

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