Photograph of a river scene at Wakwella near Pointe de Galle (now Galle), in 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 commercial practice in Kandy in c.1866, became well known as a talented photographer. In 1870 he was appointed Photographer to the Committee on Ancient Architecture which had been set up by the Government to 'explore, take photographs, decipher desriptions, and endeavour to trace the history of each work in various parts of the island.' Pointe de Galle was a port situated on the south-eastern coast of the island, once prominent at the heart of the ancient sea routes between the Middle East and the Orient, it became vital under Dutch rule when the town and its fort were enhanced. Wakwellé was one of the picturesque villages which formed Galle's suburbs and were very popular with European visitors in the 19th century, affording them panoramic vistas of paddy fields, coconut trees and river plains.