A hand-coloured print from the Fiebig Collection: Views of Calcutta and Surrounding Districts, taken by Frederick Fiebig in 1851. This is a garden scene near the River Hooghly, although in this view the river is not visible. Calcutta was founded in 1690 by the British East India Company on the banks of the Hooghly River, a distributary of the River Ganges. The port provided access from the sea to the hinterland of Bengal, India’s richest province. In little more than half a century the original trading port grew into a considerable city, clustered round the Company’s fort. On the Hooghly river many Europeans began to built large 'Garden Houses' with grounds sweeping down to the river's edge. The row of Palladian mansions lining the river approach to Calcutta provided an impressive view and used to be one of the most fashionable areas of Calcutta.