history

History of Bonnieland

After the Sunday's church service, one hundred years ago, a young, Oxford educated Ceylonese and his fair fiancÚ of an eurasian family background, were allowed to spend a few hours alone. They used to climb the hillside above the town until they reached a large rock from where there was a marvellous view over the small town in the valley and the hill range beyond it.
They would have talked about the future and she dreamed of having her house right there, up on the huge rock. They were poor  -but he pledged to make her dream come true.
After years of hard work, he bougt the land above the rock and erected the first section of their home, a large hall and two bedrooms- with walls of one and a half feet strenght!
As time passed, more elegant additions were made: out of grey cut-stone, teak and mahagony a tower-like drawing room was built facing the valley. Two more bedrooms were added. From far away Moratuwa master carpenters were brought to compose the woodden ceilings with their carved center pieces. Teak from Burma was used for the doors.
The surroundings improved too. Fruit trees of many varieties were planted together with valuable timber, tea and coffee. Life would have been blissful in the moderate climate and the clean air of the green hills of Uva.
Twenty five years ago Bonnieland was rediscovered. After its builders death, the house and the surroundings had deteriorated. Jungle had taken over the tea but the trees had grown into giants and the thick walls had resisted the years.
Another 'mixed' couple now fell in love with Bonnieland and slowly started restoring its former beauty. Repairs were done, bits and pieces of old furniture, pictures and tapestries were brought into the empty house. Today pepper and coffee grow in the jungle and the planting of mahagony continues. Still the old tulip trees stand down by the rock but new plants have started to flower.
With little financial resources but with much love, all is done to revive the charming nostalgy of Bonnieland. There still is much to do.
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