The Residency, Uttar Pradesh, India
The large collection of gardens and ruins that makes up the Residency offers a fascinating historical glimpse of the beginning of the end for the British Raj. Built in 1800, the Residency became the stage for the most dramatic events of the 1857 First War of Independence (Indian Uprising), the Siege of Lucknow, a 147-day siege that claimed the lives of thousands.
The compound has been left as it was at the time of the final relief and the walls are still pockmarked from bullets and cannon balls.
The focus is the well-designed museum (open 8am to 4.30pm) in the main Residency building, which includes a scale model of the original buildings. Downstairs are the huge basement rooms where many of the British women and children lived throughout the siege.
The cemetery around the ruined St Mary’s church is where 2000 of the defenders were buried, including their leader, Sir Henry Lawrence, ‘who tried to do his duty’ according to the famous inscription on his weathered gravestone.
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