Ruins of the Dutch Stables on Delft Island – ඩෙල්ෆ් දුපතේ පැරණි ලංදේසි අශ්වගාල නටබුන්

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Ruins of the Dutch Stable on Delft Island - ඩෙල්ෆ් දුපතේ පැරණි ලංදේසි අශ්වගාල නටබුන්
Ruins of the Dutch Stable on Delft Island – ඩෙල්ෆ් දුපතේ පැරණි ලංදේසි අශ්වගාල නටබුන්

This island called by the Portuguese ilha das Vacas, had a fort built by them. The Dutch called it Delft Island. The Tamils call it the Neduntheevu or Neduntivu. Delft is the largest island in the Palk Strait, northern Sri Lanka. The island covers 11,500 acres and is a low and arid island. Delft Island is a mostly bare island with little shade. Delft Island is a mostly bare island with little shade. The most common tree here is the Palmyra tree. The Palmyra Toddy is one of the chief articles of food in Delft.

The island has been occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British in the past. Other than the Portuguese Fort, much if the ruins found in the island belongs to the Dutch period or the British. The island was a primary breeding site for horses from the time of Portuguese continuing on to Dutch and the British. Even though the British initially continued to use this island to breed horses, by 1906 it was reported that house breeding has been completed stopped.

Ruins of an ancient stable built by the Dutch can be found on the western edge of the island, 380 meters inland from the sea. The stable is about 150 meters long 10 meters wide and One full side wall exists today. The stable has been built on two rows 36 large square pillars. These pillars have been about 3 feet thick. Some the pillars have completely fallen off to the ground while some upright pillar stumps can still be seen.

Although it is generally accepted that these stables were built by the Dutch, in 1954, Philip K. Crowe, the ambassador of the United State of America, gave a detailed account of the island based on his experiences on Delft Island. At the time, he was able to document recent British history to clarify the true identity of some of the monuments and archaeological remains on the island. According to Crowe (1954), an Irish Lieutenant named Lt. Nolan, who served in the 4th Ceylon Regiment that ruled the outlying island of Delft during the early part of the nineteenth century had been given responsibility of raising horses in Delft in 1811. Nolan had built three sets of elaborate stone stables and an ingenious series of wells for watering his stock according to Crowe.

Lt. Nolan’s official vehicle had remained on the island in good working condition until the 1970s. However, during the civil conflict, it is reported to have fallen into the sea while LTTE Terrorists were attempting to transport it to the mainland.

Ruins of Lt. Nolan’s house in Delft Island who is been credited for building 3 stable buildings in the island according to Philip K. Crowe
Ruins of Lt. Nolan’s house in Delft Island who is been credited for building 3 stable buildings in the island according to Philip K. Crowe
source : Development of Delft Island: An ecological, socio-economic and archaeological assessment.

References

  • Lewis, J., 1909. NOTES ON DELFT. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 21(62), pp.341-360.
  • කෝරළගේ, එස්. බී. and කල්ප අසංක, එම්. වී. ජී. , 2017. යාපනය දිස්ත්‍රික්කය. 1st ed. කොළඹ: පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුව, p.91.
  • S. de A. Goonatilake, S. Ekanayake, T.P. Kumara, D. Liyanapathirana, D.K. Weerakoon and A. Wadugodapitiya, 2013. Sustainable Development of Delft Island: An ecological, socio-economic and archaeological assessment. Number 14. Colombo: IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Colombo.
  • CROWE, P., 1957. Diversions of a Diplomat in Ceylon … Illustrated by P.E.P. Deraniyagala. [With a map.]. London: D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC, pp. 29-32

Also See

Map of Ruins of the Dutch Stable on Delft Island

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Traveling Directions to Jaffna (Ruins of the Dutch Stable on Delft Island)

Route 01 from Colombo to JaffnaRoute 02 from Colombo to Jaffna
Though : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance :400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Puttlam – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance : 400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps
From Jaffna to Ruins of the Dutch Stable on Delft Island
Total distance: 32 km
Duration: With boat trip (between 2-3 hours)
Driving directions:  See Google Map  (Kurikadduwan Jetty)

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