Viceroy House

for most of its life a very grand private house...


The Nugedola Wallauwa (now Viceroy House) was built between 1938 and 1942 by the returning British High Commissioner of Ceylon and his wife (the owner), Hilda Obeysekera.

Hilda, Lady Paul Pieris, takes credit for most of the design and architecture - incorporating a Kandyan-style sharply pitched roof, large ornate pillars and high vaulted ceilings. At the time, such work was considered a bold, if not inappropriate task for a woman, and that theme of rejecting norms of gender ran through Hilda's work and life.

Equally counter-cultural was the couple's son, Justin Deraniyagala, an artist and member of the renowned, sometimes infamous Colombo 43 Group. Justin's studio adjoined the long ironwood-tree-lined drive in and he there took to painting nudes - a wonderfully controversial pursuit in mid-20th century Ceylon.

After the nationalisation of land in Sri Lanka in the early 1970s the residual family-owned estate no longer supported the upkeep of the buildings on the property and the Wallauwa was left abandoned for several decades.

In 2008, the previous owner fell for it and worked exceptionally hard to restore it to its former grand self. Gardens were landscaped and much work done on the interiors to re-create that old aristocratic, yet Bohemian feel.

With commitments taking her away from Sri Lanka, the decision was taken to sell again in 2015. We've been delighted to pick up the baton and bring the property fully back to its heyday shape.

We see it as a fair responsibility to make the most of this grand old property and look forward to welcoming you to experience the very best of it.