|Barnes’ Court,Tudor-styled heritage building,Simla, Look and Learn|
Barnes’ Court, this Tudor-style heritage building is a historical and architectural masterpiece over-looking the hills and forested area on the south side and adjacent to Civil Secretariat Complex on the West. It was right here, the historic Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan, was signed in 1972 and it was graced by the late PM Indira Gandhi and Z. A. Bhutto, PM of Pakistan and his daughter late Benazir Bhutto (later PM of Pakistan; unfortunately she was assassinated a decade ago). Built in 1832, now it serves as the office and residence of the governor of Himachal Pradesh. Its first occupant was the then British commander-inchief of the Indian Army, Sir Edward Barnes (hence the name, Barnes’ Court). The two-storey building, with teak wood doors and large bay windows, after a break, from 1849 to 1864, had also served as the residence of various British commander sin- chief, such as General Napier, General Campbell and General Rose.
Earlier it was a single storey building with slate roofing on the top. The new structure was built during 1879-1886 at a cost of Rs. 3,02,257/- only. Barnes Court is a partly single and partly double-storied building, facing west and south , the principal entrance being on the latter side. During the Lieutenant -Governorship of Sir C.U. Aitchison,
double-storied building came up. Lower storey being a ball room, and the upper story was meant for the offices of the Lieutenant-Governor and his Private Secretary. The Barnes Court Complex has an area of 9647 square meters.
|entrance, Barnes court, Raj bhavan, Simla, HMPinterest|
This two storied building has stone masonry foundation with load bearing walls in super-structure made of Dhaji. Built in traditional mud and wooden posts. the walls have wooden paneling inside and flooring supported by steel joists. The false wooden ceiling is beautifully carved.
After a long break, from 1849 to 1864, many top officials were residing here, notably Commanders-in-Chief, General Napier, General Gom, General Anson, General Campbell and General Rose. Sir Edward Barnes held the title of the plot, later it changed hands to late Major S.B. Goad. On 11th April,1878, the Punjab government wanted to convert it into an official residence for the Lieutenant- Governor, Sir Robert Egerton, who first went regularly into residence at Barnes Court in 1879. The new building was built during 1879-1886 at a cost of Rs. 3,02,257/- only; earlier, it was a
single story building with slate roofing on the top.
During the Lieutenant -Governorship of Sir C.U. Aitchison,extensive additions were made; the lower storey being a ball room, and the upper rooms, etc were for ` the offices of the Lieutenant-Governor
and his Private Secretary. subsequently, several occupants and others made valid contribution to make this building look like a typical English building. Mention may be made of the Governor Sir Malcolm Hailey and Lady Haileywho made several further garden improvements. The moorish’ styled ball room saw beautiful decorations, etc., under the expert guidance of Mr. Lockwood Kipling, for many years, the Principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore.
Till 1966, it was the summer Raj Bhavan and later it became a state guest house.