Sunday, 1 December 2019

Colonial building Thornhill-Mayne Memorial that houses the state public library, Allahabad, India

Thornhill-Mayne Memorial bldg.public library Allahabad.. wikipedia

Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh is a multi cultural city  and the Mogul rulers centuries ago  had a soft corner for this fine old city. During the East India company rule, considering its location, the administrators attached strategic value to this city and in the aftermath came up several churches, colleges and several colonial buildings.  On 1 November 1858 this city was declared the capital of British India and lord Canning read the famous proclamation that  Queen Victoria had assumed the direct control of the continent from the EIC - East India company in the wake of suppression of the first war of independence. in 1857- 58.

Among the well-known heritage colonial buildings in this city which is famous for the Sangam - confluence of Ganga and other holy  rivers,  Thornhill-Mayne Memorial  is  a unique  one just for the simple reason that it was built  in 1864 in Scottish Baronial Gothic Revival architecture style with sharp pillars, turrets of granite and sandstone, lofty towers and arcaded cloisters. The total cost of this building when completed in 1870  was about  INR 94,222 and the cost was borne by  Commissioner of Allahabad, Mr. Mayne and was opened as a memorial to Lord Thornhill, the Commissioner of Allahabad and Mr. Mayne, then  the  Collector and subsequently converted  it into a library. This monument  had earlier served as the House of Legislative assembly in the colonial period  when Allahabad was the capital of United Provinces, the former name of Uttar Pradesh. There is a plaque in the building that reads: 

Plaque inThornhill-Mayne Memorial bldg. Allahabad traveltalk.co.
“This building which has received the name of the Thornhill-Mayne Memorial is erected in memory of Cudbert Bensley Thornhill, CSA &Francis Otway Mayne, C.B. both of Bengal Civil Service who died-  the former on 11th July 1868 at sea off Aden, & the later On 30th August 1872 at  Allahabad.

The name preserves the memory of the close and uninterrupted friendship Which during their lives united them. The memorial itself bears lasting testimony to the affectionate regard in which they were built By those who caused it to be erected.'' 
..... https://traveltalk.co.in/?p=146

Thornhill-Mayne Memorial bldg.Allahabad tranasafvi.com/
The building was designed by Richard Roskell Bayne (1837–1901), an English architect who worked  in Calcutta and other Indian cities between 1866–90. As  an employee of the East Indian Railway, he had  built bridges, train stations, and bungalows, besides fascinating buildings such as  the East India Railway Office and the New Market in Kolkata, the Hussainabad Clock Tower in Lucknow, the Oak Grove School in Mussoorie, and the palace of the Maharajah of Durbunga. Upon retirement  he settled down  in Victoria,  British Columbia, Canada. This building that houses the State library is in Alfred park now called Chandrasekar  Azad Gardens, a lush green one. Azad was a famous freedom fighter who laid down his life for our country's freedom.

Tower. Thornhill-Mayne Memorial bldg.Allahabad traveltalk.co.
The library, having been shifted to many places at last found a permanent home in this building  in 1889. It is the largest library in UP and one of the oldest ones in North India. The interiors look like those in a church and it was not built to house a library.
The library has a vast  collection of 125,000 books, 40 types of magazines and 28 different newspapers in Hindi, English, Urdu and Bangla and contains 21 Arabic manuscripts. Besides, it has  has a rich collection of old government publications, parliamentary papers, and blue books of the 19th century, old manuscripts and journals.  It has prized possessions like Shahnama in Persian, certain works of Dara Shikoh, son of Mogul ruler Shah Jahan. The famous members of this old library  were Motillal Nehru, his son Jawaharlal Nehru, G. P. Pant, Madan Mohan Malvya who founded BHU (Banares Hindu University, Varanasi), C.D. Deshmuk, et al. Way back when the Internet boom had begun in 2013  more than 50000 people benefited from this library and the readership has been  on the increase since then.  The library already got the international recognition. 
This library is a symbol of lasting membership between two British officers who served the British company during the toughest time - the war of independence of 1867-58 when the Indian soldiers and others revolted against the oppressive British rule. During that time in Allahabad about 800 patriotic Indians were hanged to death. The EIC 's atrocities forced the crown administration to take direct control of the subcontinent.
 https://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2017/08/thornhill-mayne-memorial-public-library.
 https://traveltalk.co.in/?p=146

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allahabad_Public_Library
 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/20547384.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst