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Doveton House

     Doveton House - the building that houses the Principal, Registrar and Bursar's office is celebrating its 200th year this year. Yes that's true, for Doveton House was constructed in the year 1798 - the period when Wordsworth and Coleridge published their "Lyrical Ballads".

A renowned architect Benjamin Roebeck, who built the house in the fashion of the day, built Doveton House. The colonial pillars in the front and the half moon steps at the back of the house resemble another famous building of the same period - the White House. It was the second European style house, built in the then paddy fields in Nungambakkam. It mainly served as a residential place for the English officers. The building was called Devotion House after Lt. General John Doveton acquired it in the year 1837 (he arrived in Madras in 1783 and died in 1847). Lt. General Doveton was soldier-in-charge for looking after Tippu Sultan's sons when Cornwallis held them as hostages in Madras. 

Doveton House seems to have served as a place for keeping prisoners in custody. For, before Lt. General Doveton, Gaekwad of Baroda was kept here for trying to kill a British resident in his state.

Many famous people continued to live, but the name Doveton House stuck on. The last person to live here was Sir Ralph Benson, a Madras High Court Judge, who left Madras in 1913. It was then in 1916 that Women's Christian College moved into Doveton House, a 20-acre campus. Doveton House from then has been a seat of learning to many generations and continues to be so, as WCC is administered from these buildings and classes are being held even today. It was quite famous in those days with parties being held often. The most admired was the "placid and silvery Cooum". Despite the fact that 200 years have passed by, Doveton House still continues to be a marvel to many who for the first time enter WCC and witness its beauty and splendor.

Other Interesting Facts

College Road got its name not from WCC but from 'College of Fort St. George' - then used to train young Britishers. It is now situated in the D.P.I. campus. Shastri Bhavan and Grindlays Bank were once covered by 100 acres of botanical gardens called 'Anderson's Garden'. The arched gateway of the D.P.I. exists from the year 1826. The Nungambakkam Observatory is as old as 1792 and was Asia's first modern Observatory

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