In October 2022, six young conservationists from the UK spent three weeks learning skills in Hyderabad, India. They were part of a new training programme run by the London-based Commonwealth Heritage Forum and coordinated with the World Monuments Fund.
The teaching delivered by GN Heritage Matters gave the trainees a theoretical grasp of the work being carried out on the former British Residency and was paired with practical teaching at a live conservation project. The UK as well as Indian trainees worked alongside craftsmen and architects on the South Porch and on the Landsdowne Gate.
The Hamish Ogston Foundation supported the course.
The conservation of the Residence building took almost 20 years following the World Monuments Fund declaring it one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World in 2002. The Deccan Heritage Foundation supported conservation of the model of the building in the garden and together with BACSA conserved the nearby Residency cemetery.
Readers of William Dalrymple’s White Mughals, 2002, will recall the role played by the Residency in a story of ‘love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India’.
The conservation of the Residency and its Rang Mahal Gardens will be celebrated at a formal re-opening on 15 January 2023.
By Peter Boon
Images: courtesy of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum.
The British Residency in Hyderabad: an Outpost of the Raj 1779-1948, Omar Khalidi, 2005, BACSA. Available via BACSA’s website.
Commonwealth Heritage Forum. http://commonwealthheritage.org/
Deccan Heritage Foundation. www.deccanheritagefoundation.uk