‘Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad, India’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

While moving around on a cycle rickshaw in Allahabad last month, I could see an old tower from quite some distance. I was told that this was the Amitabh Bacchan Sports Complex. My curiosity having been aroused, I was soon in the premises of this Complex. It was an old heritage building with green lawns. A number of young people were moving around with air rifles. I was told that an All India shooting competition for was taking place and there were competitors from all parts of India taking part in it. It was a pleasant festive atmosphere. And now tto the old building.

However  Located near the Thornhill and Mayne Memorial in Allahabad, Mayo Memorial Hall is a big hall, with a 180-ft high tower. Imagine the height as Qutab Minar is 237 feet high. The hall was designed by R. Roskell Bayne. It was built in 1879 in the memory of the assasinated Viceroy Mayo. It was meant for use for holding public meetings, balls and receptions.

The interior of this Memorial Hall is decorated with designs by Professor Gamble, of the South Kensington Museum, London.

Though impressive, yet some of the columns seem to be a repition of the designs used in the Thornhill-Mayne Memorial. ‘The tower of the Mayo Memorial Hall, his second building in Allahabad, was built a year later and is modelled directly on the spire of the Thornhill and Mayne Memorial; the building is a far less successful example of Indian neo-Gothic style and looks as if it was designed in haste.’*


Take a look:









A comparison of this picture of mayo Memorial with the following picture of Thornhill-Mayne Memorial shows that the architect had perhaps run out of ideas!


This photo is from the Thornhill-Mayne Memorial


This was made in 1879 in the Mayo memorial.


I took this photograph of a sidewalk in Lisbon two months back. Notice the affinity of these two photographs.

 *Source of the quotation: ‘Building for the Raj: Richard Roskell Bayne”- journals.uvic.ca/index.php/racar/article/download/190/189

(Text with inputs from the internet)


Photos, text and copyright: K.J.S.Chatrath

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