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A palatial residence that made way for schools

delhi Updated: Jan 26, 2013 23:59 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Driving down Sham Nath Marg towards Kashmere Gate, a DTC bus stop by the name ‘Ludlow Castle’ can be a bit misleading.

Castle in ‘Ludlow Castle’ can fox those who don’t know its origin as happened with Sam Miller, former BBC journalist and author.

“Ludlow Castle”, he writes in ‘Delhi Adventures in a Megacity’, “(I) knew as the name of a medieval ruin on the Welsh border of my homeland.”

Not exactly a castle, but a fortified tall walled palatial residence of the same name existed in the early 19th century at the site where two government schools stand today.

Old documents trace the origin to Samuel Ludlow, a residency official, who lived there. It later served as a residency for the British political agent in the Mughal court and subsequently to various British officials. It also housed the ‘Delhi Club’.

Post-independence, it was turned into a high school. Girish Jhalani, who finished school in 1976 — it was called the Government Model School then — recalled: “I remember playing with my friends in the unoccupied portion. We stoned the bee hives hanging from the ruinous remnants.”

The main entry then was from Raj Niwas Marg, which, too, was then called the Ludlow Castle Road. The dilapidated building was demolished entirely and replaced with two schools still popular as Ludlow Caste School 1 and Ludlow Castle School 2, despite one of them being officially known as Shaheed Amirchand Government Sarvodaya Vidyalaya (in pic).