Vintage Map Phases of Fort St George Chennai
This is a vintage map showing the different phases of Fort St George, Madras, now Chennai. This two-page foldout is from a book. It dates to 1945, each page of the foldout measures- 19 x 7 inches. What is interesting it shows the different phases Fort St George had undergone in the passing of years. The period is 1653 to 1939, shown in eight phases.
The following are the extracts from the book- Map I (1653). It took 13 years to build the Fort shown on the Map. The outline of today’s (1939) Fortification is superimposed in black dotted lines, so that the comparative location can be seen. Map II (1673). After twenty years the settlement has increased. A wall around three sides and a village has grown up to the North.
Map III (1710). By 1710 a considerable town had resulted on the northern side. Observe that the Church, marked with a white cross on the map. The houses on the northern side were private, while those to the south belonged to the company (East India Company). Map IV (1746). Out here in Madras, it was quite clear that the western face was weak.
And the jumble of houses to the north was masking the guns and would give excellent cover for an enemy’s attack. Map V (1758). The all-round aspect of defence was much better. And the town to the north no more offered a covered way of approach. Map VI (1781). They rebuilt the Fortress in this period of 23 years.
The entire area of the Fortification and its outworks is well over 100 acres. The interior encloses about 42 acres and measures 620 yards from North to the South and 330 yards from East to West. Map VII (1862). The Fortification shows little change in its outward defenses since its completion in 1781.
All that remains is the old Governor’s House in the center (marked A). The old Exchange Building (marked M) became the officers’ Mess of the British Infantry Regiment in the Fort in 1862. Map VIII (1939). This is as visible today (1939). The Secretariat Building shows great changes and expansion. See my posts- Antique Plan of Fort St George 1782.
Did you know- in 1718 Collegiate School in the United States was renamed Yale University in honour of the wealthy Britisher Elihu Yale who made a vast fortune in Chennai, India, and had donated to the University liberally.
From the collection- German Map Bombay With Waffen SS Stamp & Seal., Antique Print India Baroda Bullock Driven Tram & FDC., Antique Photo British Raj Family At Tea Simla 1880., Vintage Postcard Bangalore Cantonment Market 1900