Adisham Bungalow

A four km drive from Haputale will lead you to Adisham, a monastery run by Benedictine Monks. Wrapped in the tranquility of the misty hills, Adisham Bungalow attracts every eye that falls on it. The pages of history reveal that the creator of this enthralling place is Sir Thomas Lister Villiers. Sir Thomas Lister Villiers was born in 1869 in Adisham, an ancient village which lies in the hollow of the Kent country side. He was the son of Reverend Prebendary Henry Montegu Villiers who belonged to Clarendon family and his mother was Lady Victoria Russell the daughter of (Grandfather of Sir Thomas Lister Villiers) who was twice the prime minister of Britain (1846 – 52, & 1865 – 66). As leader of the Whig party, he was most responsible for changing its name to the Liberal Party.

History: He also strongly opposed the employment of children as domestic servants and maintained that the state had an obligation to provide all children with an education so that they could improve their position in life. Sir Thomas also appealed to the members to support the introduction of adult franchise unanimously. He was also among those who wanted adultery made a criminal offence. During that time when the question of establishing a non-residential university in Colombo or a residential university in Kandy arose, Sir Thomas was a member of this commission. He finally selected the new Peradeniya Estate for a residential university. He was for several years the Trustee for the Church of England. He was both a parishioner and a benefactor of St. Michael’s Church Polwatte. He was also the patron of St. Michael’s Sports Club. Expanding his services to this small island nation he wrote three books which include a book on some tea industry pioneers published in 1951. The youth who stepped into Ceylon converted into a man of knowledge and of great service and returned to the United Kingdom at the age of 82. There he entered his second marriage with a Ceylonese called Marjorie Keyt who nursed Sir Thomas throughout an illness he suffered. She also spent a part of her life as his secretary cum companion before uniting with him in marriage. She was a daughter of Edwin Keyt of Colombo. The wedding took place in the fashionable London Church of St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge where Sir Thomas’ father had once being the vicar.

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