Tag Archives: Lower Mall

Lahore as in the 19th Century – Goulding’s recollection

Colonel H.R. Goulding was ADC to the King-Emperor T.H. Thornton, a distinguished British official, was secretary to the Punjab government in the 1860s

EXCERPTS found here:

First printed in 1860 for private circulation, these summaries of the history of Lahore were incorporated, in 1876, in a guidebook which was a joint piece of work by T.H. Thornton and J. Lockwood Kipling
H.R. Goulding writes about Old Lahore and the Mall:

It is of interest to recall that the beautiful Mall of which we are so justly proud and which is admittedly one of the finest public roads in Pakistan was first aligned in 1851 by Lieut-Colonel Napier, the Civil Engineer, who described it as “a direct road from Anarkali to Mian Mir.” He submitted alternative estimates for its construction, one for Rs12,544 and the other for Rs10,428. The former was for kankar throughout, the latter for an under layer of bricks with a kankar surface. Colonel Napier thought that the cheaper design would be sufficiently durable, but, in transmitting both estimates to the government of India, the Board of Administration remarked that they thought that as this road would be “the great thoroughfare not only with Anarkali but also with the city,” it would be more economical in the long run to sanction the higher estimate.

The Government of India, however, accepted Colonel Napier’s opinion and sanctioned, in April, 1851, the lower estimate. No noticeable alteration either in alignment of width seems to have been made till Sir Ganga Ram was Executive Engineer in charge of the Lahore Provincial Division, and extensive improvements were carried out in the sections east of the Post Office crossing. Later still the whole length of the Mall was remodelled on its present lines under the personal supervision of the late Mr DuCune Smythe, Chief Engineer, who, in turn, was supervised by the then Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Charles Rivaz. It was nothing unusual to meet, on a winter’s morning, these two high officials in earnest consultation by the roadside. On one occasion the writer saw the chief Engineer kneeling on the ground with a measuring tape in his hands, while on another the Lieutenant-Governor, who never allowed the felling of a tree if it could possibly be avoided, was personally superintending the marking of certain roadside trees which had to come down when the Mall was being realigned and widened opposite the Mayo School of Art. Continue reading