250 Years History of ‘Kitchener House’ Preserved in Fort William

The iconic building located in Fort William, the Head Quarter of Indian Army’s Eastern Command is named after HH Kitchener, the First Earl Of Khartoum, who stayed in this house as the Commander in Chief of British Indian Army in 1902. Lord Wellesley, the Governor General Of India, also stayed here from 1789 to 1803 .

Constructed in 1771, the architectural marvel derives its inspiration from Gothic and Georgian style of architecture. At the entry, paintings of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the installation of a rickshaw puller welcomes the guest. The building also houses a Time Gun which was manufactured in 1756. Everyday at 13.00 hrs, it was fired to give signal to ships passing by the nearby Hooghly river.

After the British shifted their capital from Kolkata to Delhi in 1911, it became an officers’ mess. Now, the officers’ mess is still well-maintained and has a great display of British-style art and architecture.

Fort William roughly occupies an area of 177.42 acres on ground and has a regular octagonal shape with 5 sides towards the land and 3 sides towards the Hooghly river. The ramparts around the fort housed hundreds of guns to meet any attack. The fort also housed the garrison strength of 1000 soldiers and rations consisting of 71 thousand maunds (1 maund=37 kgs) of food grains for use during famine besides storing ration, weapons and equipment for the troops.