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La Martinière, Lucknow, 1870s, 1870 - 1879

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022DD/5

Scope and Contents

164 x 121 mm. View looking along the lake towards the tall column and the four storey main building. The house was constructed by the French born General Claude Martin (1735-1800) in the 1790s as a palace and a mausoleum. The building faces an ornamental T-shaped lake on the further side, out of which rises a tall column topped by a pavilion. The house itself is of eccentric design: the main block stands on a massive podium from which four storeys rise, the top two being in the form of a dome connected to four octagonal towers by arches. On either side of the main block run low curving wings. The whole is decorated with an elaborate display of kiosks, parapets and statues which include ornamental sphinxes, and lions which were originally painted red and had lamps placed in the eye sockets. Martin came to India as a private soldier in the French Army. He subsequently joined the East India Company's Bengal Army and was for some years involved in survey work before entering the employ of the Nawab of Oudh. He lived at Lucknow for the remainder of his life and during this time amassed a considerable fortune in various trading ventures. La Martiniere, part palace, part fortress, part mausoleum was completed around 1797 and Martin himself, in Indian manner, was interred in a tomb in the basement after his death. Part of Martiniere' s fortune was used to found charitable educational instructions in Lucknow, Calcutta and his home town of Lyons, and the Lucknow Martiniere is still housed in these premises. For a biographical study, see S.C. Hill, 'The life of Claud Martin' (Calcutta 1901).


  • Creation: 1870 - 1879


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From the Fonds:

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Language of Materials


Date information

DateText: The date is approximate..

Finding aid date

2012-05-25 12:28:16+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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