It is recalled often in military and management schools.
Fought in the shallow land off Quibble Island, between a few hundred French-led Indian sipahis with cannon and thousands of indisciplined forces of the Nawab of Arcot rallying to the support of the British ousted from Fort St. George, it ended in the rout of the latter.
It also demonstrated what the disciplined firepower of a few could do against unorganised thousands. It was a lesson the British were to learn well and led to their formation of the regiments that were to prove the nucleus of the Indian Army.
What was built as the San Thome Redoubt for the Mylapore Garrison by the British in 1751, two years after taking possession of Mylapore-San Thome, was redeveloped at the northern end as Leith Castle. Above photograph is of the Leith Castle property as of today.
This place was earlier Parry Castle.
Thomas Parry, who had founded Parry & Co, today the second oldest surviving business house in India, established here in 1805 the first industrial factory on record in the city of Madras.
It manufactured and exported boots and leather equipment for the armies of several countries.
The area on the north bank of today where the Nawab’s forces milled around aimlessly, between San Thome Fort and the river, was where several garden houses of the British were to be built between the 1790s and the 1890s.
The oldest house was Moubray’s Gardens, now home of the Madras Club. Next, there rose Brodie Castle, now Thenral, the TN College of Music.
Later homes by the eastern sea were Somerford, now part of the Chettinad Palace campus, and neighbouring Underwood Gardens, where the Regional Manager of the State Bank of India lives.
At the western end, near Moubray’s Gardens, were Pugh’s Gardens, where the Sathya Sai Baba shrine has come up, and The Grange, now called Kanchi and from where the Government’s management training institute functions. Between houses by the sea and the garden houses in the west was developed Bishop’s Gardens, renamed Vasantha Vihar and now the headquarters of the Krishnamurthy Foundation, and several others on land on which houses for ministers and judges have been built.
If you have memories of the Leith Castle area send in your comments below.
The residents of Leith Castle area do not want street names to be changed check the report of this here.