- Estate Life
Records retained at the Estate House trace the history of the acquisition of land for the estate from the 1920s, and how the tea pluckers who were brought from South India during the early 20th century were housed in “The Lines”, simple one room houses, which remain today. The Estate owners were responsible for the total management of the migrant workers including recording the employment history, births, deaths and marriages within the community of the estate.
Built in 1926, The Estate House is an old colonial planter’s bungalow set in a 62 acre private working tea and rubber estate. The Estate has a rich history; originally part of a 350 acre estate it was developed by Aollin Ondaatje, a local Kegalle family & whose great nephew is the well known author Michael Ondaatje. Rosyth transferred through a number of owners before being acquired by Richard Spittal, a famous Sri Lankan doctor often referred to as the Surgeon of the Wild, his daughter and her husband before being broken up during land reform in the 1970’s.
Today, the estate produces Orange Pekoe low grown tea, particularly popular in the Middle Eastern markets, latex for rubber production, fruit and spices & continues to employ tea pluckers & rubbers tappers, many of whom are descended from the early employees.