Top choice historic site in Lucknow

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The large collection of gardens and ruins that makes up the Residency offers a fascinating historical glimpse of the beginning of the end for the British Raj. Built in 1800, the Residency became the stage for the most dramatic events of the 1857 First War of Independence (Indian Uprising): the Siege of Lucknow, a 147-day siege that claimed the lives of thousands.

The leafy compound has been left as it was at the time of the final relief and the walls are still pockmarked from bullets and cannon balls.

The focus is the small museum (9am to 5pm) in the main Residency building, which includes a scale model of the original buildings and sketches made just after the uprising. The currently closed basement rooms were where many of the British women and children lived throughout the siege.

The cemetery around the ruined St Mary’s church is where 2000 of the defenders were buried, including their leader, Sir Henry Lawrence, who – according to the famous inscription on his weathered gravestone – 'tried to do his duty’.