Historical Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh twitter.com

Viceroy Mayo, British India. commons.wikimedia.org/

Located close to  the Thornhill and Mayne Memorial State Public library, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh,  the Mayo memorial hall was built in 1879 in memory of  ''Lord Mayo”.  Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo  was a British politician and administrator belonging to  the British Conservative Party from Dublin, Ireland.  It was in  1869  Mayo became the Viceroy of India to take care of the administration of the subcontinent, representing the Crown administration in London.  It was a crucial period for the Raj that tackled  with great difficulties the great Indian rebellion a decade ago and this resulted in the exit of the English company rule. 

Mayo memorial hall, Allahabad. t2uttaranchal.com

As ill-luck would have it, Lord Mayo was on a visit to the British prison complex (locally called Kala Pani) in Port Blair in Andaman island for the purpose of inspection and to observe how the prisoners were treated by the Jail authorities. Upon completion of his investigation in the late evening he was near the shore to take a boat to his camp. In a jiff he  was assassinated on 8 February 1872 by a convict named Sher Ali Afridi, a Pathan.  With a knife he had been waiting behind the bushes for the arrival of Lord Mayo. The stabbing was so bad he could not survive the attack and later he  died; he was just 49 years of age. Lord Mayo happened to be a good officer and and had a soft corner for the native Indians. His main mission to the penal island was to check the prison conditions  and how the Indian prisoners were being treated by the Jail wardens and others. Mayo  was buried at the medieval ruined church in Johnstown, County Kildare, near his home at Palmerstown House.

Designed by  Roskell Bayne, a reputed British engineer with East Indian Railway,  it is an impressive big  hall with a 180-ft high tower and a semi circular high roof. The interior decorations and designs were done with meticulous care by Professor Gamble of the South Kensington Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum), London. The work was completed in 1879 and this hall was built to conduct  public meetings and official  balls and receptions. Incidentally, this hall was famous for its fine dance floor.
The outer walls of Mayo Hall carry impressive and eye-catching tiny  projections of busts representing different kinds of people like  a Greek scholar,  a man with African features, a native American  Indian and more.

Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh twitter.com

The place where it is standing used to be known as Civil Lines; late came to be known as Canning Town or White Town. This part of town was designed in a grid pattern and built soon after the great rebellion of 1857.  This was meant for the  British officers of the North-Western Provinces. Within this newly laid down area  many impressive colonial buildings came up including Raj-era public buildings, colonial bungalows and impressive churches. The red brick Mayo hall was part of this town to cater to the needs of the Europeans.
The Mayo College in Ajmir, Rajasthan  and Mayo Hall in Bangalore, Karnataka bear testimony to this great Irish administrator.