Tollygunge Club — or Tolly, as it is popularly known — received an Intach heritage plaque on Thursday.
The property is a Grade I heritage structure on the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s heritage list.
“While everybody knows of Tollygunge Club, few are aware of its heritage. The plaque is a recognition of that heritage,” G.M. Kapur of Intach, which works for preservation of heritage, said while unveiling the plaque.
“Institutions like ours are like a banyan tree (of which there are plenty on the sprawling grounds). We are proud to belong to such an institution,” said Captain Sanjiv Dhir, president of Tollygunge Club.
Born in 1895, the club gets its name from the area it is located in.
One of the most iconic features of the club is its 240-year-old Club House.
According to the club records, the property was acquired by Richard Johnson in 1781 from H. Grant.
An East India Company employee, Johnson’s fortunes fluctuated and he sold and acquired the property multiple times. After his death, the East India Company took over his property and the title deed was transferred in the name of Lt Col T. Hawkins and G.D. Guthrie for the accommodation of Tipu Sultan’s family in 1809 after the king’s death.
Tipu’s 11th son, Prince Gholam Mohammed Shah, purchased the properties where his family was confined. At the time of his death in 1872, Shah’s properties included Bara Bagh, which was spread across 305 bighas and included a large house, and several smaller houses. Bara Bagh and the smaller houses together eventually became Tollygunge Club.
William Dickson Cruickshank, who was secretary and treasurer of the Bank of Bengal, stumbled on the property while walking his dog.
“Cruickshank signed a lease with the Waqf Trust to establish Tollygunge Club in 1895,” said the club’s past CEO Anil Mukerji.