History of OLCOTE

The house was built by H.D. Cornelius Gunasekera and his wife Dona Carolina for their daughter Dona Nandawathie Gunasekera and was gifted to her on the 17th of February 1934.  She died unmarried and “issueless” and in 1966 her parents gifted it to their nephew Handapangodage Deeman Peiris who lived in it till he sold it to Douglas Weerasuriya on the 1st of March 1989. Tess de Kretser bought it from Douglas in August 2014.

When coming up with a name, my children Simone, Shauna and Johnny wanted to call it the name of the house in Ballsbridge where they had many happy memories. OLCOTE – Our Little Corner Of The Earth, which always conjures up beautiful memories and this is something we hope that our guests will take with them when they leave our home. We hope to make it Our Little ‘Irish’ Corner of the Earth in Ceylon

I always wanted to ‘marry’ old Sinhalese and modern contemporary concepts and when this property came up for sale I knew that it was ‘heaven sent’ and was meant for me. I would like to thank Douglas for preserving the valuable trees that are in the garden – his love of flora fauna and trees is a beautiful legacy that we can all enjoy……..

Sri Lanka is an island that everyone loves at some level inside themselves. A very special island that travellers from Sinbad to Marco Polo, dreamed about. A place where the contours of the land itself form a kind of sinewy poetry.

Romesh Gunasekera