Constructed between 1902 and 1904 by Charles Fourier Stollmeyer, an asphalt manufacturer born in Pennsylvania in 1839 of German descent, and brought to Trinidad by his father in 1844, this was the first house to be built in St. Clair on what had previously been an estate used as the Government Stock Farm for cocoa, Rudylynn Roberts, CHF IAC member writes…
Designed by Scottish architect Robert Gillies, of Taylor and Gillies, the scheme was based on part of Balmoral Castle, although here it alludes to its Caribbean setting with the addition of a verandah.
Constructed mostly of imported materials, such as Italian marble for the gallery of the ground floor and Guyanese Purple Heart wood for the floorboards, the finished house was simply too ornate for Mrs. Stollmeyer’s tastes. As a result, the Castle was gifted to their son Conrad who was about to be married. It was the second Mrs. Stollmeyer who
gave it the name Killarney after the place she had hoped to stay for their honeymoon. Later it became known as ‘The Castle’ during the occupancy of US troops during WW2. At the time of its sale, Killarney was to be used exclusively for residential purposes, but in 1979 it was acquired by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Killarney has recently been rehabilitated by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and handed over for occupancy in May 2018. We are all glad to see how the space has been adapted as a Cultural Centre. What continues to be clear to us is that the Castle must continue to be made available to the general public and used in a manner that creates funds for its maintenance and the continued effort, education and promotion of our built heritage.
Stollmeyer’s Castle at Lot 31 Maraval Road, St. Clair, Port of Spain, is owned by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. Its Listing Status is Stage 8 – Listing Completed Heritage Site Protected Under the National Trust Act OAS/CARIMOS Monument of the Greater Caribbean.