Sir Guildford Molesworth was an English Civil Engineer who arrived in Ceylon in 1859. In 1862 he was appointed the first Chief Engineer of the newly established government railways in Ceylon, and the first track, 54 kilometers from Colombo to Ambepussa, was completed in 1864. With servicing the coffee (and soon tea) industry as a primary objective for establishing the railways in Ceylon, steady progress was made with lines eventually reaching the prime tea growing areas of Kandy, Nawalapitiya, Nanu Oya, Bandarawela and Badulla. Molesworth ended his career with the railway department as its Director General.  

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Historical Events

1867– James Taylor becomes the First Tea Planter

1867– James Taylor becomes the First Tea Planter

James Taylor, the supervisor of Loolecondera Estate plants the tea seedlings at his estate. The seedlings were provided by the nursery of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and were planted in just 19 acres.

1870 - Sir Charles De Soysa adopts tea plantation

1870 - Sir Charles De Soysa adopts tea plantation

As prospects of coffee began to look dull local planter Charles De Soysa started converting his plantations to tea. With the Ceylon Coffee Crash Soysa expanded his tea estates to include Guru Oya, Marigold, Hapugasmulle among others

1880 - Henry Randolph Trafford arrives in Sri Lanka and purchases Poyston Estate

1880 - Henry Randolph Trafford arrives in Sri Lanka and purchases Poyston Estate

Englishman Henry Randolph Trafford purchased the Poyston Estate and started the growth of coffee and Cinchona, later switching to tea in 1887

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