Reverend John Henry Budden
Budden estate sits on five serene acres of land, perched at almost 8,000 feet above sea level. It is one of only five privately owned estates in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Lovingly restored for comfortable and elegant living, it still retains its original charm.
Undated photograph of Mary Budden. A plaque in her memory stands perfectly within the Budden Memorial Church in Almora.
Ms. Budden was the daughter of the Reverend John Henry Budden, who in 1850 was appointed by Captain Ramsay of the British government to run a charitable mission in the Kumaon Hills.
Choosing Almora as his base, Reverend Budden dedicated two buildings in the Almora Bazaar to the mission work: one was used as a Mission Chapel and the other as a school. The Budden Memorial Church stands tall in the Almora bazaar even today.
The work of the mission station continued largely under the supervision of Reverend Budden's wife and his daughter, Ms. Mary Budden.
Mary Budden dedicated herself to charitable works, establishing and operating a school for girls, a hospital for women, a boys & girls orphanages and a refuge for homeless women. A plaque in her memory stands perfectly within the Budden Memorial Church in Almora.
Budden Estate is named in memory of its last known inhabitant in the 19th century, Ms. Mary Budden. In 1990 Ashwani and Serena Chopra bought the estate and with it they inherited an enamel jug, some of Mary Budden's books, an old armchair and the ruins of a girls hostel that held on to the memories of her life in Binsar.
Almora (close to Binsar) served as an administrative centre under the British. Almora's bracing climate and green forests attracted many colonial officers to establish retreats in the adjacent hills.
Most high profile officers built estates consisting of large bungalows set within several acres of land surrounded by forest. Over time the estates changed hands and were eventually passed on to Indian owners. On 8th July 1899 General W.I. Mc Gregor authorized his attorney Shyam Lal Shah, to sell his estate to Mary Budden.
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