The Grange, Yercaud
This is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built sometime in the 1820's MD Cockburn the then Collector established the first commercial plantation in this area and planted Coffee, Oranges, Apples and other fruit trees brought from South Africa. MD Cockburn introduced coffee from Arabia and apples and other fruits from South Africa between 1820 and 1829.
It is believed to have been the summer resort of Robert Clive, general of the East India Company in the late 19th century. The other coffee plantations in Tamil nadu are said to have originated from this humble beginning. It is believed that this area was used as the summer resort in 1800's and a cellar used as repository. During the Sepoy Mutiny, great efforts were made to strengthen the roof and ramparts were built with Gun emplacements and 3 Canons were mounted at vantage points.
A large cellar was made to hold provisions for about 6 months in case there was a long siege and the Europeans of the Area had to hold off insurgents. But this never happened and all was peaceful during those years. There is a well planned and executed Resort alongside the Grange, set amidst coffee & Orange plantations and Silver Oak Trees, a delightful get away for the well-heeled traveller.
Today, the castle-like structure is part of the privately-run Grange Resorts. It is rumoured that Robert Clive came here as a young recruit and Yercaud’s weather made him so homesick of England that he tried killing himself, but the gun didn’t fire.