Standing proud on top of Mount Sophia near the city for more than a hundred years, the “Tower House”, whose official address is 12 Mount Sophia Road, is truly a beautiful colonial building that has fortunately survived through the tougher times of Singapore.
Built in 1892 by the Crane Brothers’ Architect, the double-storied house is made of concrete and wood with iron fittings. It was bought by the Methodist Church in 1932 and, along with the Old School across the road, became the extension of Methodist Girls’ School. It was during this period that the house was fondly known as the “Tower House”.
Mount Sophia had been a residential district for the middle and upper classes in the late 18th and early 19th century. Originally known as Seligi Hill (whose name was probably an older version of present-day Selegie), it was later named after Sir Stamford Raffles’ wife Lady Sophia Hull Raffles (1786-1858).
Lady Sophia married Sir Raffles in 1817 at an age of 30, two years after the death of Raffles’ first wife. Shortly after their marriage, Sir Raffles and Lady Sophia set sail to Bencoolen and then Singapore. She bore him five children and was the author of the famous biography Memoir of the Life and Public Services of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles that highlighted Sir Raffles’ accomplishment.
The Singapore government acquired the “Tower House” in 1998. After restoration, it was leased to a Oliver Bettin, who converted the house into a Montessori pre-education nursery known as House on the Hill.
Published: 01 December 2012
Updated: 23 January 2013