The Oldest Town Building In Nigeria

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A visit to the first storey building in Nigeria revealed many things about its historical significance, 

Badagry, the serene town which is home to some of Nigeria’s famous historical sites.

It is also home to the country’s first storey building.

“The foundation of the building was laid in 1842, although it was built by the missionaries in 1845. The first storey building is a monument today and many people come to see it every week.

According to the curator, the first missionaries came to Badagry in September, 1842. “These were Thomas Birch Freeman of the Methodist Church, England, and his assistant, Reverend Deegraft. In December, 1942, Reverend Henry Townsend of the Christian Missionary Society also came to join them in Badagry to spread the gospel. They used to preach under a tree called Agiya tree. The Badagry town hall was built where the tree was once located,” he explained

The ground floor still has some of the materials used for building, including the bricks, nails, the hinges to mount the doors and the iron corrugated sheets to roof the building. ‘1842’ was written on one of the corrugated sheets in one the rooms where the labourers was said to have stayed. A part of one of the rooms where some of the building items were placed is decorated with thin bamboos.

The floors are connected by a wooden staircase which seems to require renovation. Another staircase leads to the upper floor from outside.

There are also two rooms upstairs, as well as a sitting room, two stores and a safe.

There was also a well inside the compound which Viavonu said was dug in 1842 and served as drinking water for some in the community.

Nevertheless, it still holds a significant place in the country’s history. If well preserved, the first storey building will remain a tourist attraction and historical landmark for many years to come.

When we compare this first design to the modern day Town houses that can be found in Lagos, it is clear that there is an architectural connection.



Jacob Sogboyega Odulate

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