Plantation Experience

Stafford Pioneering Initiative

In response to the requests for expanding plantations, the government sold crown land around Ragala to pioneer planters in the 1870's.Among the many bidders was the Scottish founder of Stafford Estate, Ragala. The name 'Stafford' derived from Old English may have meant 'a landing place ford' or 'brook' from the stream below the bungalow and at the bottom of the hill which gurgles its way through the tea bushes.

Tea from the factory began its journey in plywood tea chests carried by bullock carts down the rough tracks to the railway station in Ragala. The narrow gauge line was opened in 1903, from Ragala via Kandapola to Nuwara Eliya and then onto Nanu Oya. At Nanu Oya , the tea chests were transferred to the main broad gauge line , and sent for delivery to the Colombo godowns. After auction, the tea chests went by steam ship to England or Australia.

Immerse yourself in the fascinating journey of the 'history of tea' during your stay at our heritage home, built by the pioneering founders & lovingly preserved with modern facilities and comforts. Go on tour with the 'PeriaDorai' now the formal Estate Superintendent commencing with a field visit at dawn, experience the muster, visit a tea factory & learn more of the process of the fascinating story of 'two leaves & bud' – transformed into the magical word of 'Tea please'.

  • Stafford Pioneering Initiative