It is possibly through his admiration of Sir George Gilbert Scott that Akroyd persuaded Sir Charles Wood, his political ally and fellow founder of the Halifax Building Society, to commission Scott to submit designs for a new university at Bombay (Mumbai), which Wood had helped to found in 1857. A massive clock tower and the University Library were built to Scott’s designs between 1869 and 1878, in a Venetian Gothic style, funded by Premchand Roychand, and the Convocation Hall in 1873.
He also designed the Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Hall in 1876. However, the experience does not seem to have been a happy one for Scott. On the ground in India, his designs were deemed too expensive and two British architects, Walter Paris and George Twigge-Molecey, working in the city’s Public Works Department, were given the task of ‘reducing’ Scott’s designs, whilst keeping as much of the original layout as possible, seemingly without Scott’s prior knowledge. They oversaw the construction of the buildings, helped by the British engineer Lt. Col. John Fuller, and the Indian assistant engineer Muckoond Ramchunder Jamseteji.
Davis, P., The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India (Viking,1989), Vol. II, p. 443.
Butler, R., ‘George Gilbert Scott and the University of Bombay’, The Victorian (July 2011).