Frere Hall

Frere Hall - a beautiful structure built during the days of the British Raj

Frere Hall is one of the many remnant buildings of the British Colonial era that still exists in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

It was built in honor of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, who was a British colonial administrator known for promoting economic development in Sindh and also for making the Sindhi Language compulsory to use in Sindh instead of Persian.

After Frere’s death, Frere Hall become a museum which attempts to include all the paintings and books from the British Colonial era. As of 2016, Frere Hall is still open for public and it is also one of the most important place for tourism because not only because of the building's notable architecture but also it carries a lot of information of British rule in Sub-Continent. Frere Halls is also one of the main buildings made by and for British in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

The Hall is ideally located in front of the Marriott hotel and right next to Sindh club. It’s located between Haroon road (formerly Victoria Road) and Fatima Jinnah Road (formerly Bonus Road) and it’s also surrounded by American Embassy and Singapore Embassy. The area is also surrounded by a High Security zone because of the nearby embassies. It is located in civil lines locality of the town.[1]


Frere Hall stands proud with overlooking the distant horizon. This 151-years-old construction serves a deeper historical purpose, one that is traveled with people, their culture and their practice through the decades. Out of 13 different design option where considered for the project but Lieutenant Colonel Clair Wilson’s architectural design clearly stood out which gave the Hall Venetian-Gothic look.

The layout of the Frere Hall is the perfect blend of British architecture and Sub-continent architecture. The architecture includes multiple pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses. Amazing carving on the walls and beautifully articulated mosaic designs are visible on multiple walls and pillars which support the building.[2]

The total cost of this hall was about Rs. 180,000 out of which the Government contributed Rs. 10,000 while the rest was paid for by the municipality.[3]

Frere Hall, Karachi, 1860s


The Hall is surrounded by two lawns originally known as "Queen's Lawn" and "King's Lawn" which after independence were renamed as Baghe-e-jinnah (Jinnah garden).

The lawns were closed to the public because of a terrorist attack attempt on the U.S consulate which caused the park to close down public access until 2011. It was reopened in Spring of 2011 and everything went back to normal after the Consulate was relocated.[4]

History Of Frere Hall

Frere Hall throughout the time period was used for different purposes. During the Raj the Hall was used as Town Hall and housed a number of busts including King Edward VII's which was a gift from Seth Edulji Dinshaw.[3] Frere Hall also consist of oil painting made by Sir Charles Pritchard who was a former Commissioner of Sindh.

After the British Raj the Hall was made into a library which is also known as Liaquat National Library. Its one the biggest libraries in Karachi, Sindh,Pakistan which hosts more than seventy thousand books including rare and invaluable hand written manuscripts.[5]

In 1877 at Frere Hall the first attempt was made to form a consistent set of rules of badminton.[6]


  1. "Frere Hall Bagh-e-Jinnah Karachi". Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  2., Youlin Magazine,. "Architecture of Frere Hall Karachi". Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  3. 1 2 J.W. Smyth, Gazetteer of the Province of Sind B Vol 1 Karachi District, Government Central Press, Bombay 1919. Reprinted by Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi Pg 70
  4. "Car bomb at US consulate in Karachi". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  5. {{Cite web|url=|title=Heritage.....A marvellous piece of architecture||access-date=2016-04-25}}
  6. Downey, Jake (2003). Better Badminton for All. Pelham Books. p. 13. ISBN 0720702283.
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Coordinates: 24°50.846′N 67°01.970′E / 24.847433°N 67.032833°E / 24.847433; 67.032833

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