Uttar Pradesh played a crucial role in the establishment and expansion of British rule in India. The British East India Company came into contact with the Awadh rulers during the reign of third Nawab of Awadh. There is no doubt that the history of Uttar Pradesh has run concurrently with the history of the country during and after the British rule. Uttar Pradesh also played a key role in the 1857.
The British added several signature structures to the skyline of Uttar Pradesh. At that time Uttar Pradesh was introduced to the imperialistic leanings of colonial architecture and led to a combination of the Indo-Islamic genre with the traditional European Neo-Classical and Gothic style— recognized today as the imperialistic Indo-Sarcenic architecture. The ornamental designs of these buildings, as well as many of the buildings in Lucknow and other places in Uttar Pradesh, clearly reflect a beautiful combination of eastern and western architectural styles. The buildings of this time represents the presence of the old usual domes and towers with a modern colonial touch to them.
Colonial influences can be seen in buildings such as churches, educational institutions, residential quarters, palaces and administrative buildings.
Some prominent structures in Prayagraj, the erstwhile capital of the United Provinces, are the University of Prayagraj and the Prayagraj High Court. The All Saints Cathedral is perhaps the finest Anglican cathedral in Asia. A fine specimen of 13th century Gothic architectural moorings it was designed by Sir William Emerson.
The Mayo Memorial Hall in Prayagraj was built in 1879 by R. Roskell Bayne. Depicting the colonial architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries, the hall is situated near Thornhill and Mayne Memorial Library. The hall has a 180 ft high tower and the interiors, which were designed by Professor Gamble of the South Kensington Museum from London. Built in the memory of assassinated viceroy Mayo, the hall used to hold public meetings, receptions and balls.
The present buildings of the Sanskrit College in Varanasi were built in Gothic style. In 1916, the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge initiated the construction of building of Banaras Hindu University, which is one of Asia’s finest architecture.
In Lucknow the Raj Bhavan used to be Kothi Hayat Baksh which was designed by Major General Claude Martin as his residence. Before India's independence Kothi Hayat Baksh was declared as a Government House, the official residence of the Governor of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. After independence its name was changed to Raj Bhavan.
The construction of Vidhan Bhawan, housing the two Legislatures also known as Council House, was started in 1922 by Sir Harcourt Butler. It was specially made of Mirzapur stone and took six years to complete.
The building which is now referred to as Lucknow GPO, was once a Ring Theatre, used by British families for recreation purposes. It was used as a platform for screening English films and English dramas were also played here.
Other buildings in Lucknow showing colonial architecture are La Martiniere School, The Residency, Dilkusha Palace, Lalbagh Methodist Church and other churches.
The Begum Samru Church in Sardhana, Meerut, is the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces. It is a Roman Catholic Church and a fine example of European architectural style.