It was in 1842 that the foundation of the first storey building in Nigeria was laid by Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S) on the Marina waterfront in Badagry, Lagos, Nigeria.
Three years later, in 1845, some other missionaries finished building what stands today as a significant relic of Nigerian history. The building served as a vicarage for Saint Thomas Anglican Church but was later used by Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African C.M.S bishop who translated the Holy Bible from English to Yoruba Language.
In one of the two rooms on the upper floor of the building, there lay a glass case containing the English and Yoruba version of the bible translated by Ajayi Crowther. It was said that the English bible is 178 years old while the Yoruba version is 175 years.
The building floor housed the room of the first teacher in Nigeria, Mr Claudius Philips. Philips, who wore a black shirt, suit and a white trouser in the portrait which adorned the wall, lived in the room for 23 years, from 1845 to 1868.
In another room, the picture of Herbert Macaulay, Ajayi Crowther’s grandson, hung on the wall. There is also a well in the compound which was dug in 1842. The well served as a source of clean water for some residents of the community.
The first storey building in Nigeria was initially built with coconut fibres and bamboos on an area of 1,144 square feet. Recently, the monument was given a mild facelift to preserve it for coming generations.
Directions to the First Storey Building In Nigeria
According to Travel Waka, if you are coming from the Lagos Island or mainland or outside Lagos, firstly, you need to get to Badagry roundabout and turn left, once you make the left turn towards Joseph Dosu, drive towards the end of the road where you’d see another round about , the fisherman’s statue, take another left turn and locate Mobee Street, Off Mobee street is Marina Road, Badagry