The Dalhousie Obelisk, located beside the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Singapore was built to commemorate the visit of the Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie and his wife in 1850. Singapore was by then a thriving port under the British East India Company. The funds for the Obelisk were donated by the prosperous merchant community in the hope that the visit would lead to dramatic improvements in public works, amenities and the administration of the settlement. Unfortunately, nothing concrete materialized from the visit.
The Obelisk was designed by John Turnbull Thomson (1821-1884), a surveyor and engineer. During his years in Singapore, he produced maps of the town, the island and the Straits and constructed roads and bridges. He was also responsible for the building of Horsburgh Lighthouse on Pedra Branca at the eastern entrance to the Singapore Straits.
The obelisk was threatened by the construction of Connaught Drive in 1886. Governor Sir Cecil Clementi Smith intervened and ensured its safe removal to the present location where it has stood since 1891