2016 - Kellie's Castle at Batu Gajah

Kellie's Castle at Batu Gajah
With Richard Collett (from the United Kingdom) Editor and Founder of Travel Tramp www.travel-tramp.com

On 16.09.2016, meeting another traveller from United Kingdom, Mr Richard Collett who is the Editor and Founder of Travel Tramp www.travel-tramp.com is a rare privilege. He came to Malaysia looking for story about the war and also information on the communist activities during the Malaya Emergency in the 1950s. His grandfather served in Malaya during the emergency as a National Serviceman in the British Army. Richard contacted me after reading my blog on the Peace Village in Betong, Thailand.

Before meeting me in Ipoh, he has since gone to Southern Thailand to meet some ex-communist there and on the way to Ipoh he visited Elphill Estate in Sungai Siput where there is a memorial and small museum. In Ipoh I drove him to Batu Gajah to visit Kellie’s Castle.
Richard Collett (from the United Kingdom) Editor and Founder of Travel Tramp www.travel-tramp.com

The construction of this Kellie's Castle began in 1915 during the time of the British Occupation of Malaya.

The owner, William Kellie Smith was a wealthy Scottish planter who made his fortune in Malaya by helping to construct public roads in South Perak.

William Kellie Smith then purchased 960 acres of jungle land in the district of Kinta and used it to plant rubber. He then ventured into tin mining industry. Hence he established himself as the owner of Kinta Kellas Estate and the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company. He probably chose the name Kellas as he was born on March 1, 1870 in Easter Kellas, Scotland.



As Kellie made his fortune, he built his first house known as Kellas House in 1910 for his wife, Agnes Smith and their first child, Helen Agnes. This house and its ruin can still be seen today which is located just beside Kellie's Castle.

What is left of the first house (Kellas House) today is just the foundation and parts of the wall.

What is left of the first house (Kellas House) today is just the foundation and parts of the wall.


Parts of the Kellas House internal wall.

Parts of the Kellas House internal wall.









It was also discovered that there are secrets tunnels, one of which leads to the Hindu temple through the Kinta River. However, this tunnel has now been sealed for safety reason.

The second and bigger mansion, Kellies Castle construction started after the birth of his son, Anthony in 1915.

Kellie hired 70 Indians from Madras, South India as skilled laborers for the construction of this castle. The bricks and marble were all brought all the way from India. Unfortunately, midway through the construction, a deadly "Spanish flu" struck and killed many of the workers.

Kellie was advised to build a Hindu temple in the vicinity to appease the gods. Work to build the mansion continued after that but as he went home to United Kingdom in 1926, he died of pneumonia in Lisbon, Portugal at the age of 56. His wife then sold this place to a British company called Harrisons and Crosfield and return to Scotland for good.







The owner, William Kellie Smith was a wealthy Scottish planter who made his fortune in Malaya by helping to construct public roads in South Perak.




This mansion has a Moorish architecture with rooms designed for Kellie's son and daughter.

Nice view of the surrounding area from the dinning hall.








Rumour has it that eerie apparitions were seen walking down the hallways of this uncompleted castle during the night.











This mansion has a Moorish architecture with rooms designed for Kellie's son and daughter.




The guard house as viewed from the master bedroom.






The castle even has a half completed elevator.


The stair case up to the roof top.



A view of the surroundings from the top of the castle. Notice the Kinta River and the main road from here.

A view of the surroundings from the top of the castle. Notice the Kinta River and the main road from here.

A view of the surroundings from the top of the castle.

What is left of the first house (Kellas House) today is just the foundation and parts of the wall.

What is left of the first house (Kellas House) today is just the foundation and parts of the wall.

The mansion was built with a six storey tower.

The castle has a flat rooftop to cater for parties.

We saw this lady visitor practicing yoga at the roof top.


The ruin of the Kellie Castle perimeter gate wall.


The ruin of the Kellie Castle perimeter gate wall.


///

No comments:

Post a Comment