Ipoh Off The Beaten Path

  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Ipoh

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    Kellie's Castle - History

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellie's Castle -has one furnished room.
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    Entrance to Kellie's Castle is 10RM for non- Malaysians and 5RM for Malaysians. Outside the castle there is a little shop, cafe and toilets.

    The castle was built by a Scottish man called William Kellie Smith. He was born in 1870 in Kellas, Scotland. In 1890 when he was 20 years old, he arrived in Malaya to work as a Civil Engineer. He worked in Charles Alma Baker's survey firm. This firm had won concessions from the state government to clear 9000 hectares of forests in Batu Gajah, Perak. Using the money he made working here, Kellie Smith bought 1000 acres of jungle land in the district of Kinta and started planting rubber trees. He also started working in the tin mining industry.

    Kellie Smith named his land Kinta Kellas after his home farm in Scotland which was called Easter Kellas. He also started up the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company. Then he returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes. The couple came to live in Malaysia in 1903. The next year Agnes gave birth to a baby girl and they called her Helen.

    In 1909 Kellie Smith built his first mansion, Kellas House. This still stands next to and linked with Kellie's Castle but it was badly damaged in the war. Although the family wanted more children, it was difficult for Agnes to get pregnant. Eventually in 1915 she gave birth to a baby boy and they called him, Anthony.

    Now that he had a son and heir Kellie Smith started planning a huge castle with Scottish, Moorish and Indian architecture. He brought in 70 craftsmen from Madras India to help him realise his dream. All the bricks and marble for the castle were imported from India. Included in the plan for the castle's six story tower was Malaya's first elevator - the empty shaft is still there, but the elevator never got installed. There was also a rooftop courtyard for entertaining guests.

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    Kellie's Castle - then it all went wrong.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Feb 14, 2014
    Kellas House.
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    One of the first things to go wrong during the construction of the castle was that the Indian construction workers who had been brought in to built the castle were struck down by a virulent strain of Spanish Flu. Several workers died, the others approached Kellie Smith to build a temple nearby to placate the gods and take away the bad luck. Kellie Smith readily agreed. In return for this act of kindness, the workers built a statue of Kellie Smith beside the gods and goddesses on top of the temple wall. It is believed that a tunnel was built to the temple from the castle.

    In 1926 William Kellie Smith went to Lisbon, Portugal. It is not known exactly why, but it is believed he may have been purchasing the elevator for his castle. While he was there he contracted pneumonia and died at the age of 56.

    William's wife, Agnes, was devastated and decided to leave Malaya and return to Scotland. She sold Kellas House and the unfinished Kellie's Castle to a British company called Harrisons and Crossfield.

    For a long period the castle was simply left to fall apart and the jungle began to grow over the ruins. Locals used to swim across the river and visit the ruins. They were creepy, so many ghost stories grew up around the castle.

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    Kellie's Castle - interior and ghosts.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellie's Castle - interior.
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    The interior of Kellie's Castle is interesting. One room has been furnished to show how it may have looked if the castle had been finished. The rest is empty. There's a very,very dark wine cellar, lots of spiral staircases, hidden exits, secret tunnels. Not being an expert on history, I don't know how politically stable life was in Malaya at this time, but it certainly seemed as if Kellie Smith wanted to be able to spirit his family away at the first signs of any trouble.

    The castle has a tall tower where the elevator would have been. On the rooftop there is a flat area for entertaining guests. The plans for the castle are lost, but I watched a documentary on-line about the construction and history of the castle; experts reckon they may have intended to top the castle with domes like the popular Moghul style architecture that was found in many parts of British Malaya.

    Near the furnished room there were some photos of Kellie Smith and his family during their time in Malaya.

    I noticed as I read the information plaques in each room a bit of an obsession with ghostly occurrences at the castle. The castle is supposed to be haunted by Kellie Smith himself, his wife, his daughter as a child. Even the stables were described as haunted and filled with weird incense smells. I did not find the castle at all scary, though I may not say that if you locked me in there at night!!!! I think the ghost stories arise from the castle's sad history, the fact it was left as an overgrown ruin for a long time and the unusualness of such a building in Malaysia. Old buildings there would be temples, mosques, palaces - a castle is different and therefore may seem a little creepy.

    I even found a link on-line to a group of Malaysian ghost hunters who spent a night there.

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    Kellie's Castle - Hindu Temple.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Hindu temple.
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    I assumed the Hindu temple that Kellie Smith built for his Indian workers to appease the gods when the workers were all dying of Spanish flu would have been on the castle grounds, but it is not.

    To get to the temple exit the castle, cross the bridge, return to the main road and go left. You can see the temple in the distance from the top of the castle. We got our driver to take us there, though you could walk.

    The temple was closed when we got there, but we were able to see the statue of Kellie Smith on the roof of the temple.

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    Kellie's Castle - grounds.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellas House through the arched doorway.
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    It is also worth taking a stroll around the castle grounds. One side is bordered by the river. Close to Kellie's castle there are the stables. There are large grassy areas and at the far end there is an arched doorway which may at one time have been the main entrance to the castle.

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    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple.

    by cachaseiro Written Jul 9, 2012
    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple in Ipoh.

    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple is one of several cave temples around Ipoh and i decided to visit this one as it was on my way out of Ipoh and made a good little rest stop.
    The Temple is a classical chinese temple, but build in to the cave which gives it a spectacular setting.
    There is a very nice little garden in front of it with various sculptures and the place was very popular with local tourists the day i went there.
    The temple is a little south of the center of Ipoh just before you leave town.
    Just take the main street heading south out of town and you will see it on your left.

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