Kellie’s Castle, Batu Gajah, Perak

On Saturday (15 March 2014), I traveled up north with my friends to Ipoh, Perak for a weekend getaway. On the way, we stopped at the infamous Kellie’s Castle. We’ve heard a lot about it but have not really stepped foot to it. The construction of this castle was never completed and I’m pretty sure it will look majestic if it did.

This castle is rumoured to be haunted. While I don’t believe in the supernatural stuff, I’m always excited to check out these “scary” places. On top of that, there was even a paranormal tour organized as part of the Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign.

If you happen to be in Malaysia and would like to visit this place, here’s the location:


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A Brief History of Kellie’s Castle

William Kellie Smith (1870 – 1926) was born in 1870 in Kellas, Moray Firth, Scotland. In 1890, at the age of 20, he arrived in Malaya as a Civil Engineer. He joined Charles Alma Baker’s survey firm, who had won concessions from the state government to clear 9000 hectares of forests in Batu Gajah, Perak. With the substantial profits made from his business venture with Baker, Smith bought 1000 acres of jungle land in the district of Kinta and started planting rubber trees and dabbled in the tin mining industry.

In time, he named his estate Kinta Kellas after his home farm “Easter Kellas” and went on to own the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company as well. With his fortune made, he returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes and brought her over to Malaysia in 1903. They had a daughter named Helen the next year.

In 1909 Smith built his first mansion, “Kellas House” and in 1915 with the birth of his son and heir Anthony he started planning for a huge castle with Scottish, Moorish and Indian architecture. He brought in 70 craftsmen from Madras India. All the bricks and marble were imported from India, too. Included in the plan for the 6 storey tower were Malaya’s first elevator, an indoor tennis court and a rooftop courtyard for entertaining.

Let the tour begins…

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This was the bridge leading to the castle.
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It was a beautiful view of the castle. We couldn’t wait to check out the interior.kelliescastle (5)

The upper part of the building has been being repainted.kelliescastle (6)

The original Kellas House that was destroyed during World War II (If I got my facts right.)kelliescastle (7)

This is the side view of the castle. There’s a stairs all the way up.

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A closer look at the kitchen area.kelliescastle (8)

We were down at the wine cellar. It was pitched black. The underground tunnel leading to the temple was in here but it was sealed up because some tourists got lost while exploring it. Spooky!kelliescastle (9)

I spent some time reading the history of the castle and its owner.kelliescastle (10)

I imagined it would have looked so beautiful have it not destroyed.
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The ground floor consists of living hall, reading room and dining hall whereas the bedrooms and guest rooms are on the first floor.kelliescastle (13)

The stairway leading up to the balcony on the upper floor where it was rumoured that William Smith’s ghost was seen walking about, looking out the window.

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I was at the upper floor when I took this. Now you can see the bridge and the river from here clearly.kelliescastle (16)

Here’s another angle of the kitchen area.kelliescastle (17)

The incomplete upper floor didn’t have any handrails built in so you need to be mindful about this. Strictly no children without adult supervision.
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The open area from the top. kelliescastle (19)

The look of the elevator shaft from the top. It freaked me out a little as I’m afraid of heights.kelliescastle (20)

Bats were found on the top floor of the castle tower.kelliescastle (21)

They were still…thank goodness!kelliescastle (22)

Here’s the balcony where the sighting of William Smith has been reported.kelliescastle (23)

The well at the castle’s yard.kelliescastle (24)

This horse stable and collapsed guardhouse were rumoured to be haunted as well.kelliescastle (25)This was the final picture from the side of the castle before we left the historical site behind.