When we talk about castles, we will always think of the castles at the countryside of Europe since there were many kingdoms established there before. The kings, the nobles and the aristocrats – they all built large castles which exist until today. However, there is one castle in Malaysia that was not built by a king nor was it built as a show of strength of a kingdom. The castle is known as the Kellie’s Castle in the state of Perak, northern Malaysia.
Kellie’s Castle was built by a Scottish by the name of William Kellie Smith back in 1915. He was a planter who first came to Malaya (as Malaysia was known then) as a civil engineer. He joined a survey firm and with the money that he had from working at that firm, he bought a piece of land in Perak for rubber plantations. He then married his girlfriend back in Scotland before returning to Malaya with his wife.
Kellie’s Castle was supposed to be his Taj Mahal where he planned to built it as a devotion of love for his wife. The castle was supposed to have a 6-storey tower, an indoor tennis court and a rooftop courtyard apart from what was supposed to be Malaya’s first elevator. Nevertheless, he died prematurely at the age of 56 during his short trip to Lisbon, Portugal. His wife returned to Scotland with their children and the castle was never completed until today.
Looking at the castle, it is unique in its own way. I could see the influence of several architectural designs such as Indians, Moorish and Scottish in its design. If completed, I am sure that this castle will become famous for being one of the castles situated in this part of the world, if not the only. Today, it is one of the tourist attractions in Malaysia and some people said that Kellie’s Castle is haunted by the ghost of William Kellie Smith himself.
Note: I first wrote about Kellie’s Castle back in 2013 but did not manage to visit since it was closed.