Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


Some of you may recognise it. Some of you are still scratching your heads. Worry not, this is in fact the ruins of a brick bungalow built by none other than William Kellie Smith. Last I recall, these ruins were within the grounds of the famed Kellie’s Castle (hope they haven’t disappeared or made way for ‘development’).

  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    this is in fact the ruins of a brick bungalow built by none other than William Kellie Smith.

    Yes, it was the second home built on the property. In the database (see item 482), you have at least one photograph of it taken in better days.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    Thanks for the links. William Harald-Wong does seem to have done a good job with the on-site signage and so on, but his historical research is a bit off. He writes:

    [One] of Kellie-Smith’s granddaughters, Frances Boston-Smith, visited the mansion a few years before and donated photographs of his first mansion, The Kellas House […] to the Batu Gajah District Office. These images provided us with a sense of his eclectic taste in interior furnishing and collectibles, which mirrored the rather odd mix of architectural styles* of his second mansion, Kellie’s Castle.

    Kellie’s Castle was the third iteration of Kellie-Smith’s vision.

    And the donated photographs were not all of the first mansion: some of them may be, but others show the second one. I suppose not too many people can tell the difference any more!

  3. ika says:

    Thank you both for the comments above. You may be interested to know that in 2914 I visited the Kinta Kellas Estate House of William Kellie Smith with a friend, Matk Lay, of Kinta Heritage Group. He recorded his visit on camera in 2009 and his photographs may be found at http://db.ipohworld.org/view.php?type=id&id=7405#search_form_wrapper and thereafter.

    The house belongs to an acquaintance of mine who plans to leave it to his son. I tried to get the Punkah for our collection but the son says it must stay there although the place is deteriorating every day as it is not lived in. I fear it will be vandalised one day and will eventually disappear.

  4. Ngai C O says:


    Thanks for the additional information, especially the pictures of the original estate residence.

    Here are two more pieces of related information more to do with rubber.

    How and Why I became a Rubber Planter.

    Many of the plantation workers came from Kerala. Hence, Kerala also had colonial rubber plantations with their bungalows.

    The idea of the Punkahs obviously came from colonial India.

    • ika says:

      Thank you for the articles. I shall read them at my leisure.

      When I was in the Royal Navy I was always amused by the name of the adjustable ventilation outlets in the ships. They were officially known by the manufacturer as “Punkah Louvres”.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Yes, they were installed in buildings and trains as well — the FMS Railways had them in certain coaches — and pretty soon they were in airplanes, too, which is probably where most people encounter such devices now.

        I’m guessing you already know that they were invented in the ’20s by a Scottish firm.

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