A pioneer’s castle

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Kallie’s castle (Kallie’s Fort) is located near Batu Gajah, and is about 20 minutes from Ipoh, Perak. Some years ago this building was overgrown with wild fig and banyan trees spreading over and into it, but an effort has been made to rescue this interesting structure from the encroaching foliage. It stands on the land of what was once the estate of William Kellie Smith, a rubber plantation owner who made his fortune in Malaya (Old name of Malaysia). The house was intended to be his second home, but it was never entirely finished, as Smith died while he was visiting his native Scotland. The house was meant to be reminded of his Scottish castle far away, but now it lies all but forgotten, and the remnants of its fine architecture and the orange colored bricks lying in ruins give it the air of something from a fairy tale.

Smith was an interesting man, who was evidently popular with his South Indian worker. A Hindu shrine stands nearby, erected for the plantation worker during a time of sickness. Amongst the figures of animals and gods, stands a man in a white suit and hat, presumably Smith himself. A walk around the ruin is to step back into the prosperous days of colonial life. A bridge has now been built across the river, providing access from main road. Tours can also be arranged from Ipoh.