Monday, August 24, 2009

History of the never completed castle

~Kellie's Castle~

WILLIAM Kellie Smith was born in Dallas, North-Eastern Scotland to a farmer and his wife on 1st of March, 1870. At the age of 20, he traveled to Malaya to seek for his fortune.
In Malaya he was soon engaged by an estate owner to help in the construction of public roads in South Perak. William gathered some fortune from his share of the venture's profits. He bought over nearly 1000 acres of jungle land in the Kinta District. He cleared the land and turned it to become rubber estate.
Followed by his success in rubber plantation, William Smith brought over his family to stay at his first mansion in Malaya, Kellies House. The mansion was built in 1905 as a symbol of his prospering rubber estate venture.
Later in 1915 with the birth of a son, Anthony, William Smith decided to build the Kellie's Castle (just in front of the Kellies House). It is believed to be a gift for his wife or for the birth of his son - Anthony.

It was intended a grand mansion with a six-storey tower and wine cellar. Moorish arches and walls embellished with Greco-Roman designs. There was to be a rooftop courtyard for parties, a helicopter landing space and even the first shaft lift in the country to connect the underground tunnel up to the top floor.
So he employed 70 tough workers, mostly from Madras to build the castle. Bricks and marble were imported from India. But the construction work was not smooth, a mysterious illness (Spanish Flu) broke out and killed many of the workers.
William Smith was told that a temple must be built to appease the gods. He immediately transferred his workers to build a Hindu temple nearby.
Anyway, this tragedy didn't stop the construction of the castle. But the sudden death of Smith on a visit to Lisbon
in 1926 had made a halt to it. He died of pneumonia.
His wife, Agnes, with a broken heart made the decision to sell out all of the William Smith's properties in
Malaya and moved back to Scotland sadly.

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