Kellie’s Castle, Batu Gajah

Kellie’s Castle is a partially completed large private house combining European, Asian and Moorish architectural styles constructed in the early 20th Century by a Scottish entrepreneur. Kellie’s Castle is open every day from 09:00 to 17:00 and admission costs 10 MYR for foreign adults and 9 MYR for children, reduced to 5 MYR for adult residents and 3 MYR for children.

About Kellie’s Castle

The construction of Kellie’s Castle was privately financed by William Kellie-Smith. William arrived in what was then known as Malaya in 1890 to work as a civil engineer. Over time he became wealthy from private business and purchased a 4.05 square kilometres plot to grow rubber trees. Kellie’s Castle was built on that land. The motivations for constructing this mansion aren’t known for certain, but the start of construction in 1915 followed on shortly from the birth of his first son. It is also believed that William Kellie-Smith was trying to make a statement about his wealth and the perceived snobbery of the local British colonial administrators. The project was never completed. The Spanish flu epidemic hit in 1918 killing a number of his workers, many of whom where brought from Tamil Nadu in India specifically to work on his house. The construction schedule was also pushed back by these Tamil builders going to work on the construction of a nearby Hindu temple. William Kellie-Smith died in 1926 and his family abandoned the rubber plantation, along with the part completed house, selling the whole lot to a company which had no interest in completing the project.

Kellie's Castle near Batu Gajah
Kellie’s Castle near Batu Gajah

Kellie’s Castle’s castle has two parts. The front block, which was completed, and a rear block which has walls but no roof. The architectural style is a blend of traditional Scottish castle and Indo-Saracenic colonial building. The Indo-Saracenic design style featured heavily in municipal building across the Asian part of the British Empire, and you see lots of examples of it in Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur. Indo-Saracenic style buildings feature a mix of Moorish, Mughal and Gothic European architectural style to create a unique style of building combining influences from all over the British Empire. The other particularly notable feature of the building is it unfinished 6 storey tower in which William Kellie-Smith planned to install Malaysia’s first ever elevator.

Location of Kellie’s Castle

  • Kellie’s Castle is located 6.1 km by road from Batu Gajah Railway Station.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.