Picture of Kellie’s Castle taken in 1986.
The first time that Jimbo visited Kellie’s Castle in Ipoh (actually nearer to Gopeng), was way back in 1986! Back then, the place was not well known and there was no proper access. Jimbo and friends had to strip down to their shorts, and wade across a river in waist deep water in order to reach the old abandoned mansion. The experience was memorable because the place was so spooky!
Back then, the entire area was overgrown with creepy crawlies and huge trees. The Kellas Mansion (the original home of Kellie Smith and family) was not seen when Jimbo went there back in 1986. Walking along the darkened and quiet corridors of the castle then was a spooky experience. There were underground tunnels and stairs leading up to nowhere!
Fast forward 23 years; Jimbo and family visited the castle last weekend. The castle and the area surrounding it has not been developed for tourism. A proper bridge has been built across the river, overgrown shrubs and trees have been cleared; the ruins of the Kellas mansion is easily seen behind the castle and the castle itself is all spic and span; losing much of its spookiness.
Here are some photos from the trip:
The parking lot in the foreground.
The river which Jimbo and friends crossed 26 years ago.
Now a nice bridge spans across the river.
The castle has been spruced up with window panes added.
The underground wine cellar. Graffiti abound on almost every wall in the castle – another testimony to the Ugly Malaysian.
The stair that used to lead to nowhere now leads upstairs!
The ceiling on the 2nd floor has been refurbished with white plaster. Those days, it was just bricks and there were holes in the bricks which allows one to peep from upstairs to downstairs.
On the roof (those days there was no roof that one could stand on), Ryan demonstrated that he inherited his mummy’s genes in not being afraid of height…
While Darlene evidently got Jimbo’s gene for severe fear of height!!!
The roof of Kellie’s castle.
View through a window.
Some of the chambers were still pretty spooky. One could almost imagine a ghostly figure on the bottom left – oh wait! It’s just little Ryan!
The sign indicating Kellas Mansion located behind Kellie’s Castle.
The remains of Kellas Mansion.
Apparently this chamber used to be the shower with exquisite Italian tiles on the walls.
Kellie’s Castle viewed from the back.
And of course, there were plenty of signage with very bad English telling people that the safety ‘expect’ of the castle is in doubt…
And that engaging in ‘obsene’ behaviour in the castle ground is strictly forbidden. Jimbo thinks that placing CCTVs in strategic places would be better than merely pasting a laminated paper signage.
While there, the loudspeaker suddenly came alive in the place and a very tired, lethargic and bored male voice came on, trying to narrate the history of Kellie’s Castle. Listening to him struggling to pronounce simple English words was a torture. Why can’t they just make a good and proper recording and play the recording at intermittent hours? For a brief background of Kellie’s Castle, click here.
The place has got great tourist potential but unfortunately, is not fully explored. For instance, the souvenir shop was merely a table placed under a large umbrella and on the table were a few sorry looking badges and fridge magnets with a few very uninteresting T-shirts and caps as well.
Still, it was a good trip and it gratified Jimbo to fulfill one of his daughter’s wish.
Fri, 271109 @ 0700