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Heritage House Tour at Loke Mansion


Heritage house tour at Loke Mansion was one of the programs especially for the participants of a UNESCO World Heritage Site conference.

Loke Mansion
Loke Mansion

This mansion is located at Gurney Drive. There is an initial ALW 1924 engraved at the entrance to the garden. It is the initial of the owner who built it, obviously in the year 1924. It also known as Sunlight House due to the fact that sun ray will come in the house at any time of the day. Round and semi-circular ventilation holes made it possible. The shape of the house resembles butterfly wings, so it is also known as Butterfly House.

dining room at Loke Mansion
Dining Room

Even though it looks grand from the outside, once you are inside you can see it is quite small and narrow. Each part of the house is connected by narrow paths and hallways. The walls are covered with specially ordered tiles. The ceiling is high, with a typical Tudor pattern. The grand staircase can be accessed from both side of the reception area. There is a big landing at the top floor and a huge balcony facing the front lawn. There are also several smaller balconies opposite bedrooms and also at the landing.

heritage house tour
Rebecca telling the story
during the heritage house tour.

After lunch, a short walk from the hotel brought us to Loke Mansion which in danger of big damages which might be due to the construction of high rise buildings in the surrounding area.

The current tenant, Rebecca Duckett-Wilkinson gave a brief history about the house and how frightening signs had been observed resulting in cracks in the building, uneven lawn surface as well as lifted tiles.

It was an amazing old house and it would be very sad indeed if the damages were irreversible over time.

The house has spacious lawn both at the front and at the back. Actually it is hard to tell which is the back of the house because both front and back look quite similar. So I will say the one facing the sea is the back of the house and the one facing away from the sea as the front (due to the presence of porte-cochere here and a stable built on that side.)

hallway staircase
One of the hallways; decorations at the middle of the staircase.

There is a service wing opposite the stable. There is also a narrow staircase which connects from the service area to the bedroom upstairs. It is pretty convenient because the maids would not have to go all around the house to pick up dirty laundry or for cleaning as the bedrooms have other doors which are meant for the maids.

Heritage House Tour at Loke Mansion

The garden at the back is really charming with a walkway along the length of the house. There is a small gazebo in the middle for you to sit and read or enjoy the breeze that comes in from the sea.

Heritage House Tour at Loke MansionActually the house had been without any occupants for forty years before the current tenants moved in. So it has been spared of any major renovation and much of its original structure still remains. Most of the antique furniture  in the house also were originally made for the house. We can say it is one of the best examples of fine grand pre-war family homes in Penang. The heritage house tour stays in my memory and left an impression that lasts.

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