The Residence of the Secretary to the Resident is today the official residence of the District Officer of the Larut, Matang & Selama district. (He doesn’t really stay there). The building is currently closed to the public, but the exterior and compounds are still accessible.
It is stop number 31 on the Taiping Heritage Trail.
The site of this building was the original site for building PWD 1, which is the designation for the Resident’s Residence. In 1884, the building was designated PWD 2 when a new Residency was built on Resident Hill at a cost of $19000. This building subsequently became the Residence of the Secretary to the Resident. Among the first occupants of the house were said to be Captain T.C.S. Speedy, Assistant Resident to J.W.W Birch, F.A. Swettenham (when he was Acting Resident of Perak), and James Guthrie Davidson. The house was later occupied by Edward Maxwell, who was Assistant Resident to Hugh Low.
Resident house at Taiping. Circa 1910 (Photographer: Kleingrothe, C.J.). Source: Wikimedia
The above photo shows the building on the hill to the left of the frame. The building on the right is the Perak Club, and the open field is the Esplanade. The photo is titled as the “Resident’s house at Taiping”, so it can be assumed that this was the Resident’s Residence in 1910, or the photographer was referring to the building’s initial PWD 1 days as the official Residence of the Resident.
Resident House located on a hill at Thai Ping (Taiping) in Perak c.1900. (Photographer: Lambert & Co., G.R.). Source: Wikimedia.
The photo above shows another building atop hill that is purported as the Residency. This photo comes from the 1900s.
Other sources depict a Residency at Drummond’s Hill in the 1890s.
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