House No. 1 at Ubin

A unique pre-war structure, it was variously called the English Bungalow/Cottage and House No. 1. A delightful home under pine trees, with its own jetty, it has a great view of Pulau Sekudu and mainland Singapore. The two-storey building has a lovely airy verandah and comes complete with fireplace. It was built in the 1930's in the English Lytyenseque or Tudor style.

According to one account, it was built in the 1930s by the then Chief Surveyor, Langdon Williams, as a holiday retreat. The architecture is Tudor-style, with adaptations to the tropical climate, and is similar to the cottages built in tea plantations during the British colonial era. Other accounts it was said be originally be the vacation home for the resident British medical officer. It is said the home was later taken over by a rubber company and the local rubber estate manager stayed in it.

According to the URA, the bungalow was granted conservation status on 1 December 2003. By 2006, work was completed to restore it. Replacements for the damaged roof, wall and floor tiles were carefully sourced and the massive timber beams were treated to prevent termite infestation.

Since 2007, it now serves as the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre. While the House was meticulously restored, the jetty in front of it was rebuilt. The restrooms were originally the housing for the servants.

House No. 1 has a working chimney! The fireplace, however, is boarded up because a colony of rare bats (Pouched tomb bats) have decided to make it their home. The water tower near House No. 1 was left undemolished as another rare species of bats (Malayan false vampire bats) have settled there.

Restored House No. 1

Restored jetty in front of House No. 1

Back to exploring Ubin
Links References
  • Chua Ee Kiam, Pulau Ubin: Ours to Treasure, Simply Green, 2000

the ubin stories blog

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