There is so much about Bukit Brown, from nature to tombs of war heroes and pioneers to even villages. My first visit to Bukit Brown was last year November. I have visited the place 3 times since. People ask what draws me to the cemetery again and again. Cemetery is not really a place I like to visit but I love the lush surroundings. How often do you find greenery that is untouched in Singapore? I also love to learn about stories about these notable pioneers who were buried here. Did you know that the Battle of Singapore also occurs here? It is really a pity the cemetery is making way for a highway and probably a new public housing town in about 40 years time. Although it is common graves to be transfer from other cemeteries to Bukit Brown due to plans for development. This time round, the graves will be exhumed as there is no other Chinese burial ground that offers permanent resting place. Hence, if Bukit Brown is gone, it is a total lost of a place with such rich heritage.
|Wrought iron gate with ornaments in Art Nouveau style at Lorong Halwa|
|Notice of Exhumation|
|Hoarding around Bukit Brown|
|My first tour|
|Fascinating tree! I think it is good enough for a tree house!|
Bukit Brown Cemetery was a public Chinese cemetery that had been established in the early 20th Century. It is located between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, and off Sime Road and Kheam Hock Road. The cemetery was named after its first owner, Mr George Henry Brown. Mr Brown named it Mount Pleasant. The land was then later bought by Mr Ong Kew Ho, Mr Ong Ewe Hai and Mr Ong Chong Chew in 1872 as a burial and farming ground for the Ong Clan.
|Biggest tomb on Bukit Brown belongs to that of Mr Ong Sam Leong and his wife. It tomb is clearly in view from the air. (See below) It has one of the best Feng Shui on the land.|
|Remnants of the village|
Clockwise from Bottom left: The old village toilet, The same toilet and a well of the village, A fresh water stream, Further down the stream with a stump beside it marking house number
|A view from one of the paths (Taken during Tour 1)|
|Same site as above.|
Some of the tombs have private gates around them as boundaries. Some tombstone are simple. Some are more elaborated,
(Taken during Tour 2- Preparation for Qing Ming- grass were cut)
|After Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping), coloured papers were spotted. (Tour 3)|
|Some of the tombs have a very obvious boundary. - by pillars as in far left. The more elaborated the tombstone the more influential or wealthy the deceased was.|
A typical tombstone would include inscriptions such as:
- The name of the deceased at the centre
- Place of birth
- The date of birth & death. (though normally only the date of death is engraved)
- The names of the spouse &/descendants of the deceased
|Love these Peranakan tiles used for decoration. The Earth deity is located in front of this tomb, perpendicular to it.|
|Here is a tomb of a rectangular grave mound, not of the usual rounded shape which are spotted in majority of Bukit Brown .|
Grave of Mdm Yeo Boey Neo
|Difference between a Hokkien Style Grave and a Teochew Style Grave|
|Dr Lim Su Min, a descendant, playing Ukelele at the Tomb of Mr Tan Kim Ching, son of Mr Tan Tock Seng. |
Mr Tan Kim Ching was a philanthropist and leading Chinese merchants in Singapore, he was also Consul of Japan, Thailand and Russia, as well as a member of the Royal Court of Siam. Kim Ching Street was named after him. His tomb was originally buried in a private burial ground in Changi before relocation to Bukit Brown
|Tomb of Mr and Mrs Cheang Jim Hean , eldest son of Mr. Cheang Hong Lim|
Mr Cheang Jim Hean was originally buried in his family burial ground at Alexandra.
|Unique tomb of Mr Tan Boon Cheng. A tomb within a wooden shack with quite a number of dogs guarding it|
|Tomb of Mr Lee Hoon Leong, our late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's grandfather|
Sculptures such as these were seen in Bukit Brown
as well as beautiful Peranakan tiles
Not forgetting the Battle for Singapore...
If you are interested in Bukit Brown, do sign up for their regular guided tours which is conducted every first weekend of each month. Do check out their website for different tours as well.
You may want to conduct your own DIY tour using this map but not to wander too far in the terrain for safety reasons.