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The Chimney

October 29, 2016
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The ‘CHIMNEY’ an Archaeological Mystery

The Chimney which is located in Tanjung Kubong, Labuan is also known as "Punil" by the locals and is an important landmark for Labuan. The 106' 6" (32.5 m) tall tower was built in the early 1900s when Labuan was still under the administration of the British North Borneo Chartered Company. During that period, the surrounding area of Tanjung Kubong was part of an important coal mining area in Labuan. The purpose and function of this tower has remained a mystery to this day as historians seem unable to agree on its purpose and functions. Although various ideas and stories was given as to its functions such as a ventilation shaft for the coal mine beneath it or as a light house or a bell tower, none of this hypothesis can be supported with concrete proof and evidence.


"The ‘CHIMNEY’ an Archaeological Mystery”

The Chimney was constructed in the early 1900s with thousands of red bricks brought in from England with the outer wall alone using more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks. It was built to resemble a square shaped tower with an inner hollow structure based on typical British architecture during that period.

 

This tower was built on a large foundation of limestone rock, giving its a strong and stable base which has endure to this day although the outer appearances have been ravishes by the weather. In 1997, restoration works was carried out on The Chimney to stabilize and restores its original structure by the Labuan's Department of Museum and Antiquities.


Beside this mysterious tower, tourist visiting this area during their Sabah vacation should also take the opportunity to visit a small museum located beside the tower which is also known as ‘The Chimney Information Center’. This information center gives visitors a detail history of the coal mining activities around the Tanjung Kubong area during its coal mining era from the year 1847 to 1912. Beside these, the history of Labuan’s railways, mining tunnels and The Chimney are also on display here..

 
Labuan tourism icon has been awarded the International Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice “and” Sustainable Development in 2013 in the category of historic building architecture. The international award by The Green Organisation, the United Kingdom allows Labuan selected as a Green Ambassador 2014 (The Green Ambassador 2014) for that category and will participate in the campaign carried out by the organization during the year 2014.

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