Thursday, November 26, 2009

New homes near former tomb of Raffles' 'mistress'

A NEW residential development is set to be built on prime land near the former tomb of a Chinese woman believed to have been the mistress of Sir Stamford Raffles.

Developer Tang City Homes is building a 20 unit residential block at 52, Stevens Road, next to the former resting place of Tan Chwee Neo, alleged to be the lover of Singapore's founder.

Her remains were left there for nearly 100 years before they were exhumed in 2003 and moved to a temple.

The new freehold Fifty-Two Stevens project, which is located opposite Stevens Close and near the Metropolitan YMCA and The Pines Club, is likely to be launched during the first quarter of next year, after Chinese New Year.

It comprises mainly one-bedroom apartments and is expected to be priced just below $2,000 per sq ft.

Despite claims at the time by family members that Tan was Raffles' mistress, some have cast doubt on the link.

In 2002, Professor Ernest Chew of the National University of Singapore's history department dismissed the notion on the grounds that she may not have been a contemporary of Raffles.

According to her ancestral tablet, she was born in 1818 and died in 1904.

This would have made her five years old during Raffles' final visit to Singapore in 1823.

However, her family claims the birth date records were inaccurate.

Source, Straits Times, 26 November 2009

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