The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita: Sarawak’s History Museum of The White Rajahs

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The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita is a history museum relating to the Kingdom of Sarawak and its White Rajahs, revolving around James Brooke, the first Rajah of Sarawak. It’s located in Fort Margherita, built in 1879, and named after Ranee Margaret, the wife of Charles Brooke, the second Rajah of Sarawak, who was James Brooke’s nephew. It was interesting to drop by to understand why I could still find a very British influence in today’s Malaysian state.

From The White Barouk, I took the Penambang to cross the Sarawak River to The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita.

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The main entrance to The Brooke Gallery.

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Heading into the quaint Fort Margherita.

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The fort is pretty small by today’s standards.

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Following the sign to the entrance. This is the rear side of The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita.

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The sign for the admission fees for visitors to The Brooke Gallery. Local Malaysians pay RM10 per adult for entry into The Brooke Gallery, while foreigners pay RM20. Children pay half the price from the adult price, rounded up to the nearest whole Ringgit. The Brooke Gallery is open from 9.00am to 4.45pm daily.

If you are visiting The Ranee Museum as well, you can also buy the Explorer Pass for RM15 for Malaysians and RM30 for foreigners.

tl;dr summary:

The Brooke Gallery Opening Hours
9.00am – 4.45pm daily

​Admission Fees to The Brooke Gallery
Local Adult: RM 10
Local Concession / Children (7-12): RM 5
Local Children (under 7): Free
Tourist Adult: RM 20
Tourist Concession / Children (7-12): RM 10
Tourist Children (under 7): Free

Explorer Pass (Entry to both The Brooke Gallery and The Ranee Museum)
Local Adult: RM 15
Local Concession / Children (7-12): RM 8
Local Children (under 7): Free
Tourist Adult: RM 30
Tourist Concession / Children (7-12): RM 15
Tourist Children (under 7): Free

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Heading into The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita.

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My entrance ticket to the The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita, purchased from the counter just behind the door.

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The portrait of James Brooke at the front of the entrance to the gallery.

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The ground floor features the arrival of James Brooke and how Sarawak used to look like when he had just arrived during the uprising against the Sultan of Brunei.

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The gallery continues on each floor of Fort Margherita, linked with an original wooden spiral staircase.

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An introduction to the Brooke Kingdom is on the first floor.

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Weapons used during the Sarawak uprising.

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The significant people involved in the Brooke Kingdom period.

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The historical flag of Sarawak in 1870.

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The timeline of the building of modern Sarawak.

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Hmm, 1915 sounds interesting, though there’s quite limited information on this.

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Some belongings of Charles Brooke on display.

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The timeline of the expansion of Sarawak, which in a way explains why Brunei is today split into two setions.

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The old layout of downtown Kuching.

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The first and only Sarawak Government Railway line leading to Brooke Dockyard. Some of the tracks still remain as featured here on my H2 Sarawak Hydrogen Bus Downtown Heritage Loop article.

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How Brooke Dockyard looked like around 1900, which looks similar to how it looks like today.

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Heading up to the second floor.

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Displays of Sarawakian lifestyles.

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The coat of arms of the Raj of Sarawak used by James Brooke.

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The lineage of The Brooke Dynasty.

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A preserved badger from the Astana. The badger is also featured on the coat of arms.

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The dressing style of the White Rajahs.

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Portraying the daily life during Brooke Sarawak.

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Following Brooke Sarawak, life transitioned to the Japanese Occupation. Unfortunately, information on this section were rather limited.

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Depicting the complicated relationship Sarawak and Britain had despite having a White Rajah.

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A Japanese anti-British propaganda poster depicting Britain as the enemy of Islam in the hopes of the locals viewing them as a liberating force.

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A Japanese propaganda map of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

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The cession of Sarawak to become a British crown colony.

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Some clippings of The Brooke Legacy.

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Pictures of the Brooke Memorial, with the actual one located outside Kuching Old Courthouse and The Ranee Museum.

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Heading up to the rooftop.

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The rooftop of Fort Margherita.

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There are three flagpoles which are not in use during my visit.

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Looking down at the future walkway down to the Darul Hana Musical Fountain.

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Looking across the Sarawak River to Riverside Majestic.

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Looking down to Kampung Boyan.

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Heading back to the stairwell to head back down to the ground floor.

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There is a souvenir shop on the ground floor.

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Heading out to the cannon firing area.

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There are still cannons pointing out of the holes of the fort.

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Climbing up to one of the firing towers.

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Seems like a mount for a machine gun.

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The view out of the gun tower.

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Overlooking the new graves of Sarawak’s former ruling Brooke family, originally from the Astana.

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Heading back in to the fort building to exit Fort Margherita.

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The future walkway down to the Darul Hana Musical Fountain.

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Heading into the new grave site of Sarawak’s former ruling Brooke family, originally from the Astana.

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The grave of Anthony Walter Dayrell Brooke, the Rajah Muda of Sarawak, and the third and last of the ruling White Rajahs.

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The grave of John Brooke Johnson Brooke’s first wife Anne Grant, and second wife Juliana Caroline Welstead.

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The facade of Fort Margherita.

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Heading out of The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita to catch the Penambang back to Kuching Waterfront.

Overall, an informative visit to The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita to know more about the unique prolonged accidental British history in this part of the world, which probably explains why Sarawak is still a rather unique state as compared with the rest of Malaysia.

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