Old church, gingerbread house hailed as historical sites
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Old church, gingerbread house hailed as historical sites

Local recognition: The gingerbread styled Windsor House is a heritage icon of the Chinese Kudeejeen community in Thon Buri district. (Photo: Museum Siam)
Local recognition: The gingerbread styled Windsor House is a heritage icon of the Chinese Kudeejeen community in Thon Buri district. (Photo: Museum Siam)

The Fine Arts Department has registered Windsor House in Kudeejeen community and the First Presbyterian Church in the Samre area, both in Bangkok, as historical sites.

Located in Thon Buri district, Windsor House draws visitors' attention because of its gingerbread style, woodwork and weather-beaten condition.

The two-storey wooden house was built during the reign of King Mongkut and was originally owned by Louis Windsor, a wealthy British merchant who owned Windsor Shop on Charoen Krung Road.

Efforts to renovate the building face obstacles as it is located on a land plot owned by Santa Cruz Church which does not allow any operations for commercial purposes. The registration of the building as an historical site is hoped to address these concerns.

The First Presbyterian Church was set up in 1849 by the American Presbyterian Mission which arrived in the kingdom in 1840 during the reign King Rama III. When the missionaries first arrived, they stayed with others in Kudeejeen community.

The missionaries set up the First Presbyterian Church in 1849 but without an actual church. Prayer meetings and services were conducted in their living quarters. They later moved to Samre area, and it was not until 1860 that the church was built.

The construction took two years to complete and the First Presbyterian Church has been the centre of the Presbyterian community ever since.

A school for boys was later established, currently known as the Bangkok Christian College.

The First Presbyterian Church, facing the Chao Phraya River, comprises a one-storey building for services and a bell tower. The First Presbyterian Church, known for its simple design, was awarded for conservation by the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage in 2004.

The registration of both sites and the surrounding areas for their historical and cultural significance was notd in the Royal Gazette. The announcements were signed by the director-general of the Fine Arts Department.

First Presbyterian Church

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