The house was originally has a row of 4 houses with adjourning walls. It is backed by hills, and faced a fish pond. The house was built of ‘green bricks’ – an innovation from the Ming dynasty. These bricks very common in China, and is the type found in the Great Wall. The floor is made from quarried stone of slate or granite.
Standing in front of the house, before the pond, is an open area used for thrashing, sorting, drying agriculture produces. This is also where the clan will work and Chau’s children would play.
Immediately at the left of the house, is an open well. It now fitted with a manual pump – providing the village with clean water.
On the left of the houses was the ancestral temple, where the ancestry plagues of the Chau family were housed. This building was lost in 1950s.
The fish pond was once a rice paddy field. It has been converted to fish pond for over a hundred years. This provides a steady supply of fresh water fish – different variety of carps, for the local village. The fish pond, is unchanged today, except for the addition of filtration and air agitation pumps to increase fish production. A piggery and an outside toilet stood at the edge of the water. Wastes are recycled as fish feeds and organic fertilisers.The village still grow rice, corn, pawpaw, lychee, long-yen, star fruit, banana, Chinese melons, climbing beans, all different types of vegetables, and Chinese medicine herbs. Chicken are kept in coops, duck/geese lives in sheds at the end of the pond, village dogs roams the lane way in the village.
On the right of the house, was a guard tower. It is now empty and disuse.
Behind the house is an out-house – a toilet that also function as a fertiliser farm, where waste is composited into organic fertilisers.
The village backs on to a bamboo forest, which grows on the slop of a hill. There were stories of wide life, wide cats and even the great Asian tiger once roamed these area.
On the hill at the back of the house are the ancestor graves. It sits half way up the hill, and has a clear view of both water and the decedents’ village. The original design and siting of the house is considered good FengShui, as the house is backed by mountains, with view of water and a river beyond. The good FengShui refers to the prosperity of the further generations.