Chater Bungalow [????-1932]

Submitted by 80sKid on Sat, 03/20/2010 - 09:45
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date closed / demolished
(Day is approximate.)

The building is clearly shown on the 1896 map.

Notes from 80sKid:

Reading the Legco accounts about Chatham Road there's a reference to Chater Bungalow being turned into a playground (at least some of it), though the answer given is somewhat unclear. I know Liz Chater mentioned it in a post about Sir Paul Chater, saying some of it was turned into a golf course. Does anyone know the location? There's only three references on google: here's the legco ref:

Item No. 21: Public Works Extraordinary:―Kowloon, Miscellaneous. Forming

Children's Playground and erecting of sheds etc., $5,500.

HON. MR. J. P. BRAGA.―Is this provision in pursuance of the Government's policy for preserving open spaces in Kowloon?

THE CHAIRMAN.―It was your wish that I should arrange for a playground out of the Chater Bungalow site. It really arises out of your representations that the Chatham Road playground was so unsatisfactory and unsafe that I have been to a great deal of trouble, or rather the Public Works Department has on my behalf, to find another site and the Kowloon Cricket Club has given up a portion of their site.

HON. MR. BRAGA.―In other words, this is a very economical solution of the difficulties which presented themselves to the Government.


April 7 1932

Photos that show this Place


Hi, Chater's Bungalow was I.L. 611.  I'm attaching a plan of exactly where it was and I have drawn (very badly!) a red line around the area where the bungalow was situated.


Hi Liz,

I have created a place for Chater's Bungalow. The Lot was later described as Kowloon Inland Lot No. 611.  

Today's Hillwood Road divides the former site right down the middle. From the map that you have provided, here is a view, I think of Chater's Bungalow. It does not look like a 'bungalow' as such.

Circa 1915. Chater's Bungalow looking in a easterly direction across the grounds of the Kowloon Cricket Club. The Club's Pavilion was built in 1908. Below Chater's Bungalow is the Kowloon Bowling Green Club on Austin Road.

1910s Kowloon Cricket Club


Today's view of Austin Road/Hillwood Road from the Kowloon Cricket Club.

2010 Kowloon Cricket Club Grounds looking towards Austin Road

Hi, thanks for the additional info.  Chater's Bungalow is not in the photo, when he built it he had part of the garden flattened to make a tennis court, that was later turned into a mini golf course.

[Photos no longer available: nodes 5905 Chater's Bungalow, and 5906 Chater's Bungalow - part of the grounds]

You can see how flat he made it.  The picture showing part of the grounds, you can just make out the tram lines of the tennis court.  The remainder you can see there are crops growing, definitely his land but maybe he rented it out?  Anyway, hope the above two pics help you.


From Liz's photos, it would appear that Chater's Bungalow was closer to the Nathan Road side than in the 1915 photo.

Well, I guess it must be the back view of the Observatory on Mount Elgin, though it looks closer to Austin Road than I had anticipated.


From what I have found out, it was on the corner of Nathan Road and Austin Road and the whole property had a low wall as a boundary all round it.  Sir Paul also donated part of his garden for the Vicarage of St. Andrews's to be built (which he paid for).  Hope that helps to get your bearings.


Hi, if you look closely at the map I've supplied you'll see the observatory situated at the end/foot of the plot of St. Andrew's church.  St. Andrew's was directly adjacent to Chater's Bungalow, so if Chater was standing in his garden with his back to his house, he would have seen the observatory on his right


HK Telegraph 26 October 1931

Chater Bungalow property off Nathan Road originally the residence of Sir Paul Chater which subsequently passed into the hands of the Procure des Missions Etrangeres has been sold to a Chinese syndicate. The intention of the new owner is to develop the property for the construction of modern flats and dwelling houses. It is believed that blocks of flats will be erected around the property which includes the present Minimus Golf Park, from Nathan Road to Austin Avenue, while a roadway from the Nathan Road entrance is to be cut through the middle to join a continuation of Cox's Path which now ends at Austin Road after passing the Kowloon Cricket Club. Work will begin first on the Nathan Road end of the site while the Minimus Golf Course area will be taken in later. It is proposed that some 400 flats will be built.

The Bungalow was for many years occupied by the late Sir Paul Chater as a country residence. Quite recently the residence was converted into a Mission House. The grounds are very extensive and uneven.



“Silver Wedding


Last night, Mr and Mrs G.J.B. Sayer celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their wedding by entertaining a large party of friends in the Hon. C.P. Chater’s bungalow at Kowloon. The night was hardly an ideal one for dancing, but, nevertheless, dancing was kept up with unabated vigour till about midnight, when the party sat down to a recherche supper. Supper over, Mr T.H. Reid proposed the health of the host and hostess, and on behalf of those present gave expression to the hope that Mr and Mrs Sayer would have many more years of wedded bliss. Mr Sayer made a brief but appropriate response to the toast, which was drunk enthusiastically with musical honours. The toast of ‘The Ladies’ was proposed by Mr J.W.L. Oliver, and Mr J. Hooper was entrusted by the ladies with the onerous duty of replying on their behalf. A fine wedding cake, suitable decorated, was cut up by Mr Owen Ordish as the oldest friend of the family present. Mr and Mrs Sayer were made the recipients of a large number of valuable and very handsome silver presents.”


Source: The China Mail, page 6, 19th April 1902

Chater Bungalow was demolished in October 1932 as reported in the following clip from the Hong Kong Daily Press 15th February 1933 - page 1 of the Kowloon Daily Supplement (image 11 of 22).


“Kowloon’s New Residential Area



One of the oldest and most conspicuous landmarks of Kowloon has undergone a complete change. When the process is finished it will become Kowloon’s latest residential quarter. This is the old Chater Bungalow, which has been demolished, and the grounds which have been converted into a busy building area.

The Chater bungalow was one of Kowloon’s oldest houses having been built specially as a residence for the late Sir Paul Chater, C.M.G., one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Colony and the biggest land and estate owner.

The history of the bungalow is a very fascinating one. Built over fifty years ago it had the honour in its “youth” of a visit from the last King of Hawaii, who was lavishly entertained by Sir Paul Chater. The bungalow at that time contained Sir Paul Chater’s collection of racing trophies and the King, after a sumptuous tiffin party inspected these momentoes of turf triumphs and expressed his royal interest in them.

The owner, however, eventually moved to Hong Kong and the property was sold to the French Procuration in 1908 for the sum of $275,000 – a very large amount in those days. The Procuration did not alter the bungalow and it remained as a residence until 18 months ago when it was sold, with the grounds to a Chinese syndicate of fifteen, for $800,000.

Plans were drawn up for its transformation into a residential area and the work of demolishing the bungalow was commenced in October last year. The beautiful grounds, like an English “wilderness garden,” and the peaceful air, which surrounded the bungalow never failed to attract the attention and interest of Kowloon residents, and it was not without a feeling of regret when this Kowloon landmark and beauty spot was destroyed and with it, if truth be told, many haunts of the anopheles and other insect pests.

chater bungalow development scheme hong kong daily press kowloon daily supplment page 1 15th february 1933
chater bungalow development scheme hong kong daily press kowloon daily supplment page 1 15th february 1933, by eurasian_david

260,000 Square Feet.

The property, which borders Nathan Road, Austin Road and Austin Avenue, has a total area of over 260,000 square feet. The property occupies practically half of side the hill upon which the Royal Observatory stands and has for its boundary on one side St. Andrew’s Church.

Plans for transforming this big area were drawn originally up by Messrs. Raven and Basto, on behalf of the French Procuration, but before the plans were put into operation the property was sold. The original plans, however, have been adopted, with the exception of some minor changes in the details of the houses to be built, and the lay-out remain the same, as shown in the above plan.

As will be seen that a forty foot motor road, giving access to the houses, has a turning circle at one end. An outlet by steps is provided at the end connecting the road with Austin Avenue. A side road

(Continued on next Column)

and continuation of Cox’s path also figures in the plans giving an exit to Austin Road.

Without fully developing the area, the plans provide for 78 houses – or residential flats, each house containing four flats. The interiors of the flats are to be on the usual lines and will include a large living room, a dining room, two bedrooms, one big bathroom, two store-rooms, a kitchen and servants quarters. This arrangement will be common to all the flats except for alterations wished for by the various owners. In some cases the plans provide for a garage in the basement.

One block of houses has already been completed at the corner of Nathan Road and Austin Road, and it is quite evident that when the rest are built, this new residential quarter will be one of the most popular in Kowloon.”    

Source: Hong Kong Daily Press - Kowloon Daily Supplement, page 1, 15th February 1933