1887 Panorama of Victoria, Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1887 Panorama of Victoria, Hong Kong

1887 Panorama of Victoria, Hong Kong

Appeared in The Graphic, 1887, with the text:

The the extreme left is seen a noble building which constitutes the City Hall, where the public amusements and local entertainments are held.  Concert and ballrooms, theatre, museum and library are all under one roof.  Adjoining are the new premises of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, with Beaconsfield House and the square tower of the Cathedral in the rear. Government House is visible nestled among the foliage, as is also College Gardens, with the bungalows of some of the merchants far away up the hill.

Victoria Gap is approached from this direction by a good road and the whole range of plateau, east and west from Mount Gough to Victoria Peak, an average altitude of 1,700 feet above sea lever, is occupied with summer residences. Descending the hill again a little to the west is St. Josephs College and on the same road numerous charming bungalows and handsome residences, houses of ease and luxury. 

To return to the Praya, the offices of some of the principal merchants occupy the many fine buildings from east to west. The hotels are the ‘Hong Kong’  a princely mansion situated close to the clock tower, and the ‘Victoria’, a comfortable and most central, close to the waters edge.

A coasting steamer of the Douglas Steamship Company is berthed alongside the wharf, and the foreshore is crowded with cargo boats, sampans an other native craft, also a number of steam launches for which Hong Kong builders are specially famous.  All this is the work of less than half a century.  From a barren rock, with a few fishing villages,  Hong Kong has grown under our rule to be the most extensive and prosperous colony, with a population of nearly a quarter of a million inhabitants.

Buy this: the original woodblock engraving is available for purchase at the Brian Seed Fine Art website(Affiliate link - Gwulo receives a commission on your purchases at Brian Seed Fine Art.)

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, February 26, 1887


This is a question for David really.

Would this picture show the approximate position of Marine Lot 111?

If so would I be correct in suspecting it would be on the waterfront at the extreme left of the picture?



Hi Sean, unfortunately, no. This view is quite a way to the west from there.

If you look at the maps for Marine Lot 111 and the old City Hall (the leftmost building in the panorama above), you can get an idea of how far apart they were.

Regards, David

The picture is titled:

"Panorama of the town of Victoria, Hongkong, as seen from the Harbour.
With the China Squadron in the East - At Hongkong"

And this index is underneath it:

A. St. John's Cathedral (Protestant)1. City Hall
B. Mount Gough, 1,575 feet above Sea2. Hongkong and Shanghai Bank
C. Government House3. Siemssen & Co. Estab. 1848
D. Clock Tower4. David Sassoon, Sons, and Co. Estab. 1841
E. College Gardens5. Schellhass and Co. Estab. 1860
F. Albany6. W. R. Loxley and Co.
G. Victoria Gap, 1,500 feet above Sea7. Russell and Co.
H. High West, 1,774 feet above Sea8. Holliday, Wise, and Co. Estab. 1841
I. St. Joseph's College9. Melchers and Co. Estab. 1866
K. Roman Catholic Cathedral10. Hongkong Hotel
L. Victoria Peak, 1,825 feet above Sea11. Jardine, Matheson, and Co. Estab. 1841
 12. Stolterholt and Hirst. Estab. 1859
 13. Lane, Crawford, and Co. Estab. 1850
 14. Union Insurance Co. Estab. 1841
 15. Douglas, Lapraik, and Co. Estab. 1841
 16. Wieler and Co. Estab. 1874
 17. Turner and Co. - Godowns
 18. Victoria Hotel - Dorabjee and Hingkee
 19. Arnhold, Karberg, and Co. Estab. 1866
 20. Chinese Hongs
 21. Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.
 22. Chinese Hongs

Great website, thanks!

I am wondering where ROSE HILL is/was located. This was the residence of Warren Delano II beginning in the early 1860s. Sara Delano Roosevelt stayed there as a young girl 1862-64. Her sister Dora Delano Forbes (W.H. Forbes) lived there for several decades after 1867. Sara Delano returned there for a brief visit in early 1877.

is described here. I used the 'search' option at the top of this page to find it.

From this picture you can get quite a good idea of the extent of the Great Fire that took place less than a decade earlier. To the right of the P&O building you can see the gap in the Praya building line where the fire started, then where the twin spires of the Catholic Cathedral are, over to the left, is where it was stopped.

 David, could you please add this image to the Gallery: 1880s Hong Kong photos