View of Victoria Gaol from above | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

View of Victoria Gaol from above

View of Victoria Gaol from above

Detail of original photo held at the UK National Archive, their ref: CO 1069/917

They record it as "Panorama of Hong Kong Harbour.", dated to the 1860s. In the comments below you'll see it has since been dated to the 1870s.
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, January 1, 1879


5 Chancery Lane:

8 Chancery Lane:


Both are just up the hill from Victoria Prison


The date is also in the 1870's not 1860s

I've added in the places. Thanks for the detective work.

Please can you let us know the clues that give you the 1870s date?

Regards, David

The Dent building middle part on the praya has acquired a third story which as far as I can gather happened in the early 1870's. Also to the right of the prison you can see the Club Germania building which was not finished until 1872. The roof looks like its gone through ha couple of rainy seasons.   The full version of this photo, which I will try to post this weekend includes a complete City hall and an almost complete Burnside.  I would date this picture to between 1875 & 1880.

The picture was taken from above Conduit road, roughly where Cliff View Mansions is today. My guess is that its a Lai Afong or a John Thomson picture. 

David - do you know of any buildings completed in the late 1870's that we could narrow down the date further?

I've posted the full annotated copy of the picture here:

I've updtaed the date to 1879 to match the date you've given at

> David - do you know of any buildings completed in the late 1870's that we could narrow down the date further?

I'm learning from you, so I can't be of much help I'm afraid.

Based on some work I've done for this week's newsletter, I've made a small tool that shows all buildings completed in a certain range of years. Hopefully it can help on projects like this:

David, that tool is great Really helpful when focusing on a particular period. 

On the date of the photo I am leaning towards 1880 or slightly later. Ive just posted this picture, on of HF's photos. Look at the the buildings around az, ay, ac & ae. Then look at the same area in the panorama here. (above ax & ay) There is a significant difference. From the first photo, Hotel Europa/Civil Hospital Building has gone, half of ac has gone, as has ay and az(maybe) at Lyndhurst & Cochrane. The roofs of the tenement buildings in the area all look pretty new. This was the area destroyed in the great fire of  Christmas 1878. There was a property boom going on at the time so I can imagine new buildings were built pretty quickly but a year seems reasonable to reconstruct the entire area.