Charcoal kiln on Jat's Incline [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Charcoal kiln on Jat's Incline [????- ]

Current condition: 

Walking down Jat's Incline this morning, I noticed a small section of the hillside had collapsed after the recent rainy weather.

Collapse - close view


The steep drop in the top section looked similar to the collapsed entrances of Japanese wartime tunnels, so I climbed up expecting to see a tunnel disappearing into the hillside. But what I found looked more like a wall instead.

Rear wall


For a moment I was disappointed that the tunnel was blocked, but then the grey cells started working... First, the Japanese tunnels aren't lined like this. Second, that small opening at the back looked familiar. It reminded me of the chimney at the back of the charcoal kiln (aka "charcoal cave") I'd seen, where downed American pilot Lt. Kerr had hidden from his Japanese pursuers during WW2.

Looking down at my feet, I saw confirmation that these were the remains of a charcoal kiln - the curve of what was left of the front wall was clear to see (it runs from 3 o'clock down and around to 9 o'clock in the photo).

Front wall


Here's a photo from a bit further back, to help spot where it is.

Collapse - distant view


The collapse is roughly in the centre of the photo. If you view this page on the website there's also a map showing the location.

I'll include links to some related information below, but I'm curious to know more about the history of manufacturing charcoal in Hong Kong. There used to be many of these charcoal kilns on Hong Kong's hillsides, but this is only the second one I've ever seen.

If you can add any memories or information of other kilns, or about local charcoal manufacturing, please let us know in the comments below.



Further reading:

Photos that show this place


Great spot on this interesting feature, which I checked out myself today. The thin trees on the left of your main picture formed a narrow gateway with large spiders in their webs on either side of this gap, so I took care with my hand-holds!

I’m sure you’re right in your analysis, though I am no expert. You’ve certainly sparked my interest, so I shall look into the subject a bit more. Might be worth flagging up to the heritage authorities for a clear-out and information board. Think you should have it named after you in recognition.

Thanks for your absorbing website.

Glad you were able to find it. By chance I spotted another one yesterday: