Magazine Island, previous explosive storage for fishermen. Abandoned after the government banished the use of fishing explosive [1887- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Magazine Island, previous explosive storage for fishermen. Abandoned after the government banished the use of fishing explosive [1887- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 

This Chinese link has some information about it's usage.  It said it was built by the Government to store fishing explosives.  However the site was abandoned after the banishment of such explosives.  The link also mentioned there was a rumour of a British military search light post on the island.


Photos that show this place



I hadn't heard the idea it was a magazine for fishermen's explosives before, so that's interesting.

I had a quick search on the web, but the only extra info I could find is that the Magazine building in your photo is a Grade III listed building.

Extracted from A Visitor’s Guide to Historic Hong Kong, 1991, ISBN 962 217 212 1
Originally named One Tree Island, Magazine Island lies just to the West of Aberdeen Harbour.  From 1887 to 1908 it was leased for an annual rent of $100, by the Nobel Explosives Company, who build a magazine and a road and planted trees.

Magazine Island was abandoned in 1908 when the Government completed the construction of the explosives depot on Green Island.

Government Notification No. 186, 1899 says something about Nobel Explosives Co.

It was abandoned probably because of the new depot on Green Island, which in turn replaced by the new depot on Stonecutters Island in 1981.  There was depot on Kellett Island as well, until taken over by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

That's what I've found so far.


Hi there,

Took this while en-route to Cheung Chau yesterday.  Don't know if the ruins were of WWII defence or of the Magazine itself.  It is not a pier, just a block of reinforced concrete extended into the sea with ruins on it.  Google Map\Earth should have a good view from the top.

DSCF2471a.JPG, by tngan
DSCF2516a.JPG, by tngan


There was a searchlight on Magazine Island. I don't know when it was installed, but one document I have (somewhere) states that it was Destroyed In Situ, about the same time the crews of Pillboxes in the area were withdrawn to Stanley. I will amend this should I find the reference document.

The perils of opening your mouth without the evidence in front of you. Ignore my previous comment on Magazine Island searchlight. 100% incorrect.

Before a new lighted beacon was constructed on the tip of the island in 1975, a light was affixed to the roof of the storage magazine and used as a navigational beacon, though the exact year of this event is still under investigation (this could have happened in the 1960's). In the 1970's the construction of Wah Fu Estate caused light pollution in the area, and soon it was thought that the existing light could not be seen easily by mariners. so a new light was built.

From photos online, the laddar providing access to the roof still survives, and the mounting for the light could be seen on the roof.

"The lease of One-Tree Island to Messrs Jardine, Mattheson & Co. for the storage of dynamite expired this year and was not renewed."

Source : 1908 PWD Report, Para.7.