c.1904 Caine Road

Submitted by Admin on Sun, 11/06/2022 - 18:22
c.1904 Caine Road, at the junction with Arbuthnot Road


Where: I bought this photo back in 2020 and scanned it straight away so I could take a closer look. There are signs at the top and bottom of the nearest windows showing the street name. The one at the bottom is clearer, and shows we're looking at Caine Road.

Street names


I put the picture aside, thinking that at some point I'd go for a walk along Caine Road to see if I could find a viewpoint that matched this scene, and work out the photo's location. Instead, I had a lucky break when a photo of the same buildings popped up as one of Gwulo's Random Photos.

1960s Junction of Caine Road and Arbuthnot Road
1960s Junction of Caine Road and Arbuthnot Road, by moddsey


So the older photo shows the start of Caine Road, with Arbuthnot Road leading downhill to the right.

If you recognise the buildings, please can you leave a comment below to tell us what they were called, and what they were used for?

As far as we know they were demolished in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The buildings on this site today belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and its likely that those older buildings belonged to them too.

When: I don't see any obvious clues, but the photo shown below came from the same album and has clues aplenty. We dated it to 1904, which should be roughly when the Caine Road photo was taken.

1904 Des Voeux Rd Central
1904 Des Voeux Rd Central, by Admin


What: The sedan chairs are the regular style, not the lightweight chairs used for heading up mountains. The most likely journey would be a ride to or from Central, though a visit to Robinson Road or to somewhere further along Caine Road are other possibilities.

Sedan chairs


Who: As well as the four men shown above, there are four more people in the crop below. From the left, there's another chair carrier, a man with a straw boater, the second chair carrier with his back to us, and a lady in a skirt. They look to be in conversation, maybe sorting out the payment if they've just arrived, or agreeing the route and rate if they are just setting off. (And as there are three chairs there should be a third passenger - probably the person who is taking the photo.)

Sedan chair


Gwulo photo ID: A548

Further reading:


I have a number of photos of this area. The first shows the view pre construction of the Cathedral, circa 1880. In the foreground are stables presumably for the house called Glenealy behind them up the hill. The rest of the lot is gardens.

Glenealy & Caine Road
Glenealy & Caine Road, by Herostratus

The Second picture form RC Hurleys Diamond Jubilee photo book published in 1897 shows the completed Cathedral. In the foreground are the houses fronting Caine road covered in scaffolding in the final stages of construction giving a completion date of the mid 1890s

Catholic Cathedral on Caine Road
Catholic Cathedral on Caine Road , by Herostratus

The final photo shows the area circa 1935. The large building with the pointed arches is not the St Josephs building which is further up the hill, but rather the Catholic Administration offices for the Cathedral/Diocese. This building replaced the original Glenealy house and  was demolished in the 1960s to construct the current Catholic buildings on the site.  

Catholic Cathedral Caine Road
Catholic Cathedral Caine Road, by Herostratus


Mr Herostatus,

You are right, the last picture you posted clearly shows this. What a beautiful picture, thank you for sharing.