Man Mo Temple [1847- ]

Submitted by tngan on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:24
Current condition
In use
Date completed

Photos that show this Place


There used to be a red cylindrical British style postbox with a King Edward VII cipher that used to stand at the corner with Ladder St, where the pink heritage signboard is now located. Unfortunately, after the handover the powers that be, decided to dismantle and re-position it in the Post Office Museum in the GPO.

Previous to the opening of the Man Mo Temple the Shing Wong Temple may have been used as a Chinese "Town Hall", for as we have noted only one such building is listed in 1845 and 1846, but two are listed in 1847, the date given for the erection of the Man Mo Temple. The two temples were quite close to each other. The Shing Wong Temple was on the western edge of the European part of Victoria and the Man Mo Temple on the eastern edge of the Chinese settlement. A steep and rocky hillside divided the two sections. Confirmation of the 1847 date given in the quoted Chinese account is supported both by the date, Tao Kuang 27th year, inscribed on the bell at the Man Mo Temple and the date, of the Crown Lease for Inland Lot 338 upon which the Temple is built, which is 24 June, 1847. A letter dated 29 May 1847, from the Colonial Secretary authorized its issuance with the stipulation that the premises be used as a school. After the building was finished, however, it was used as a temple. In consequence, the Government in March 1848, began charging Crown Rent for the lot. It was then decided that the temple should be rebuilt on a larger scale reflecting the increasing affluence of the Chinese community.

An account of the opening of the new building is reported in The Friend of China, 24 May, 1851:

The Chinese Community are now enjoying themselves in a way we have never seen before in this Colony, on the occasion of the opening of a spacious Heathen Temple in the Hollywood Road, a few hundred yards from the London Missionary Society's College and Chapel. The Temple is dedicated to a body of the civil and military Gods, and has cost nearly a thousand pounds sterling in erection.  A few months after the festive opening of the temple, "The Joss House Committee" received from Government the grant of a lot adjoining the temple for the erection of a school. 


Source: Notes on Chinese Temples in Hong Kong. Carl T Smith RASHK Vol 13 1973 p133