Panorama from The Peak, c.1900

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 18:36

Photo courtesy of Tim Luard and Alison McEwan.

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If you can identify any of the buildings, please let us know in the comments below.

Date picture taken


What an amazing photo showing so many buildings so clearly.

I'll start, left to right.

(On the Peak)

Bahar Lodge -
Meirion -
Tor Crest -

Bishop's Lodge

(Old Peak Road)
St. Andrew's ;

Victoria Lodge -Charter House ;

Queen's Gardens

David - time permitting, it would be great if the major buildings or those on the Peak could be indexed.

The 1901 PWD Report mentions the Prince's Building southwestern corner and HK Club Annex were in progress of construction, so 1900/1901 is more or less correct.

I've uploaded an annotated version. Not every building is named, but hopefully there are enough letters to identify which part of the photo we're looking at.

Annelise, I don't think the Flickr annotations will work well in this case because we can't zoom in on it, meaning the annotations will be too crowded.

Regards, David

Greetings.  Kam Shan is beyond the eastern part of Stonecutters Island.  One night in the autumn of 1954 (or about), I could see a long trail of brush fire two-third way up on that hill, likely started by hikers who were looking for excitement.

From there eastward, it appears the ridgeline remains lower than Kam Shan until one reaches Lion Rock.  Thus, I am surprised Beacon Hill is higher than Kam Shan as Wikipedia gives these elevations: Lion Rock 495 m; Beacon Hill 457 m; Kam Shan 369 m.  Is/are my geography wrong, math camera optic, or curvature of the land?

Thanks to Annelisc for B to K. Please comment if you spot any errors. I have created places if there was none previously for the below.


A Mountain Lodge?

B Bahar Lodge 

C Tor Crest

D Meirion

E Bishop's Lodge

F Ian Mor site:

G Luginsland

H St. Andrew's/Inverugie

I Victoria Lodge

J Charter House

K Queens Gardens

L  Building situated roughly where Yukon Court/Robinson Garden Apartments are today

Half way between L and P is Stonehenge.  A small second floor can be seen poking up to the left of the trees

Above and to the left of Stonehenge are Belios Terraces

The junction up and to the left of L is where Robinson and Seymour Road meet. (Where the trees are) The crescent shaped building above this is Elliot Crescent


M Blue Bungalow

N Devonia/Kurrahjeen

O Derrington

P St Josephs Building

Q Upper Albany:

R Bellvue

Behind and slightly to the right of R is Stillingflete


S 10 Caine Road – possibly 12, 14,16 as well?

Above S are two dark shaped buildings, one not quite parallel with the other.  These are the original Married Quarters (1st Generation)blocks on Old Bailey street

The road coming up the hill above to the Left of S is Elgin Street

The trees straight above O, to the left of S are on Caine Road around the junction with Castle Terrace


T Catholic Cathedral

The building to the right of S and T  is the house called Glenealy


U Norman Cottage

V 10 Garden Terrace/Shawncliffe 1st Generation building

W Victoria Prison

X 7-13 Arbuthnot Road

Y 15 Arbuthnot Road –House of a Brazilian prince, survived to the 1960’s

Halfway between Y and ad on the corner of Wyndham and D’Aguilar street is the Germania club 1st Location. Behind this is Lan Kwai Fong


Z Gardner House



Aa  The Albany

Ab Central Market

Ac  Botanical Gardens

Ad Bishops House (to the left)

Ae Clocktower

Af  Hong Kong Hotel North Wing

Running along De Voeux Road towards Ic hosue street there are 4/5 buildings:

1The remains of Dents building – 14,14A &16/18 de Voeux Road. Only the part of the building on Pedder Street was knocked down to build the HK Hotel North Wing

2 Powell House

3  Bank of East Asia

Building between?

4 Bank of Canton


Ag Astor House

The Mercantile Bank of India is to the right of this building, its roof can just be seen above the trees.

To the Left is Marina House (1st Generation)

Unknown long thin building to left of Marina House.

The next building to the left is the Hong Kong Hotel Complex until the clocktower

Behind this row of buildings is the offices of Hong Kong Daily Press and the SCMP


Ah Government House

Directly above, slightly to the right is Murray Battery


Ai Queens Building

Aj Princes Building

Building directly below aj features is some of the oldest HK photos. Anyone know what it is?


Ak Government Offices

Al Statue of Queen Victoria


An HSBC Managers & Sub Managers House

Ao City Hall

Ap St Johns

Just below the nave of St Johns is the roof of the HKVDC Building


Aq cant find this one on the map

Ar Hong Kong club

As Lower Peak Tram Station

To the right of as are The Livery stables


At United Telegraph Companies’ Offices

To the right of at is the New Oriental Building

To the right of that is Butterfield and Swire’s offices


Au Cricket Pitch

Av Parade Ground

Aw Murray House

Slightly above to the right are the North Barracks


Ax Murray Barracks

Ay Racket Court

Az Naval Yard



Ba Head Quarters House

Bb A block/Alexander Block –set the completion date to 1901

Bc Commissariat Pier

Bd  Fletcher Street Buildings

Be Wellington Battery Pier - On an 1895 map this is labelled as S M Pier

Bf Military Hospital

Bg Victoria Barracks

Bh Royal Naval Canteen (Blue Buildings)

Bi Site of Bowen Road Military Hospital

I think the problem is that the hills are all merged into a solid block on this photo (unsurprising), so even if Golden Hill is there it is obscured by the eastern flank of Tai Mo Shan that comes down to the right torwads Beacon Hill. Even Neeedle Hill (500m+) can't be discerned from here - it's probably there but the age of the photo and B&W make it hard to see.  

Hi Klaus

The House called Stonehenge is listed as 5 Robinson Road. I think your picture above shows the second generation building at this site; Stonehenge appears in some of the oldest photos/paintings of HK so would have been almost 60 years old in the panorama of 1900. The second generation building is much bigger and has at least three floors.



Thanks for this information. As you know much about buildings in Central, you might help identifying the single-storey building (​) at the place where Prince's Building stood later:

City Hall, Central, Hong Kong. (late 1890s / early 1900s)
City Hall, Central, Hong Kong. (late 1890s / early 1900s), by HIstoryBuff6

Regards, Klaus

Hi Klaus

I can find no specific information on this building. However the terms of the Lot lease stated that a substantial building must be constructed within 36 months of the commencement of the lease. The reclamation in this area was finished around 1894, in the middle of a long global economic recession so I think the above building was a temporary measure to fulfill the terms of the lease until economics conditions improved enough to construct something more substantial.  

Hi Herostratus,

thank you for the search. David found another image of this building:

Prince's Building under construction 1899
Prince's Building under construction 1899, by annelisec

It stands on the southern part of the site where Prince's Building would be later. It might be (as you assumed) that the company who built Prince's Building was short of money and built the single-storey building for not loosing the building permission.

Regards, Klaus