Victoria Prison [????- ]

Submitted by David on Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:42
Current condition

Also called the Victoria Gaol.

Photos that show this Place



In 1899 the German journalist Paul Lindenberg visited the Victoria Goal. The Chief of Police, Captain Superintendent F. H. May, had given his permit for the tour. Officer Mr. Hansen showed him around. Officer Hansen, born in Germany and brought up in the U.S., served in Hong Kong since 1875. Paul Lindenberg describes the building as very spacious and remarkable tidy. He also visited the kitchen. Meals were plenty and good: tea, rice, fish and curry for Chinese; soup, meat, vegetables, dark and white bread for Europeans; pudding and coffee or cacao as dessert. There was a Chinese and English library. “Blessed to be an inmate”, he comments wryly. Lindenberg lists workshops such as: tailor, shoemaker, carpenter, tinsmith, rope maker. The inmates walked in the prison yard chained two by two by a wooden block with a stone attached to the block by a rope. A hall was provided for physical training, such as weightlifting. Lindenberg describes a strange piece of “fitness equipment” in some of the cells. A kind of treadle-operated machine an inmate had to keep running (as punishment?). A speed indicator in the corridor showed his activity. If he ceased in his activity he was beaten by a bamboo stick. There were also dark, naked rooms an inmate could be locked into for several weeks. The debtor’s goal Lindenberg describes as rather luxurious. (He met a German there - and condemned him.) The place of execution he found decorated with plants and flowers after an execution. After his tour through Victoria Goal he went out for a stroll through Hong Kong’s opium dens, theaters etc. at night – escorted by a police officer…

Paul Lindenberg: Um die Erde in Wort und Bild; 1. Teil: von Bremen bis Hongkong; Berlin 1899; p. 446-450

Thanks Christoph, that's an interesting view of life in the prison.

At some stage (I don't remember the exact years), part of a prisoner's punishment was to walk on a treadmill, which may be what Lindenberg saw.

There are some notes & a diagram at:

And lots more photos at:

Regards, David